Books

England Your England

George Orwell

'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 Collected Non-Fiction

George Orwell (and others)

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.

Contents:
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

Seeing Things as They Are: Selected Journalism and Other Writings

George 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

Animal Farm

George Orwell

'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.

I Have Tried To Tell The Truth

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.

I Belong To The Left

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 her 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.

Seeing Things as They Are

George Orwell

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.

The Road to Wigan Pier

George Orwell

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'
Richard Hoggart

Keep the Aspidistra Flying

George Orwell

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.

Burmese Days

George Orwell

Based on his experiences as a policeman in Burma, George Orwell's first novel presents a devastating picture of British colonial rule. It describes corruption and imperial bigotry in a society where, 'after all, natives were natives - interesting, no doubt, but finally ... an inferior people'. When Flory, a white timber merchant, befriends Indian Dr Veraswami, he defies this orthodoxy. The doctor is in danger: U Po Kyin, a corrupt magistrate, is plotting his downfall. The only thing that can save him is membership of the all-white Club, and Flory can help. Flory's life is changed further by the arrival of beautiful Elizabeth Lackersteen from Paris, who offers an escape from loneliness and the 'lie' of colonial life.

Essays

George Orwell

These essays, reviews and articles illuminate the life and work of one of the most individual writers of this century - a man who created a unique literary manner from the process of thinking aloud and who elevated political writing to an art.

Down and Out in Paris and London

George Orwell

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.

Nineteen Eighty-Four

George Orwell

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.

Down and Out in Paris and London

George Orwell

George Orwell's vivid memoir of his time living among the desperately poor and destitute, Down and Out in Paris and London is a moving tour of the underworld of society.

'You have talked so often of going to the dogs - and well, here are the dogs, and you have reached them.'

Written when Orwell was a struggling writer in his twenties, it documents his 'first contact with poverty'. Here, he painstakingly documents a world of unrelenting drudgery and squalor - sleeping in bug-infested hostels and doss houses of last resort, working as a dishwasher in Paris's vile 'Hôtel X', surviving on scraps and cigarette butts, living alongside tramps, a star-gazing pavement artist and a starving Russian ex-army captain. Exposing a shocking, previously-hidden world to his readers, Orwell gave a human face to the statistics of poverty for the first time - and in doing so, found his voice as a writer.

Nineteen Eighty-Four

George Orwell

'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.

Animal Farm

George Orwell (and others)

'All animals are equal - but some are more equal than others'

When the downtrodden animals of Manor Farm overthrow their master Mr Jones and take over the farm themselves, they imagine it is the beginning of a life of freedom and equality. But gradually a cunning, ruthless élite among them, masterminded by the pigs Napoleon and Snowball, starts to take control. Soon the other animals discover that they are not all as equal as they thought, and find themselves hopelessly ensnared as one form of tyranny is replaced with another.

'It is the history of a revolution that went wrong - and of the excellent excuses that were forthcoming at every step for the perversion of the original doctrine,' wrote Orwell for the first edition of Animal Farm in 1945. Orwell wrote the novel at the end of 1943, but it almost remained unpublished; its savage attack on Stalin, at that time Britain's ally, led to the book being refused by publisher after publisher. Orwell's simple, tragic fable has since become a world-famous classic.

This Penguin Modern classics edition includes an introduction by Malcolm Bradbury.

Politics and the English Language

George Orwell

'Politics and the English Language' is widely considered Orwell's most important essay on style. Style, for Orwell, was never simply a question of aesthetics; it was always inextricably linked to politics and to truth.'All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.When the general atmosphere is bad, language must suffer.'Language is a political issue, and slovenly use of language and cliches make it easier for those in power to deliberately use misleading language to hide unpleasant political facts. Bad English, he believed, was a vehicle for oppressive ideology, and it is no accident that 'Politics and the English Language' was written after the close of World War II.

Homage to Catalonia

George Orwell

Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic Socialism as I understand it'. Thus wrote Orwell following his experiences as a militiaman in the Spanish Civil War, chronicled in Homage to Catalonia. Here he brings to bear all the force of his humanity, passion and clarity, describing with bitter intensity the bright hopes and cynical betrayals of that chaotic episode: the revolutionary euphoria of Barcelona, the courage of ordinary Spanish men and women he fought alongside, the terror and confusion of the front, his near-fatal bullet wound and the vicious treachery of his supposed allies.

A firsthand account of the brutal conditions of the Spanish Civil War, George Orwell's Homage to Catalonia includes an introduction by Julian Symons in Penguin Modern Classics.

© Bridgeman Art Library

Biography

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