'The general uncertainty as to what is really happening makes it easier to cling to lunatic beliefs'
Biting and timeless reflections on patriotism, prejudice and power, from the man who wrote about his nation better than anyone.
Penguin Modern: fifty new books celebrating the pioneering spirit of the iconic Penguin Modern Classics series, with each one offering a concentrated hit of its contemporary, international flavour. Here are authors ranging from Kathy Acker to James Baldwin, Truman Capote to Stanislaw Lem and George Orwell to Shirley Jackson; essays radical and inspiring; poems moving and disturbing; stories surreal and fabulous; taking us from the deep South to modern Japan, New York's underground scene to the farthest reaches of outer space.
George Orwell's moving reflections on the English character and his passionate belief in the need for political change.
The Lion and the Unicorn was written in London during the worst period of the blitz. It is vintage Orwell, a dynamic outline of his belief in socialism, patriotism and an English revolution. His fullest political statement, it has been described as 'one of the most moving and incisive portraits of the English character' and is as relevant now as it ever has been.
The year is 1984, and life in Oceania is ruled by the Party. Under the gaze of Big Brother, Winston Smith yearns for intimacy and love – “thought crimes” that, if uncovered, would mean imprisonment, or death. But Winston is not alone in his defiance, and an illicit affair will draw him into the mysterious Brotherhood and the realities of resistance.
Nineteen Eighty-Four has been described as chilling, absorbing, satirical, momentous, prophetic and terrifying. It is all these things, and more.
'Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two equals four. If that is granted, all else follows.'
This selection of George Orwell’s writing, from both his novels and non-fiction, gathers together his thoughts on the subject of truth. It ranges from discussion of personal honesty and morality, to freedom of speech and political propaganda. Orwell’s unique clarity of thought and illuminating scepticism provide the perfect defence against our post-truth world of fake news and confusion.
'The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.'
Includes an introduction by Alan Johnson and passages from Burmese Days, The Road to Wigan Pier, Coming Up for Air, The Lion and the Unicorn, Animal Farm, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Orwell’s letters, war-time diary, criticism and essays including ‘Fascism and Democracy’, ‘Culture and Democracy’, ‘Looking Back on the Spanish War’, ‘As I Please’, ‘Notes on Nationalism’, ‘The Prevention of Literature’, ‘Politics and the English Language’ and ‘Why I Write’.
'England is a family in which the young are generally thwarted and most of the power is in the hands of irresponsible uncles and bedridden aunts. Still, it is a family.'
'England Your England' is one of the most compelling and insightful portraits of the nation ever written. Shot through with Orwell's deeply felt sense of patriotism and love for his homeland, the essay is at the same time unfailingly clear-eyed about the nation's failings: entrenched social inequality, a dishonest press and a class system that only works for those at the top. Written during the Second World War, as the bombs were falling on England, the essay today speaks to the nation's current moment of crisis just as urgently as it did in Orwell's own time. It is a crucial read for anyone who wants to understand who we are, and where we've come from.
The twelve edited volumes of Orwell's non-fiction, collected for the first time in one invaluable ebook.
A rich treasure trove of material, this unique collection includes Orwell's reviews, broadcasts, notebooks, wartime diaries, articles on socialism and censorship, correspondence with luminaries such as Arthur Koestler, Anthony Powell and Evelyn Waugh, and famous essays such as 'Politics and the English Language', 'Why I Write' and 'Some Thoughts on the Common Toad'.
Edited by Professor Peter Davison, the collection encompasses twelve annotated volumes and ranges across the whole of Orwell's writing life, from 1903 to 1950. As well as providing an unparalleled insight into Orwell's life and works, the volume offers a wonderful overview of the social, literary and political events of the thirties and forties. It will be an invaluable resource for fans, students and scholars alike.
A Kind of Compulsion (1903-36)
Facing Unpleasant Facts (1937-39)
A Patriot After All (1940-41)
All Propaganda is Lies (1941-42)
Keeping Our Little Corner Clean (1942-43)
Two Wasted Years (1943)
I Have Tried to Tell the Truth (1943-44)
I Belong to the Left (1945)
Smothered Under Journalism (1946)
It is What I Think (1947-48)
Our Job is to Make Life Worth Living (1949-50)
The Lost Orwell
'This selection is a ceaseless delight ... there is a treat on almost every page' Daily Telegraph
George Orwell wrote, in his words, from 'a desire to see things as they are'. This new collection of his journalism and other writings, including articles, essays, broadcasts, poems, book and film reviews from across his career, shows his unmatched genius for observing the world. Whether discussing Polish immigration or Scottish independence, railing against racism, defending the English language or holding an imaginary conversation with Jonathan Swift, these pieces reveal a clear-eyed, entertaining and eternally relevant chronicler of his age.
Edited with an introduction by Peter Davison
'Orwell's luminous gift was for seeing things, for noticing what others missed, took for granted or simply found uninteresting, for discovering meaning and wonder in the familiarity of the everyday... Nothing escaped or seemed beneath his notice, which was what made him such a good reporter... Seeing Things As They Are is intended to be a collection first and foremost of his journalism, with preference given to lesser-known pieces and reviews as well as some of the poems he wrote. It is full of interest and curiosities' Jason Cowley, Financial Times
'Peter Davison gives us a feast of [Orwell's] shorter writings, showing how from such hesitant beginnings he evolved into the writer of enduring importance we know, committed to decency, equality and political honesty, who could nevertheless wax lyrical over the first signs of spring or an imaginary English pub' Gordon Bowker, Independent
'The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again: but already it was impossible to say which was which...'
Halas & Bachelor studio's classic and controversial 1954 animation of Animal Farm, George Orwell's chilling fable of idealism betrayed, was the first ever British animated feature film. This landmark illustrated edition of Orwell's novel was first published alongside it, and features the original line drawings by the film's animators, Joy Batchelor and John Halas.
Volume 17 of The Complete Works of George Orwell
On 29 March 1945, Orwell's wife Eileen died, aged 39. Her last, long, very moving letters to her husband are printed here. Less than six months later the novel that she might be said to have nurtured and which gave Orwell world-wide fame, Animal Farm, was published. For a little over three months Orwell worked as a War Correspondent for the Observer and the Manchester Evening News. As well as 74 books specifically reviewed, many others were discussed briefly in essays and in his column 'As I Please'. 'Politics and the English Language', one of Orwell's most important essays, was immediately reprinted for journalists of the Observer and News of the World as a guide to good writing. His defence of P.G. Wodehouse, printed here, was written at a time when Wodehouse was still under a cloud. Essays and articles he wrote for the Observer, Manchester Evening News and Evening Standard are reprinted; correspondence shows he had written the first twelve pages of Nineteen Eighty-Four. Eileen's will and Orwell's first notes for his literary executor are also reproduced. Orwell kept a careful account of what he earned to assist in making his income tax return. Only one such record has survived (for 12 July 1943 to 31 December 1945) and it is reproduced here, fully annotated.
Volume 16 of The Complete Works of George Orwell
Orwell served as Literary Editor of Tribune from 29 November 1943 until he went to Continental Europe as War Correspondent for the Observer and the Manchester Evening News in mid February 1945. He continued to write for Tribune until 4 April 1947, when his eightieth 'As I Please' appeared. This column is now, in this edition, printed without cuts. In these thirteen months Orwell reviewed 86 books and he wrote essays on Twain, Smollett, Thackeray, and The Vicar of Wakefield. It was a period in which several important essays appeared, but perhaps the most intriguing is one that has previously neither been accredited to him nor reprinted: 'Can Socialists Be Happy?', written under the pseudonym, John Freeman. Four 'London Letters' were contributed to Partisan Review. The English People, though not publlished until 1947, is included in this volume. Although this was one of his books that Orwell did not want reprinted, it still reads well.
An enlightening anthology of George Orwell's journalism and non-fiction writing, showing his genius across a wide variety of genres. Selected by leading expert Peter Davison.
Famous for his novels and essays, Orwell remains one of our very best journalists and commentators. Confronting social, political and moral dilemmas head-on, he was fearless in his writing: a champion of free speech, a defender against social injustice and a sharp-eyed chronicler of the age. But his work is also timeless, as pieces on immigration, Scottish independence and a Royal Commission on the Press attest.
Seeing Things As They Are, compiled by renowned Orwell scholar Peter Davison, brings together in one volume many of Orwell’s articles and essays for journals and newspapers, his broadcasts for the BBC, and his book, theatre and film reviews. Little escaped Orwell’s attention: he writes about the Spanish Civil War, public schools and poltergeists, and reviews books from Brave New World to Mein Kampf. Almost half of his popular ‘As I Please’ weekly columns, written while literary editor of the Tribune during the 1940s, are collected here, ranging over topics as diverse as the purchase of rose bushes from Woolworth’s to the Warsaw Uprising.
Whether political, poetic, polemic or personal, this is surprising, witty and intelligent writing to delight in. A mix of well-known and intriguing, less familiar pieces, this engaging collection illuminates our understanding of Orwell’s work as a whole.
A searing account of George Orwell's observations of working-class life in the bleak industrial heartlands of Yorkshire and Lancashire in the 1930s, The Road to Wigan Pier is a brilliant and bitter polemic that has lost none of its political impact over time. His graphically unforgettable descriptions of social injustice, cramped slum housing, dangerous mining conditions, squalor, hunger and growing unemployment are written with unblinking honesty, fury and great humanity. It crystallized the ideas that would be found in Orwell's later works and novels, and remains a powerful portrait of poverty, injustice and class divisions in Britain.
Published with an introduction by Richard Hoggart in Penguin Modern Classics.
'It is easy to see why the book created and still creates so sharp an impact ... exceptional immediacy, freshness and vigour, opinionated and bold ... Above all, it is a study of poverty and, behind that, of the strength of class-divisions'
Gordon Comstock loathes dull, middle-class respectability and worship of money. He gives up a 'good job' in advertising to work part-time in a bookshop, giving him more time to write. But he slides instead into a self-induced poverty that destroys his creativity and his spirit. Only Rosemary, ever-faithful Rosemary, has the strength to challenge his commitment to his chosen way of life. Through the character of Gordon Comstock, Orwell reveals his own disaffection with the society he once himself renounced.
Enlivened with vivid autobiographical detail, George Orwell's Keep the Aspidistra Flying is a tragically witty account of the struggle to escape from a materialistic existence, with an introduction by Peter Davison in Penguin Modern Classics.
Renowned urban artist Shepard Fairey's new look for Orwell's classic account of life on the streets
To be poor and destitute in 1920s Paris and London was to experience life at its lowest ebb. George Orwell, penniless and with nowhere to go, found himself experiencing just this as he wandered the streets of both capitals in search of a job. By day, he tramped the streets, often passing time with 'screevers' or street artists, drunks and other hobos. At night, he stood in line for a bed in a 'spike' or doss house, where a cup of sugary tea, a hunk of stale bread and a blanket were the only sustenance and comfort on offer.
Down and Out in Paris and London is George Orwell's haunting account of the streets and those who have no choice but to live on them.
This is the essential edition of the essential book of modern times, 1984, now annotated for students with an introduction by D. J. Taylor.
Ever since its publication in 1949, George Orwell's terrifying vision of a totalitarian regime where Big Brother controls its citizens like 'a boot stamping on a human face' has become a touchstone for human freedom, and one of the most widely-read books in the world. In this new annotated edition Orwell's biographer D. J. Taylor elucidates the full meaning of this timeless satire, explaining contemporary references in the novel, placing it in the context of Orwell's life, elaborating on his extraordinary use of language and explaining the terms such as Newspeak, Doublethink and Room 101 that have become familiar phrases today.
'All animals are equal. But some animals are more equal than others.' Animal Farm - the history of a revolution that went wrong - is George Orwell's brilliant satire on the corrupting influence of power. Mr Jones of Manor Farm is so lazy and drunken that one day he forgets to feed his livestock. The ensuing rebellion, under the leadership of the pigs Napoleon and Snowball, leads to the animals taking over the farm. Vowing to eliminate the terrible inequities of the farmyard, the renamed Animal Farm is organised to benefit all who walk on four legs. But as time passes, the ideals of the rebellion are corrupted, then forgotten. And something new and unexpected emerges... This thought-provoking drama was first broadcast as part of BBC Radio's The Real George Orwell season - a Radio 4 journey that explored the disjuncture between the man who was Eric Blair and the writer who was George Orwell.
2 CDs. 1 hr 30 mins.
'Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past'
Hidden away in the Record Department of the sprawling Ministry of Truth, Winston Smith skilfully rewrites the past to suit the needs of the Party. Yet he inwardly rebels against the totalitarian world he lives in, which demands absolute obedience and controls him through the all-seeing telescreens and the watchful eye of Big Brother, symbolic head of the Party. In his longing for truth and liberty, Smith begins a secret love affair with a fellow-worker Julia, but soon discovers the true price of freedom is betrayal.
George Orwell's dystopian masterpiece, Nineteen Eighty-Four is perhaps the most pervasively influential book of the twentieth century.
George Orwell (1903-1950) served with the Imperial Police in Burma, fought with the Republicans during the Spanish Civil War, and was a member of the Home Guard and a writer for the BBC during World War II. He is the author of many works of non-fiction and fiction.
Author images © Bridgeman Art Library