‘This is the story of one man who went to Spain with an intellectual sympathy for socialist doctrine and came back. . . with a fervent, almost religious belief in its necessity’
Both a memoir of Orwell's experiences during the Spanish Civil War and a heartfelt tribute to those who died, Homage to Catalonia is an extraordinary first-hand record of him time on the frontline. Written with all of the depth, passion and deep human understanding that defines Orwell's writing this is incredible work of non-fiction tells of the battles that were faced by ordinary working people as they fought for both their lives and their ideologies. Although Orwell was himself near-fatally wounded he finds both bleak and comic notes in his experience which is recorded with such clarity and depth that this short work has become one of his best known.
Despite a mixture of laudatory and politically biased reviews, that first edition of 1,500 copies had still not sold out by the time Orwell died, twelve years after the book was published.
Following on from the depression-era doldrums of the 1930s, we move on to the 1940s, a decade shaped by Total War... and an abundance of unforgettable literature.
Do you need to know about an author’s life or a book’s context before you read it, or is everything you need to know on the page? Two Penguin.co.uk writers hash it out.