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 […]

Orwell in Paris: le MonT-Parnasse

. “No issues of le MonT-Parnasse for 1928–30 have been traced, so it is not possible to tell whether that journal published anything of Orwell’s.”                                                              […]

Orwell in Paris: Under Surveillance

The Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) spied on George Orwell (aka Eric Blair) during 1929 when he lived in Paris. The report was written by an intelligence officer codenamed “V.V.” who had, like Blair, commenced his career in the Indian Imperial Police and was later to approve the recruitment of notorious double agent, Kim Philby. . […]

Orwell in Burma: The Two Erics*

Eric Frank Seeley (1902-1972) and Eric Arthur Blair (1903-1950) first met at Eton College, then reconnected in Rangoon during the mid-1920s. This paper argues that a limited, problematic representation of Seeley and his ‘Indian lady’ in Orwell scholarship has resulted in significant contextual information being suppressed, overlooked or misunderstood. More detailed knowledge of Seeley’s life […]

Did Orwell Have Asperger’s?

Did Orwell have Asperger’s? The answer – in popular psychology books, newspaper articles, tweets and society journals – appears to be yes!  Or is this pseudo-scientific nonsense best not proliferated? The idea that Orwell had Asperger’s was first posited by Professor Michael Fitzgerald in his book, The Genesis of Artistic Creativity: Asperger’s Syndrome and The […]

Orwell’s Scottish Ancestry and Slavery*

How much did Orwell know about his Scottish ancestry? His well-known prejudice against the Scots conceivably emanated from the distaste he felt for the way wealth was accrued by his forebears. These progenitors, who owned plantations in Jamaica from 1699, had a much greater involvement with the institution of slavery than previously understood. It is […]

Orwell in Paris: War Correspondent*

Wearing the uniform of a British officer, George Orwell returned to Paris in February 1945 as a war correspondent for The Observer and Manchester Evening News. He had resigned as the literary editor at Tribune who promptly announced, “George Orwell has gone to France where he will stay for approximately two months”. He would end […]

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