Orwell in Paris: Ruth Graves

“Among the letters in Orwell’s possession at his death was one from Ruth Graves, whom he had known twenty years earlier, in Paris. She had, she said, read all his essays but had been prompted to write on hearing Animal Farm described on the radio…as the ‘outstanding political satire of all time.’” Peter Davison (CW […]

Postcard: Kastellorizo, Greece

I had not planned to visit Kastellorizo, just a few kilometres off the coast of Turkey. In fact, I had never heard of this Greek Island nor the deep connections the people have with Australia. I did vaguely remember seeing Mediterraneo, the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar Winner in 1992 but did not know it […]

Did Orwell smoke opium in Burma?

George Orwell spent five years working as a police officer during the 1920s before unexpectedly resigning to become a writer. There is compelling circumstantial evidence to suggest he experimented with opium while serving with the Indian Imperial Police in Burma. A series of fortunate events led to deep research into this controversial topic. A signed […]

Review: Untitled (Past, Present, Future)

Visiting the Stedelijk Museum with my family, after three rewarding but long days of getting value for money from our museum discount card, was one highlight of our time in Amsterdam. By this stage we were weary and in danger of becoming jaded with even the most fabulous cultural artefacts, but such was the excellence […]

Shared fictions

‘Human power depends on mass cooperation, mass cooperation depends on manufacturing mass identities – and all mass identities are based on fictional stories, not on scientific facts or even on economic necessities.’ ‘When you give up all the fictional stories, you can observe reality with far greater clarity than before, and if you really know […]

Review #GeorgeOrwellOnScreen

My positive disposition towards George Orwell On Screen (Adaptations, Documentaries and Docudramas on Film and Television) – before ever getting to read it – was due to David Ryan‘s generous assistance. The author provided sage advice on where I could view Orwellian material for free while living in London. Many pleasant hours…um…days were spent at BFI Southbank in their […]

Collecting Orwell: A Kind of Compulsion*

*Originally published in George Orwell Studies There are few 20th century writers as collectable as George Orwell. Rare book auctions regularly fetch extraordinary prices, especially for his works published in the 1930s. Even secondhand bookshops have a paucity of battered paperbacks on display. Orwell sells and readers hold on to their copies. Darcy Moore reflects on what […]

Skara Brae and V. Gordon Childe

Tourists strolling the ancient, Neolithic settlement of Skara Brae will note the site owes its “current presentation” to the Australian archaeologist who excavated it between 1928 and 1931. Vernon Gordon Childe (1892 – 1957) was never well-known in the country of his birth and has mostly been lost to history. However, Childe is well-worth exhuming […]

A Wider World View: India-Australia Exchange

Cultural exchange is a very important value for our school. “A Wider World View @DHS” is a broad program encouraging and nurturing intercultural understanding, school exchanges and online connectivity, using tools like Adobe Connect. Our most recent guests from India – Raghav, Parth, Aryan, Vasudha, Anjali, Vritika, Aishwarya, Miss Tanu and Miss Kajal – greatly […]

The Diaries of Henry Osborne (Part 2)

Reading Henry’s diaries is taking longer than expected. Tumbling down the research rabbit hole every few pages is a time-consuming pleasure. Is that book Henry mentioned available readily online? How well did British officials understand Bengali and other local languages? Who were these linguists serving the civil service? What is a Gomashtah? How did the British rule and run their empire and what […]

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