Orwell, Newspeak & Esperanto

“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 Tolkien and Orwell

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 […]

Such, Such Were The Joys

“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 […]

The Ukrainian Animal Farm

“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.”                          […]

The Life & Times of Simon Moore

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 […]

A Photograph of George Orwell

A long-forgotten photograph of George Orwell, posted to the American editors of a literary dictionary in the early days of WWII, provides a glimpse of the writer before he was ravaged by tuberculosis. In March 1940, Orwell was contacted by Stanley J. Kunitz and Howard Haycraft, the editors of Twentieth Century Authors: A Biographical Dictionary […]

Poverty and the True Artist

…Saturday evenings in Paris, when we took turns about the dinner, and the hours of good talk later in my little cluttered place in rue de la Grande Chaumière. You showed me sketches of your experiences – some of the material I recognised when Down and Out in Paris and London came out. Perhaps I […]

THE BEAT OF THE TAMBOUR

George Orwell’s reticence to say much about his time in Paris during the late 1920s, when he was still the unknown, barely published Eric Blair makes it challenging to uncover his friends and acquaintances. However, it is increasingly evident that he did develop a literary network which grew rapidly. Biographer Gordon Bowker stated that ‘characteristically’ […]

Cini & The Beast

In an effort to set the record straight about the boyhood of one of the twentieth century’s most significant writers, Jacintha Buddicom published Eric & Us, a recollection of her early life with Eric Blair, better known by his pseudonym, George Orwell. However, Orwell was not the only friend who gained iconic, popular cultural renown. […]

Orwell in Paris: François Villon

François Villon had, I suppose, as rough a time as any poet in our own day, and the literary man starving in a garret was one of the characteristic figures of the eighteenth century Orwell, Tribune, 8 September 1944 Three weeks after arriving in Paris, with the romantic goal of finding subjects and inspiration for […]

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