George Orwell

Standard Name: Orwell, George
Used Form: Eric Blair
Through the mid part of the twentieth century GO was prominent as a reporter on the social and political scene: he was one of those whose reporting helped to shape opinion and whose accounts now seem vital to understanding those times. Several of his essays have canonical status as much on historical as literary grounds. He published novels as well as non-fiction, but his two most famous novels, Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four, are continuous in aim and effect with his polemical writing. The impact of these two novels was immediately felt and is still being felt in the twenty-first century.


Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Friends, Associates Una Marson
While working for Selassie , UM met the writer and racial activist Nancy Cunard , who was in Geneva as a reporter for the American Associated Negro Press . Later her BBC work enabled her...
Friends, Associates Ruth Pitter
Despite her singularly unleisured lifestyle, RP had a remarkable talent for friendship, which extended to people with whom she might be expected to have little in common. Her friendship with Lord David Cecil brought her...
Friends, Associates Stevie Smith
Her large circle of friends also included Sally Chilver (author of A History of Socialism), novelists Inez Holden , Olivia Manning , and Cecily Mackworth , Kay Dick (assistant editor of John O'London's Weekly...
Health Una Marson
In April 1946, UM 's English friend Stella Mead noticed that Marson was not doing well psychologically, and arranged for the writer Clare McFarlane to take her back to Jamaica with him. Suffering from depression...
Intertextuality and Influence Deborah Levy
This book has four sections, each titled from a reason for writing, Political Purpose, Historical Impulse, Sheer Egoism, and Aesthetic Enthusiasm. The first and last describe a period of near-breakdown that...
Intertextuality and Influence Hilary Mantel
Vacant Possession takes up the story ten years later, in the significantly Orwellian year of 1984, and is described by its author as a state-of-the-nation novel.
Edemariam, Aida. “Interview with Hilary Mantel”. The Guardian, pp. 28-9.
Evelyn has died by misadventure, and Muriel is...
Intertextuality and Influence Zoë Fairbairns
The novel pays homage to George Orwell , perhaps Britain's most famous dystopian writer. But ZF explained later, in 1984 came and went, that although she had learned from Orwell she could not quite...
Intertextuality and Influence Carol Rumens
Several poems delight in the history of spots around nineteenth-century London; others are sonnets; others combine satire with their piercing social observation, such as the dystopian, Orwell -inspired 2084.
Intertextuality and Influence Margaret Harkness
John Goode calls Out of Worka sophisticated response to Engels 's critique [of A City Girl]. . . . Its protagonist becomes the register of vividly rendered experiences of the doss house, the...
Intertextuality and Influence Patricia Highsmith
In these tales, animals affected by human callousness and cruelty carry out some startling acts of reprisal. As PH herself puts it, animals get the better of their masters or owners, because the latter merit...
Literary responses P. D. James
The film adapted from the novel by Alfonso Cuarón , released in Britain in September 2006, was judged by a reviewer to have softened the blow of James's book just a little, even though it...
Literary responses Vera Brittain
Seed of Chaos received little attention in the review journals, but VB received many hostile letters from outraged Britons, Americans, and Canadians. George Orwell wrote a two-part review or response in the Tribune denouncing her...
Literary responses T. S. Eliot
George Orwell no doubt spoke for a section of Eliot's readership when he wrote in October 1942 of the first three quartets: There is very little in Eliot's later work that makes any deep impression...
Literary responses Zoë Fairbairns
The Times Literary Supplement reviewer, Frank Pike , judged the novel ambitious yet unpretentious.
Pike, Frank. “Catching Up: Fiction”. Times Literary Supplement, No. 4003, p. 104.
He quoted a remark by Fay Weldon on its jacket, calling ZFa female H. G. Wells ,
Pike, Frank. “Catching Up: Fiction”. Times Literary Supplement, No. 4003, p. 104.
Literary responses Edith Sitwell
To George Orwell , a socially-committed writer of a later generation, this book showed a completely frivolous emphasis on technique, treating literature as a sort of embroidery, almost as though words did not have meanings...


February 1936: The awesome trio of political theorist Harold...

Writing climate item

February 1936

The awesome trio
Laity, Paul. “The left’s ace of clubs”. Guardian Unlimited.
of political theorist Harold Laski , publisher Victor Gollancz , and writer and Labour MP John Strachey established the Left Book Club (LBC) .

18 July 1936: The Spanish Civil War began between the Republicans...

National or international item

18 July 1936

The Spanish Civil War began between the Republicans (including Communists) and the Fascists led by Francisco Franco .

March 1940: An essay by George Orwell, published in Horizon,...

Writing climate item

March 1940

An essay by George Orwell , published in Horizon, claimed that popular boys' magazines of this time [stopped] the clock . . . at 1910. Britannia rules the waves, and no one has heard...

1 October 1954: In the Movement, a leading article in the...

Writing climate item

1 October 1954

In the Movement, a leading article in the Spectator, identified a newly sceptical and debunking tendency in modern British poetry, opposed to social hierarchy and cultural authority, including that of modernism.

22 January 1984: A commercial, directed by Ridley Scott and...

Building item

22 January 1984

A commercial, directed by Ridley Scott and aired during the broadcasting of the Super Bowl (US football championships), announced Apple Computers ' release of the Macintosh computer.


Orwell, George. Animal Farm. Secker and Warburg, 1945.
Orwell, George. Burmese Days. Harper and Brothers, 1934.
Orwell, George. Down and Out in Paris and London. V. Gollancz ltd , 1933.
Orwell, George. Homage to Catalonia. Secker and Warburg, 1938.
Orwell, George. Keep the Aspidistra Flying. V. Gollancz Ltd. , 1936.
Orwell, George. My Country Right or Left 1940-1943. Editors Orwell, Sonia and Ian Angus, Penguin Books, 1970.
Orwell, George. Nineteen Eighty-Four. Secker and Warburg, 1949.
Orwell, George. Shooting an Elephant: and Other Essays. Secker & Warburg, 1950.
Orwell, George. The Penguin Essays of George Orwell. Penguin in association with Secker and Warburg, 1984.
Orwell, George. The Road to Wigan Pier. Gollancz, 1937.