Reviews

  • "It is the portable Orwell, the condensed autobiography that Orwell never wrote, but maybe had his health rallied, he would have. But this collection of letters - a few engaging ones from Eileeen, most written by Orwell to such distinguished correspondents as Arthur Koestler, David Astor, Anthony Powell, Stephen Spender and Cyril Connolly - is probably an improvement on a putative Life written by him... All [the letters] remain fresh, illuminating the complex paradox that was George Orwell."

    Daily Telegraph
  • "This is the first time Orwell's life told through his letters, including several previously unpublished, has appeared. They have been selected and annotated by Peter Davison, the expert editor of the complete works... He hopes it will serve as a substitute for the autobiography that Orwell never wrote."

    Daily Mail
  • "Peter Davison's contribution to Orwell studies is not often enough celebrated...A Life in Letters contains nearly everything a reader new to Orwell needs to know about him, and a great deal that diehard fans will be enchanted to have."

    DJ Taylor, New Statesman
  • "Beautifully edited... One of the glories of this volume is that it shows Orwell in the round, complete with all his human idiosyncracies and contradictions. [Peter Davison's] attention to detail is nothing short of heroic... This is the authentic Orwell voice: wonderfully clear and fresh and forthright"

    Mail on Sunday
  • "The theme of Mr Davison's new edition of the letters is compelling: a version of the life is told through the letters of the man himself...Unlike a conventional biography, the character of the subject comes through undiluted."

    Sunday Telegraph