Orwell’s Ayah

“The ayah is a most important personage in the Anglo-Indian nursery, one on whom very often the whole future health and happiness of the English child depends, and yet how little care is often taken in her selection!”           The English Baby in India (1893) On the day Eric Blair was baptised at […]

Nineteen Eighty-Four OR 1984?

My new book is a Utopia in the form of a novel. I ballsed it up rather, partly owing to being so ill while I was writing it, but I think some of the ideas in it might interest you. We haven’t definitively fixed the title, but I think it will be called “Nineteen Eighty-Four”.  […]

Orwell & Empire by Douglas Kerr*

Orwell & Empire Douglas Kerr Oxford University Press, 2022, pp 240 ISBN: 978 0 192 86409 3 Once there was a British writer, an Englishman who was born in India. He was privately educated in England, did not go to university, returned to the East after leaving school, and lived and worked there for a […]

A Tribute to Professor Peter Davison

“It would be dishonest of me not to feel pleasure and, indeed, pride, when I see the twenty volumes of The Complete Works and the facsimile of the manuscript of Nineteen Eighty-Four on my shelves.”                                         […]

Orwell’s Rats

‘The rat,’ said O’Brien, still addressing his invisible audience, ‘although a rodent is carnivorous. You are aware of that. You will have heard of the things that happen in the poor quarters of this town. In some streets a woman dare not leave her baby alone in the house, even for five minutes. The rats […]

George Orwell’s Parents

“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 […]

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.”                          […]

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