Orwell’s typewriter

“I am just on the grisly job of typing out my novel. I can’t type much because it tires me too much to sit up at table, and I asked Roger Senhouse to try and send me a stenog. for a fortnight, but of course it’s not so easy to get people for short periods […]

Leon Gellert, George Orwell and Nineteen Eighty-Four

“As a child I lived in a home that was full of books … Rare works and first editions were kept under lock and key, and it took all my skill with a hairpin to gain entry to them.”     Leon Gellert As an enthusiastic collector of books by George Orwell (1903-50), the discovery that a […]

Twitter, Mobile Phones and Mark Pesce

…in the last six months, a lot of people in Australia have discovered Twitter – particularly those folks who, like myself, are interested in what’s up-and-coming on the Web. Nearly all of those folks use Twitter these days, and most of them follow one another. I quickly got swept up into this madness, and am […]

Orwell’s Scottish Ancestry & Slavery*

This post has been updated. Read this one. “He hated Scotsmen!”    Kay Ekevall “He wrote under the name ‘Orwell’, partly because he preferred separate identity as an author, partly because he disliked he idea of family origins in Scotland.”  Anthony Powell   Slave Owner: Blair Come here! You ! Adam ! You’d better jump a […]

Orwell’s Streptomycin

“I am a lot better, but I had a bad fortnight with the secondary effects of the streptomycin. I suppose with all these drugs it’s rather a case of sinking the ship to get rid of the rats.”                         George Orwell: A Life in Letters On returning home […]

Tombs: Sharing Orwell’s Penchant for Puncturing Shibboleths

This review originally appeared in  George Orwell Studies Volume 3 Number 2. George Orwell continues to have an extraordinary influence on how the English view England, writes Darcy Moore in his review of an important contemporary work of history. The English and Their History: The First Thirteen Centuries (2014) by Robert Tombs has deservingly been described as […]

#Review #FlipTheSystemOz

“…flipping the system is about changing education from the ground up by allowing teachers to take the lead as a trusted and meaningful part of global education conversations.” Flip The System Australia: What Matters in Education edited by Deborah M. Netolicky, Jon Andrews and Cameron Paterson situates Australian education policy, research and practice within the context of […]

Orwell in Paris: Edith Morgan

“I have heard briefly from Edith Morgan, at Christmas. She was visiting in Rome.”                                                                                    […]

Orwell in Paris: Ruth Graves II

“I came back to America in 1939, in October, but do not feel that I am at home yet. New York has been most inhospitable – and I am a rebel in a world that has become so regimented that I can find no foothold in it. I have all the more a desire to […]

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 […]

Building the Windmill (or knocking it down again?)

“…the animals toiled harder than ever, thinking it well worth while to plod to and fro all day with blocks of stone if by doing so they could raise the walls another foot. Boxer would even come out at nights and work for an hour or two on his own by the light of the […]

Who We Are and How We Got Here by David Reich #review and my #reading in April

“The breakthrough that all archaeologists have been waiting for; a truly exciting account of the way in which ancient DNA is making us rethink prehistory. Essential reading for everyone interested in the past.”   Barry Cunliffe “In just five years the study of ancient DNA has transformed our understanding of world prehistory. The geneticist David Reich, […]

The Diaries of Henry Osborne (Part I)

“A sub-deputy’s job was to supervise the poppy growers in his district and make sure the crop was cultivated in the most efficient way. The government itself made cash advances to cultivators, purchased their product, carried on the manufacturing process and made the final sale of the poppy juice to the factories and exporters in […]

#Essays #TheRubofTime #FeelFree #review and my #reading in February

The day-to-day business of compiling a novel often seems to consist of nothing but decisions – decisions, decisions, decisions. Should this paragraph go here? Or should it go there? Can that chunk of exposition be diversified by dialogue? At what point does this information need to be revealed? Ought I to use a different adjective […]

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