George Orwell reporting for the Manchester Evening News when working as a foreign/war correspondent in February 1945. Image: British Library.
“I give all this background information because I do not think one can assess a writer’s motives without knowing something of his early development. His subject-matter will be determined by the age he lives in—at least this is true in tumultuous, revolutionary ages like our own—but before he ever begins to write he will have […]
“Newspeak was the official language of Oceania and had been devised to meet the ideological needs of Ingsoc, or English Socialism. In the year 1984 there was not as yet anyone who used Newspeak as his sole means of communication, either in speech or writing. The leading articles in The Times were written in it, […]
On first looking at J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973) and George Orwell (1903-1950) they appear to have little in common, as men or writers, other than being peculiarly English authors with evergreen book sales. The year 1937 was a seminal one for both men and useful for highlighting their different lifestyles, politics and literary experiences. Tolkien, the […]
“As for St Cyprian’s, for years I loathed its very name so deeply that I could not view it with enough detachment to see the significance of the things that happened to me there. In a way it is only within the last decade that I have really thought over my schooldays, vividly though their […]
“More than 150,000 Ukrainian refugees have now crossed into neighbouring countries, half of them to Poland, and many to Hungary, Moldova, Romania and beyond. Displacement in Ukraine is also growing but the military situation makes it difficult to estimate numbers and provide aid.” […]
There was a story my aunt told about our third great-grandfather, an Irish Roman Catholic, who had been transported to the Colony of NSW for horse stealing. She believed Simon Moore (1800-1857), after he was pardoned, became a jockey, ironically (and legally) riding horses for the English. On closer inspection, the tale has a somewhat […]