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A Life in Letters Appearing for the first time in one volume, these trenchant letters tell the eloquent narrative of Orwell s life in his own wordsFrom his school days to his tragic early death, George Orwell, who never wrote an autobiography, chronicled the dramatic events of his turbulent life in a profusion of powerful letters Indeed, one of the twentieth century s most revered icons was a lively, prolific correspondent who developed in rich, nuanced dispatches the ideas that would influence generations of writers and intellectuals This historic work never before published in America and featuring many previously unseen letters presents an account of Orwell s interior life as personal and absorbing as readers may ever seeOver the course of a lifetime, Orwell corresponded with hundreds of people, including many distinguished political and artistic figures Witty, personal, and profound, the letters tell the story of Orwell s passionate first love that ended in devastation and explains how young Eric Arthur Blair chose the pseudonym George Orwell In missives to luminaries such as T S Eliot, Stephen Spender, Arthur Koestler, Cyril Connolly, and Henry Miller, he spells out his literary and philosophical beliefs Readers will encounter Orwell s thoughts on matters both quotidian poltergeists and the art of playing croquet and historical including his illuminating descriptions of war shattered Barcelona and pronouncements on bayonets and the immanent cruelty of chaining German prisonersThe letters also reveal the origins of his famous novels To a fan he wrote, I think, and have thought ever since the war began that our cause is the better, but we have to keep on making it the better, which involves constant criticism A paragraph before, he explained that the British intelligentsia inwere perfectly ready for dictatorial methods, secret police, systematic falsification of history, prefiguring the themes ofEntrusting the manuscript of Animal Farm to Leonard Moore, his literary agent, Orwell describes it as a sort of fairy story, really a fable with political meaning This book is murder from the Communist point of view Hardly known outside a small circle of Orwell scholars, these rare letters include Orwell s message to Dwight Macdonald ofDecemberexplaining Animal Farm his correspondence with his first translator, R N Raimbault with English translations of the French originals and the moving encomium written about Orwell by his BBC head of department after his service there The volume concludes with a fearless account of the painful illness that took Orwell s life at age forty seven His last letter concerns his son and his estate and closes with the words, Beyond that I can t make plans at present Meticulously edited and fully annotated by Peter Davison, the world s preeminent Orwell scholar, the volume presents Orwell in all his varieties and his relationships with those most close to him, especially his first wife, Eileen Combined with rare photographs and hand drawn illustrations, George Orwell A Life in Letters offers everything a reader new to Orwell needs to know and a great deal that diehard fans will be enchanted to have New Statesmen


About the Author: George Orwell

Eric Arthur Blair, better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English author and journalist His work is marked by keen intelligence and wit, a profound awareness of social injustice, an intense opposition to totalitarianism, a passion for clarity in language, and a belief in democratic socialism.In addition to his literary career Orwell served as a police officer with the Indian Imperial Police in Burma from 1922 1927 and fought with the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War from 1936 1937 Orwell was severely wounded when he was shot through his throat Later the organization that he had joined when he joined the Republican cause, The Workers Party of Marxist Unification POUM , was painted by the pro Soviet Communists as a Trotskyist organization Trotsky was Joseph Stalin s enemy and disbanded Orwell and his wife were accused of rabid Trotskyism and tried in absentia in Barcelona, along with other leaders of the POUM, in 1938 However by then they had escaped from Spain and returned to England Between 1941 and 1943, Orwell worked on propaganda for the BBC In 1943, he became literary editor of the Tribune, a weekly left wing magazine He was a prolific polemical journalist, article writer, literary critic, reviewer, poet, and writer of fiction, and, considered perhaps the twentieth century s best chronicler of English culture Orwell is best known for the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty Four published in 1949 and the satirical novella Animal Farm 1945 they have together soldcopies than any two books by any other twentieth century author His 1938 book Homage to Catalonia, an account of his experiences as a volunteer on the Republican side during the Spanish Civil War, together with numerous essays on politics, literature, language, and culture, have been widely acclaimed Orwell s influence on contemporary culture, popular and political, continues decades after his death Several of his neologisms, along with the term Orwellian now a byword for any oppressive or manipulative social phenomenon opposed to a free society have entered the vernacular.



10 thoughts on “A Life in Letters

  1. says:

    I love this collection of letters, I just wish I could find my copy to finish it.Found it and finished That only took 3.5 years in all Might be a record for a book I ve been actively reading.


  2. says:

    Orwell led a difficult life after the Spanish Civil War Wounded in the throat in Barcelona, he was already struggling with the tuberculosis which would kill him in 1950 His first wife died in 1944 leaving him to care for their infant son alone Four years later he himself was hospitalized He spent most of his last 2 years in hospital These letters deal


  3. says:

    Born at the start of the 20th century, George Orwell was a complex character who lived through tumultuous times He was foremost among the great intellectual writers and thinkers of his day, renowned for tackling issues like poverty, totalitarianism and the surveillance state, and is today most widely remembered for his novelsAnimal Farmand Nineteen Eighty Four


  4. says:

    There s not much here that isn t in the Collected Letters, Essays and Journalism, but enough that I m glad I read it Dear Orwell, always a joy to spend some time with him.


  5. says:

    Letters are so great Too bad that for the most part they are a thing of the past.


  6. says:

    Fascinating account of the day to day matters concerning his life during numerous conflicts of the first half of the 20th Century.


  7. says:

    Am I a member of the youngest generation still to think of Orwell as the ideal person to be I don t hear it from anyone younger And now this wonderful gives mereason to idealize him he s so much what I just miss being He is the the man who could write to a girl who was engaged to a friend Dear Eleanor, it was so nice of you to say that you looked back to your days with me with pleasure I hope yo


  8. says:

    In distilling the 1,700 letters written by Orwell, Davison set himself two goals the letters should illustrate his life and hopes, and each should be of interest in its own right This volume admirably fulfills this twofold mission it is a tribute to Davison s decades long scholarship on Orwell s life Daniel P King, Whitefish Bay, WisconsinThis book was reviewed in the March 2014 issue of World Literature


  9. says:

    Quanto a comer em restaurantes, o h bito mais b rbaro e s toler vel, muito ocasionalmente, quando se bebe o suficiente para apreciar a barb rie E n o consigo beber cerveja suficiente P gina 272


  10. says:

    I have very little physical jealousy I don t much care who sleeps with whom, it seems to me what matters is being faithful in anemotional and intellectual sense George Orwell 1903 1950 , in a letter to Anne Popham 18 April 1946 I wonder who your young man is now I have thought of you so often have you thought about me, I wonder I know it s indiscreet to write such things in letters, but you ll be clever burn this, won t y


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