Appeal by Freedom Defence Committee (7 September 1948)

Appeal by Freedom Defence Committee (7 September 1948)

Issue 7 of the Freedom Defence Committee’s Bulletin, Autumn 1948, draws to its readers’ attention a letter sent to the press for publication ‘early in September.’ A copy of the actual letter sent to The New Statesman and Nation...
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Arthur Koestler interviewed about his friend George Orwell

Arthur Koestler interviewed about his friend George Orwell

Arthur Koestler (1905-83), novelist, journalist, critic and philosopher, had covered the Spanish Civil War for the News Chronicle between 1936 and 1937, and was imprisoned by General Franco. After his release he served in the French Foreign Legion for...
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The Politics of Starvation

The Politics of Starvation

Tribune, 18 January 1946 A few days ago I received a wad of literature from the “Save Europe Now” committee, which has been attempting—without much encouragement from the Government or help from the Press—to increase the supply of food from...
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Bloodstained scarves worn by Orwell during the Spanish Civil War sold at auction

Bloodstained scarves worn by Orwell during the Spanish Civil War sold at auction

A collection of four scarves and neckerchiefs belonging to George Orwell were sold by Bloomsbury Auctions (London) in October 2013 for £4,500. The scarves had been worn by Orwell in May 1937 when he was shot during a battle...
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Review of “Lest We Regret” by Douglas Reed and “I Sit and I Think and I Wonder” by Sidney Dark

Review of “Lest We Regret” by Douglas Reed and “I Sit and I Think and I Wonder” by Sidney Dark

The Observer, 7 November 1943 It seems strange to look back five years and remember Mr. Douglas Reed as a Cassandra figure warning a heedless world that the Nazis were dangerous. And it is even stranger to think of...
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Eric Blair’s reply to BBC regarding broadcasting to India as George Orwell (October 1942)

Eric Blair’s reply to BBC regarding broadcasting to India as George Orwell (October 1942)

B.B.C. Internal Memorandum From: Eric Blair, Indian Section Subject: Weekly News Commentary To: Eastern Service Director CONFIDENTIAL 15 October 1942 With reference to the suggestion that I should write and broadcast the weekly news review in English over my...
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Catastrophic Gradualism

Catastrophic Gradualism

C. W. Review, November 19451 There is a theory which has not yet been accurately formulated or given a name, but which is very widely accepted and is brought forward whenever it is necessary to justify some action which...
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My favorite Amazon customer reviews for George Orwell’s 1984

My favorite Amazon customer reviews for George Orwell’s 1984

These are real reviews for Orwell’s 1984 from Amazon.com customers. Spelling, grammar and punctuation — all uncorrected. Enjoy! ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ Number of reviews: 1,645 Average rating: Customer Reviews 5 of 70 people found the following review...
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Letter to Penguin Books (8 March 1943)

Letter to Penguin Books (8 March 1943)

10a Mortimer Crescent London NW6 8 March 1943 Dear Sir,1 With reference to your letter dated 5.3.43. I am not absolutely certain without looking up my contracts how I stand about the rights in my books, but I am almost...
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The Orwell Reader (Part 2)

The Orwell Reader (Part 2)

A collection of some of George Orwell’s best essays: The Spike (1931) Bookshop Memories (1936) Spilling the Spanish Beans (1937) Charles Dickens (1940) Boys’ Weeklies (1940) The Art of Donald McGill (1941) Mark Twain — The Licensed Jester (1943)
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Orwell shot through throat by a sniper (20 May 1937)

Orwell shot through throat by a sniper (20 May 1937)

George Orwell (Eric Blair) was shot through the throat by a sniper on 20 May 1937. He discusses the incident in Homage to Catalonia. His wife (Eileen Blair) sent a telegram from Barcelona at noon on 24 May 1937...
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Letter from Eileen Blair in Barcelona to her brother Dr. Laurence (‘Eric’) O’Shaughnessy (May 1937)

Letter from Eileen Blair in Barcelona to her brother Dr. Laurence (‘Eric’) O’Shaughnessy (May 1937)

10 Rambla de los Estudios, Barcelona. 1 May 1937 Dear Eric, You have a hard life. I mean to write to Mother with the news, but there are some business matters. Now I think of these, they’re inextricably connected...
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Letter from George Orwell at the BBC to E. M. Forster (14 April 1942)

Letter from George Orwell at the BBC to E. M. Forster (14 April 1942)

14 April 1942 Dear Mr. Forster, Many thanks for your letter. As to the questionnaire by the BBC which you mention,1 I don’t think it ever bore much fruit, but I am finding out what replies did come in...
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Common Lodging Houses (September 1932)

Common Lodging Houses (September 1932)

The New Statesman and Nation, 3 September 1932 Common lodging houses, of which there are several hundred in London, are night-shelters specially licensed by the LCC.1 They are intended for people who cannot afford regular lodgings, and in effect...
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Telling the Russians about Orwell

Telling the Russians about Orwell

Gleb Struve (1898-1985), a scholar and specialist on Soviet literature, was at the School of Slavonic Studies, London University, in 1944. He wrote to Orwell and congratulated him on his piece in the Tribune column about Soviet falsification of history....
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Through a Glass, Rosily

Through a Glass, Rosily

Tribune, 23 November 1945 The recent article by Tribune’s Vienna correspondent provoked a spate of angry letters which, besides calling him a fool and a liar and making other charges of what one might call a routine nature, also...
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Announcement of Orwell’s engagement to Sonia Brownell (September 1949)

Announcement of Orwell’s engagement to Sonia Brownell (September 1949)

17 September 1949 The Star reported: A specialist’s verdict will decide whether fair-haired Miss Sonia Brownell,1 engaged to novelist George Orwell, will have a bedside wedding in hospital. Mr Orwell who has been ill for two years is now...
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Orwell’s notes for essay on Evelyn Waugh (1949)

Orwell’s notes for essay on Evelyn Waugh (1949)

These notes for an essay on Evelyn Waugh were written by Orwell in his last Literary Notebook. The ellipses seen below are Orwell’s. He said: “I hope it’s dipsomania. That is simply a great misfortune that we must all help...
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Unfinished essay on Evelyn Waugh (1949)

Unfinished essay on Evelyn Waugh (1949)

It has not proved possible to date precisely when George Orwell prepared the first part of the typescript of his essay on Evelyn Waugh, nor to date exactly the notes he wrote in his last Literary Notebook, though all...
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Doublethink

Doublethink

Doublethink, a word coined by George Orwell in his dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, describes the act of simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct, often in distinct social contexts. It is related to, but distinct from, hypocrisy and neutrality. Its opposite is cognitive dissonance, where the two beliefs...
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Just Junk – But Who Could Resist It?

Just Junk – But Who Could Resist It?

Evening Standard, 5 January 1946 Which is the most attractive junk shop in London is a matter of taste, or for debate: but I could lead you to some first-rate ones in the dingier areas of Greenwich, in Islington...
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Letter and drawing by George Orwell from boarding school (March 1912)

Childhood drawing by George Orwell of a boat (March 1912)

Uncorrected letter sent by George Orwell (Eric Blair) to his mother Ida from St. Cyprian’s preparatory school in Eastbourne, Sussex. 17 March 1912 My darling Mother, Thank you for your letter, please tell me what couler the giune-pig is....
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Easter letter with drawing by George Orwell to his mother from boarding school (February 1912)

Childhood drawing by George Orwell (February 1912)

Uncorrected letter sent by George Orwell (Eric Blair) to his mother Ida from St. Cyprian’s preparatory school in Eastbourne, Sussex. 25 February 1912 My darling Mother, Thank you for that letter you sent me, but I couldent read it...
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Grave of Eileen O’Shaughnessy Blair (George Orwell’s first wife)

Grave of Eileen O’Shaughnessy Blair (George Orwell’s first wife)

Eileen O’Shaughnessy (25 September 1905 – 29 March 1945) was the first wife of George Orwell. She died in tragic circumstances in the spring of 1945 in Newcastle upon Tyne whilst undergoing surgery, her death being caused by the...
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Pictures of George Orwell (Part 1)

Eric Blair at Burma Police Training School (1923)

Eric Blair (George Orwell) on holiday at Church Stretton, Shropshire in September 1917 Eric Blair (holding rifle) with friends Guinevere and Prosper Buddicom. Jacintha Buddicom in 1918 Jacintha Buddicom was the subject of some of Eric Blair’s early love...
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Descending to the level of our enemies (October 1942)

Captured Canadian troops in Dieppe, France (Aug. 1942)

Unpublished letter to the Editor of The Times, 12 October 1942 10a Mortimer Crescent NW6 Sir, May I be allowed to offer one or two reflections on the British Government’s decision to retaliate against German prisoners,1 which seems so...
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The Meaning of Sabotage

The Meaning of Sabotage

The typescript has a few amendments in Orwell’s hand and at the head of the first page, also in his hand, is written, ‘As broadcast. 10 mins 10 secs.’ The talk was censored by R. C. Hardman and read...
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Letter to the Reverend Iorwerth Jones (April 1941)

Letter to the Reverend Iorwerth Jones (April 1941)

111 Langford Court Abbey Road London NWS 8 April 1941 Dear Mr Jones, Many thanks for your letter.1 Perhaps in one or two cases I expressed myself rather ambiguously and can make things clearer by answering some of your...
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British Rations and the Submarine War

British ration book from WW2 (interior)

The typescript for this broadcast states that it was written ‘by E. Blair’ and read by I. B. Sarin, Programmes Assistant in the Eastern Service. The script carries a rectangular censor’s stamp. Unlike the later triangular rubber stamps for...
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Letters by George Orwell to his mother from boarding school (1911)

Letters by George Orwell to his mother from boarding school (1911)

All letters handwritten by George Orwell (Eric Blair) and sent to his mother Ida from St. Cyprian’s preparatory school in Eastbourne, Sussex. Letters are uncorrected. Sunday, 8 October 1911 My dear Mother, I hope you are quite well, I...
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George Orwell’s death on 21 January 1950

George Orwell’s death on 21 January 1950

George Orwell died of a massive hemorrhage of the lung in the early hours of Saturday January 21st 1950 at University College Hospital in London. Death came very quickly. Although his wife Sonia had been with him much of...
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1984 research guide

UK first edition of George Orwell's 1984 with red dust jacket

This page is recommended for students and educators. Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) by George Orwell. Complete Novel. About Nineteen Eighty-Four. Includes: Background information on novel, plot summary, character details, etc. What is Newspeak? Quotes from Nineteen Eighty-Four. Where Orwell completed...
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The Crystal Spirit

The Crystal Spirit

In the opening pages of George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia (1938) he describes meeting an Italian militiaman in Barcelona in December 1936 when he joined the fight against Franco during the Spanish Civil War. Orwell added more details (and...
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Letter from literary critic Desmond MacCarthy to George Orwell on 29 December 1949

Letter from literary critic Desmond MacCarthy to George Orwell on 29 December 1949

The last letter among Orwell’s papers from a well-wisher was from the critic and literary journalist Desmond MacCarthy (1877-1952). He said that he had written two letters which he had torn up because they did not express what he...
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Can Socialists Be Happy?

Can Socialists Be Happy?

Tribune, 24 December 1943. Written by George Orwell but published under the name ‘John Freeman’. The thought of Christmas raises almost automatically the thought of Charles Dickens, and for two very good reasons. To begin with, Dickens is one...
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Animal Farm research guide

British first edition of George Orwell's Animal Farm (1945)

This page is recommended for students and educators. Animal Farm (1945) by George Orwell. Complete novel. About Animal Farm. Includes: Background information on novel, plot summary, character details, etc. Quotes from Animal Farm. The Freedom of the Press. Proposed...
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Prophecies of Fascism

First edition of The Iron Heel (1908) by Jack London

Tribune, 12 July 1940 The reprinting of Jack London’s The Iron Heel brings within general reach a book which has been much sought after during the years of Fascist aggression. Like others of Jack London’s books it has been...
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Review of “Voices in the Darkness” by Tangye Lean

Review of “Voices in the Darkness” by Tangye Lean

Tribune, 30 April 1943 Anyone who has had to do propaganda to “friendly” countries must envy the European Service of the B.B.C. They are playing on such an easy wicket! People living under a foreign occupation are necessarily hungry...
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Pictures of Barnhill on the isle of Jura (Scotland) by Michael Greenwell

Barnhill on the isle of Jura (Scotland)

Barnhill is a solitary farmhouse, remotely situated in the north of the island of Jura in the Scottish Hebrides. George Orwell lived at Barnhill intermittently from 1946 until January 1949 and completed his famous novel Nineteen Eighty-Four while there....
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Letter from George Orwell in Barcelona to Victor Gollancz (May 1937)

Letter from George Orwell in Barcelona to Victor Gollancz (May 1937)

Handwritten letter sent from the Hotel Continental (Barcelona) on 9 May 1937. Dear Mr Gollancz, I didn’t get an opportunity earlier to write & thank you for the introduction you wrote to Wigan Pier, in fact I didn’t even...
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George Orwell’s statement on Nineteen Eighty-Four

George Orwell’s statement on Nineteen Eighty-Four

George Orwell wrote a statement on Nineteen Eighty-Four in mid-June 1949 following misunderstandings about his intentions in the book. These arose especially from an article in the New York Daily News which, he had been told, interpreted his novel as...
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