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George Orwell

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Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic Socialism, as I understand it.
—"Why I Write" (1946)[1]

Eric Arthur Blair, alias George Orwell (1903–1950) was a British journalist, political campaigner and author who is best remembered now for his two anti-authoritarian works — Animal Farm (1945) and Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), helped along by the fact that these have become mainstays for school reading lists in the Anglosphere. Thus, lines like 'Big Brother is watching you' from 1984[2] and 'Some animals are more equal than others' from Animal Farm[3] have entered the English lexicon. As such, Orwell has become one of those figures, like Adam Smith and Ronald Reagan, whom people invoke when they want to win an argument without any effort.

He is also remembered as an essayist on politics,[4] sociology,[5] and literature.[6] His 'I tell it as I see it' journalism/memoir style is most obvious in Down and Out in Paris and London (1933) and made him one of the grandfathers of both pop-culture sociology and 'Gonzo Journalism' — influencing people such as Louis Theroux and Hunter S. Thompson.[7]

Politics[edit]

It might be that this 'small reference pool' which leads some conservatives to try to claim Orwell as 'one of their own';[8][9][note 1] but this simply ignores all the other 'Orwells' — the anti-imperialist,[10][note 2] the anti-poverty agitator,[11] the POUM militiaman fighting against fascist General Franco in the Spanish Civil War,[12][note 3] the member of the Independent Labour Party,[15] editor at the left-wing Tribune magazine[16][17] or the trenchant critic of capitalism.[18] The truth is simple enough; that while Orwell never toed any 'party line' he was consciously an advocate of democratic socialism by 1936[note 4] and was generally supportive of the Attlee Labour Government[note 5] after the Second World War. And as Orwell was a person who wrote many articles and essays on political subjects, he said these things outright.

Some cleverer advocates side-step this by stating that Orwell was a social conservative and conventionally 'bohemian'; that like his character 'Ravelston' in Keep The Aspidistra Flying (1936),[20] Orwell might show his disdain for 'convention' by turning up to parties and events in shabby tweed and minus a hat,[note 6] but he was merely showing his disdain in a conventional manner — a modern parallel could be of an male office worker deliberately snubbing the traditional 'suit/tie/brogues' uniform and doing 'chinos/turtleneck/loafers' instead. In that he was 'conservative where it counted'; he was conventionally married, held traditional views on women's roles, desired children etc. Others go even further; calling him a 'Tory by temperament', based on the shaky argument (that Orwell himself noted) that it's assumed that any person who has an appreciation for tradition, a fondness for 'the past' and rural pursuits, a sense of aesthetic taste, finding value in 'cultural Christianity'[21] or being patriotic would be instantly at odds with being a supporter of socialism. After all, what other situations would one find a British Conservative Prime Minister referencing Orwell in a speech?[22]

More convincingly, Orwell's works are littered with examples of dislike or even outright hostility to then-fashionable causes with the progressive left; latter chapters of The Road To Wigan Pier (1937)[23] has him complaining about the 'crank magnetism' in left-wing parties — and his list is both large and now somewhat dated, including (but not limited to) vegetarians, teetotalers, feminists, yoga practitioners, sex-positivity advocates, proponents of alternative medicine and similar.[24][25] It doesn't take the most active imagination to visualise an Orwell today sneering against 'transgender fanatics', 'militant vegans' or 'creeping Jesus social justice campaigners' — right up to the point that one recalls that he was a staunch anti-imperialist and a 'fair in his day' anti-racist; two of the most proto-woke causes of his era. Which is perhaps the most important thing to remember; Orwell was a man born and raised in an England before and during the First World War; a land where women's suffrage has not yet been won, eugenics and scientific racism was mainstream, colonialism was held to be a beneficial setup for the 'natives', rigid social class was believed to be 'natural' and a strong sexual prudishness was 'Christian'. An inhabitant forged in that most alien of lands — the past.

Works[edit]

In a creative lifespan of eighteen years (1931-1949), Orwell produced six novels, three non-fiction books, at least fifty 'standalone' essays,[26][note 7] over a hundred pieces of 'serious' journalism (such as his London LettersWikipedia and As I Please,Wikipedia several hundred shorter pieces (such as book reviews), and an unknown number of radio scripts for the BBC Eastern Service during the Second World War.[27] Works missional to RationalWiki are described below.

Down and Out in Paris and London (1933)[edit]

It is curious how people take it for granted that they have a right to preach at you and pray over you as soon as your income falls below a certain level.
Down and Out in Paris and London[28]

Orwell's first major work focused on poverty; as experienced in the two named cities — at this point the capitals of the second-largest and largest empires known to human history respectively. A mix of memoir, anecdote, travelogue, psycho-sociological musings and exposé; covering both the 'Down' (the lives of the wage-slave on the margins of society) and 'Out' (the existences of the truly destitute, such as the homeless). While generally believed to be a true account, there is debate to how accurate the account is, from the ordering of the events to the existence of the characters. Orwell himself admitted later in The Road to Wigan Pier that 'nearly all the incidents described there actually happened, though they have been re-arranged' and in the French introduction that the individual characters within were 'intended more as representative types' — leading to the inference that they did not in fact exist as persons, or at least were composite characters.

The Road to Wigan Pier (1937)[edit]

Front cover of a later edition of the book
It is only when you meet someone of a different culture from yourself that you begin to realise what your own beliefs really are.
The Road to Wigan Pier[29]

Orwell reprises his role as an chronicler of poverty at the behest of his publisher; this time of the working-class in the North of England (at this point suffering from severe unemployment due to the Great Depression). This time, he was more systematic; the first part of this book is a fairly straight sociological study (mainly based on participant observation and in-depth interviews) with the occasional bit of secondary evidence thrown in (such as newspaper reports) while the second part is more akin to a series of tangentially-connected essays (including but not limited to) 'supplementary material' for Down and Out, autobiographical sketches, the mismatch between 'societal value' and 'pay/conditions' for many key workers,[note 8] the obsession of the Communists worshipping the Soviet Union[note 9] and left-wing movements having a tendency to contain too many middle-class 'cranks' and to be obsessed with technocratic solutions and dialectical materialism in particular. The numbers of 'pissed off' people included the very instigator of the work, who ended up shoving in a 'dissociation' forward which he questioned the second part and later on, re-printed Wigan minus it entirely.

The Lion and the Unicorn: Socialism and the English Genius (1941)[edit]

England is the most class-ridden country under the sun. It is a land of snobbery and privilege, ruled by largely the old and silly.
The Lion and the Unicorn[26]

Standing at 23,000 words, it is either the longest essay Orwell wrote, a series of three related essays or a short work of nonfiction which continues some of the themes he earlier touched on in Wigan as well his thoughts on the ongoing Second World War. Amongst other things, it is the clearest 'Orwell Manifesto' he produced (a kind of 'democratic socialism with British characteristics'), along with a indictment of both British ruling class and people for not spotting the threat of fascism until it was very nearly too late and that the whole British Empire had stagnated for a decade due to political inertia, complacency and incompetence.

Perhaps backing up his main claim that 'England will always be England' is his bio-socio-psychological sketch of 'the English' themselves; tendencies which can be spotted in the modern English themselves during events such as the whole Brexit fiasco, which makes it more of simple historical interest (it was from this work that John Major quoted from in 1993).[30]

Notes on Nationalism (1945)[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Nationalism
All nationalists have the power of not seeing resemblances between similar sets of facts… Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits, but according to who does them.
Notes on Nationalism[31]

At the other end of this brutal war, and with the horrors of The Holocaust now visible to all Orwell returns to the topic of patriotism - or more correctly, the unthinking, patently partisan variant (which he terms 'nationalism') which ignores scientific facts, logical arguments or simple common sense to produce a warped vision of reality. In a world of fake news, identity politics and 'feels over facts', this is more relevant than ever - even more so than you'd think, as Orwell also talks about 'transferred nationalism' which fits perfectly groups like the Religious Right and MAGA. These tendencies were put more succinctly by professional 'gob on a stick' James O'BrianWikipedia as 'the footballification of politics', in which the only thing which matters is 'winning' or 'losing',[32] which explains the more stupid end of the 'owning the libs!Wikipedia' mentality which involves the torching of stuff which hurts target, perpetrator and bystanders indiscriminately.

Animal Farm (1945)[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Animal Farm
All pigs are Stalinist, but some pigs are more Stalinist than others...
The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.
Animal Farm[33]

Having experienced both informal censorship and a general disinclination of the wider public to read outright political tracts with his Homage To Catalonia (on the Spanish Civil War) a decade previous, Orwell decided to 'spill the beans' on the history of the Russian Revolution and the rise of Joseph Stalin by using the 'beast tale' format (used by Aesop's fablesWikipedia) and writing it as a satire to effectively smuggle in political debates under the nose of the readers (used by Gulliver's Travels).Wikipedia Half a million English-language copies printed in four years, enough white fivers[note 10] to allow Orwell to retire from 'hack work' and making him a household name rather proved his experiment was a success.

Politics and the English Language (1946)[edit]

The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one's real and one's declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink.
Politics and the English Language[34]

Perhaps the most preachy of Orwell's essays; in which he criticised (then) current political writing for their 'pretentious' use of jargon and foreign terms to infer greater weight, a lazy resorting to clichés and stale metaphors to slap together content quickly, the addition of 'meaningless words' to bamboozle the reader and lastly, the habitual hiding behind euphemisms to avoid being truthful. He also notes that this has spread into other realms of human life; for example he states that 'in literary criticism it is normal to come across long passages which are almost completely lacking in meaning'. In this current world, anyone who has experience of government, academia or business knows that these flaws are more prevalent than ever – from turgid academics to buzzword laden business leaders, via the dogwhistling politician or unintelligible encyclopedia entry.

His theory as to the why such things have arisen are threefold; that while some people have deliberately used this style in an attempt to deceive the audience (or at least allow them some 'plausible deniability' by for example, claiming to have taken the code at face value) others have adopted this style because they believe (or have been taught) that this is the 'correct' manner to communicate – for example, in academia.[35] His last option is the most simple; that a lot of it is mere filler, used to disguise the fact they have nothing to say at all (or worse, they are unaware of the fact they have nothing to say).

Part of his remedy – his 'Six Rules' for writing – are still cited today to help the production of clear, concise writing,[36] which is something much more vital in a world of social media.

Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949)[edit]

The future…
See the main article on this topic: Nineteen Eighty-Four
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever.
—O'Brien, Nineteen Eighty-Four[37]

Nineteen-Eighty Four is a dystopian novel set in the year 1984.[note 11] It was intended as a satire/cautionary tale of what a future totalitarian state[note 12] burdened by a unwinnable 'forever war'[note 13] could look like, though the existence of North Korea shows Orwell was at least correct on the theoretical possibility of such a society arising/sustaining itself.[note 14]

The main character, 'Winston Smith' is a middle-class,[note 15] middle-aged Everyman; who dislikes his life even though he lacks either 'points of reference' or an imagination that things could be different, attempting to retain his individuality and spirit against the monolithic 'Party' which demanded everything. One of the most famous novels of the last century and one which assured Orwell of immortality, even though the production of it undoubtedly drove him into an earlier grave (as he delayed getting treatment for his tuberculosis until he had finished it).[38] The coiner of many a line, such as 'Big Brother', 'thoughtcrime' and 'doublespeak' and leading the term 'Orwellian' becoming associated with authoritarianism ways of thought and in particular, totalitarian systems (though Isaac Asimov read it as being about Communism alone, apparently[39]).

Criticism[edit]

Despite (or because of) his importance to the left and democratic socialism Orwell has been accused of several things over the decades; assisted by the fact that being dead meant he could neither answer back or (even better) sue anyone for libel. Due to his popularity (and presence on Anglopshere school reading lists), it can also be fairly safely assumed that a lot of the wider public know at least of him, which makes said articles on him more 'newsy' (and evergreen 'filler content' which can be used on a 'slow news day'). Some of these accusations have merit, others don't; some do impinge on the relationship we have with Orwell the writer, others don't.

Anti-Catholicism[edit]

The Orwell before the Second World War was a fairly strident anti-Catholic, and even afterwards still considered it a malign force (for example, in his Notes on Nationalism he lists it under 'tranferred loyalties'). He clearly considered the Catholic Church of the era to be generally 'opposed to modernity', noted it's general 'anti-left' stance[40] and more critically, noted it's support for Franco in the Spanish Civil War[41] and it's 'accommodations' with both Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. However, his stance was mainly against the Catholic Church as an organisation, as well as the proponents of what he termed 'political Catholicism' which were often displaying variants of zeal of the convert[42] rather than the everyday believer (which he described as "insufficiently under the thumb of their priests").

Antisemitism[edit]

Accusations of antisemitism rest on the reading of Orwell's earliest works; mainly Down and Out in Paris and London. These were mainly of a 'casual' nature; that if a negative character appears within who happens to be a Jew (or Orwell assumes to be), he shall mention it. More importantly, the much more virulent antisemitism said by a character ('Boris', the emigré White Russian officer) is not challenged, which gives the impression that Orwell (as the narrator) agreed or at least didn't disagree with the view. On the other hand, it needs to be also noted that there were at least two other disgusting characters within the work who could have ticked the negative Jewish tropes, but were not identified as such.

However, by the outbreak of the Second World War Orwell had at expurgated his own comments, and by the end of it he was calling out the casual and habitual antisemitism in British society in an essay[43] and in his Tribune editorials. It could be said in the twelve years between Down and Out and 1945, Orwell became 'woke' to the issue.[44] This evolving didn't extend to Zionism; of which he apparently considered to simply be another form of colonialism, tinged with a racial angle. In this current era, whether this counts as 'antisemitism' is strongly related to one's own political position rather than Orwell's.[45]

Factual accuracy[edit]

Orwell had from the start been accused of inaccuracies, omissions and on occasion outright fabrications in his work. He 're-arranged' the story in Down and Out In Paris and London (giving the impression it was a solid series of events when in reality they were individual incidents) that he had 'shot the script' for The Road To Wigan Pier (looking for slums, unemployment and despair he clearly found it, ignoring those in decent employ or positive attributes of working-class life) and that he never 'shot an elephant' in Burma.[46] Perhaps the worst offender was the essay 'Such, Such Were the Joys' (on his experiences at prep-school); which was judged 'too libellous' to print in Britain until 1968 and several contemporaries retorted that the narrative was somewhere between 'exaggerated' to 'complete pack of lies'[47] to the point it caused Orwell's literary executor to fall out with Orwell's widow over it's inclusion in his Collected Works.

Homophobia[edit]

Less evolution occurred with his view on homosexuals. Or perhaps nil evolution. Epithets such as 'nancy' and 'pansy' litter his writings and disparaging remarks towards 'effeminate behaviours' turn up enough to be noted; most obviously in his novel Keep the Aspidistra Flying[20]:19-20,22,24,26,43,96,185 in which one scene is quite obviously a personal tirade against an effeminate, monied customer who he'd encountered when working in a bookshop. His disgust of 'situational homosexuality' (such as in prison) is also clear; describing an alleged approach in a Casual Ward[note 16] as an assault and assuring us readers that 'it was common between tramps of long standing', or the surprise he had on meeting a fellow student of his prep school (expelled for early-teen sexual experimentation) and discovering he wasn't ashamed.[note 17] Some have made the argument that Orwell was in fact in 'closeted denial' towards something which in this period was still firmly illegal.[note 18] - but Occam's Razor suggests that his homophobia was genuine.[48]

Misogyny[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Misogyny

This hatred of homosexuals didn't extend to lesbians, mainly on the basis that Orwell didn't appear to notice their existence. Nor any woman, really (at least not in a manner he would notice a man). It can be argued that most of his works are in a place of mild, casual misogyny; the main female characters, for example are fairly flat[note 19] who mainly exist for the purpose of the male main character to react to; be it the 'middle-aged nag' (Hilda, Coming Up For AirWikipedia), the 'kind loyal girlfriend' (Rosemary, Keep the Aspidistra Flying[20]) the 'young shallow snob' (Elizabeth, Burmese DaysWikipedia) or the 'dull drudge' (Dorothy, A Clergyman's DaughterWikipedia) — the last one managing to achieve this while being the main character. Even the most well-rounded character, that of Julia in Ninteen-Eighty Four — is fairly flat; she is a superficially-good 'bad girl', but there are more lines about her physical appearance than what she is actually thinking.[note 20] Tellingly, it is Winston, not Julia who is the instigator of their fall (though it may simply be that Oceania didn't regard her 'fleshy' Sexcrime and black-market dealings as a threat, but did regard his 'Thoughtcrime' as such).[49]

The accusations of 'misogyny' extended to Orwell the man; the consensus is he was a bit of a horny goat. In fact, most of surviving evidence shows that if you'd been a remotely attractive female within his orbit he'd have tried to bed you (marital status being irrelevant), if applicable propose to marry you and if rebuffed, have no shame.[50] Other, much stickier mud[note 21] is flung at him; that he was a frequent visitor to prostitutes (at least when younger), that he was an overbearing, selfish tyrant who treated his first wife like crap[51][52] and pursued women who were not interested[53] — for example, alleged in the biography Eric & Us.[54][55] It is difficult to refute the view that a man who in their private life appeared to treat women as either maids, nurses or sex objects probably didn't have a very high view of the female sex in general.

State Informer[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Red-baiting

In 1949, Orwell produced and handed over a listWikipedia of people he suspected of either being communists or fellow travellers[note 22] to an official at the Information Research DepartmentWikipedia (IRD), a sub-section of the British Foreign Office which was tasked to produce propaganda to aim against the Eastern Bloc. When this finally came to light in 2003 the reactions were mixed; some saw it as a betrayal from a man who himself had been under surveillance by the British state for years,[56] while others wrote it off as the ravings of a dying man.[57]

The truth shall never truly be known, but it could be argued that it was a simply an 'exchange of information' with a friend of persons Orwell believed would be unsuitable to employ at the IRD, perhaps with a hope that if he did it, said list would be a damn sight more accurate than the 'obtuse Special Branch officer' who stated Orwell was a communist partly on the strength of his 'bohemian attire'. Though if such actions were done to keep the existence of the IRD secret from the Soviets, it was fairly pointless a task, as the Cambridge FiveWikipedia spy Guy BurgessWikipedia had worked for it a year previously.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. Mainly by noting 'Orwell, the anti-Communist'.
  2. At a time where the possession of colonies was still widely viewed as 'acceptable'/'necessary' by whites.
  3. At a time where much of the British conservative press, establishment and business community were very sympathetic to Franco.[13][14]
  4. As the quote from the top states
  5. The Attlee government was perhaps the most revolutionary in British history.[19]
  6. Both serious social faux pas at the time.
  7. That is, not excerpts/deleted sections/book addendums etc.
  8. In Orwell's example, coal miners.
  9. As Stalinism was coming into full force.
  10. A £5 note, a middle-class weekly wage in 1945
  11. Except the main character admits he's not sure of the date. This is one of the main 'running themes' of the work; Winston Smith is unsure of almost anything, and what few things he is are psychologically assaulted later on.
  12. Implied to have arisen after a nuclear war in the 1950s.
  13. Again, if the war is real, and not simply a ruse done by the Oceanian state to justify the poor living standards and to keep them under control.
  14. Which leads to the 'Oceania is a tiny hermit state comprising of Great Britain alone' fan-theory, as there is no reliable evidence within the novel that the described 'Oceania' — not to mention the book's other nations — actually existed beyond British shores.
  15. As in, a member of the Outer Party.
  16. What we would now call a homeless shelter.
  17. Though this could have meant 'shame for failing to get into a 'proper Public SchoolWikipedia' due to being expelled', which was held to be the only way a boy could 'get on in life' at the school.
  18. Though haphazardly enforced.
  19. Flat characters are two-dimensional in that they are relatively uncomplicated and do not change throughout the course of a work
  20. Though this might be more 'deliberate indifference' than 'lack of intellect'; for example, what is the point in watching the news if you know in advance it is all lies?
  21. Being a practitioner of 'free love' is hardly a bookable offence in this case, unless Orwell demanded strict monogamy from the women, in which you can get him on hypocrisy.
  22. Formally independent, but 'reliably' sympathetic to them.

References[edit]

  1. George-Orwell - Why I Write george-orwell.org
  2. 1984 by George Orwell (1961 [1949]) Signet. ISBN 9780451524935.
  3. Animal Farm by George Orwell (2021 [1945]) MacMillan Collector's Library. ISBN 9780008322052.}
  4. George Orwell - James Burnham and the Managerial Revolution george-orwell.org
  5. George Orwell - Boys' Weeklies and Frank Richards's Reply george-orwell.org
  6. George Orwell - Charles Dickens george-orwell.org
  7. How George Orwell Inspired Hunter S. Thompson's Gonzo Journalism by David S. Wills (10 November 2021) PopMatters.
  8. If Orwell were alive today by Norman Podhoretz (January 1983) Harper's Magazine.
  9. George Orwell and the Cold War: A Reconsideration by Murray N. Rothbard, LewRockwell.com.
  10. Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell by George Orwell (originally published in 1936) The Orwell Foundation.
  11. Orwell's Poor and Ours by Robert Lieberman (19 November 2001) The American Prospect.
  12. Looking Back on the Spanish War by George Orwell (originally published in 1943) The Orwell Foundation.
  13. Franco's Friends by Peter Day — review: A compelling account of Franco's British backers by Francis Beckett (30 Sep 2011 17.55 EDT) The Guardian.
  14. Franco's Friends: How British Intelligence Helped Bring Franco to Power in Spain by Peter Day (2011) Biteback Publishing. ISBN 9781849540988.
  15. Why I join the I.L.P. by George Orwell (24 June 1938) New Leader via Marxists Internet Archive.
  16. As I Please: George Orwell orwell.ru
  17. About Tribune.
  18. “The Dirtiest Ramp of Modern Capitalism” by Richard Lance Keeble (14th April 2020) The Orwell Society.
  19. 1945-51: Labour and the creation of the welfare state by Derek Brown (14 Mar 2001 10.30 EST) The Guardian.
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Keep The Aspidistra Flying by George Orwell (1954 [1936) Secker and Warburg.
  21. George Orwell: Closet Anglican? by David Goodhew (31 May 2023) Covenant.
  22. Mr Major’s Speech to Conservative Group for Europe – 22 April 1993 by John Major (April 22, 1993) John Major Archive.
  23. The Road To Wigan Pier by George Orwell (1937) Victor Gollancz.
  24. Why Socialists Are Despised, As Explained By George Orwell by Tim Reuter (24 May 2018) Forbes.
  25. The Road to Wigan Pier: Chapter 11 The Complete Works of George-Orwell.
  26. 26.0 26.1 Fifty Orwell Essays Project Gutenberg Australia.
  27. George Orwell at the BBC: A Reflection The Orwell Foundation.
  28. Down and Out in Paris and London: Chapter 33 The Complete Works of George Orwell.
  29. The Road to Wigan Pier: Chapter 10 The Complete Works of George Orwell.
  30. Mr Major’s Speech to Conservative Group for Europe – 22 April 1993. John Major Archive.
  31. Notes On Nationalism, Orwell Foundation.
  32. James O'Brien on X[a w] 23 June 2019
  33. Animal Farm, chapter 10.
  34. Politics and the English Language The Orwell Foundation
  35. Pinker — Why Academics Stink at Writing David Labaree on Schooling, History, and Writing 8 July 2021
  36. George Orwell’s Six Rules for Writing Clear and Tight Prose (20 May 2016) Open Culture.
  37. George-Orwell - 1984 - Part 3,Chapter 3 george-orwell.org
  38. The masterpiece that killed George Orwell The Guardian 10 May 2009
  39. REVIEW OF 1984 By Isaac Asimov The New Communist Party of Britain
  40. Why Socialism Is Immoral by Trent Horn (22 December 2019) Catholic Answers Magazine.
  41. An unresolved past – the Spanish Catholic Church and Franco’s regime (21 January 2022) European Academy on Religion and Society.
  42. Orwell and Catholicism. (22 June 2006) The Free Library/
  43. Antisemitism In Britain by George Orwell (April 1945) Contemporary Jewish Record via The Orwell Foundation.
  44. The ever-present antisemitism of George Orwell by Ian Bloom (22 June 2023) The Jewish Chronicle.
  45. For the People in the Back: Anti-Zionism Is Not Antisemitism by Dave Zurin (31 October 2023) The Nation.
  46. Did George Orwell shoot an elephant? His 1936 'confession' – and what it might mean by George Orwell, introduced by Gerry Abbott (18 March 2017) The Guardian.
  47. George Orwell's schooldays by Sam Leith (8 February 2014) The Guardian.
  48. Orwell and the Nancy Boys The Orwell Foundation - Substack 22 May 2023
  49. ‘It was always the women’: Misogyny in 1984. Meia (22 September 2017) Medium.
  50. Brief encounters and romps in the park: George Orwell pursued women with enthusiasm and varying degrees of success by D.J. Taylor (March 2020) The Critic.
  51. Eileen: The Making of George Orwell by Sylvia Topp – review by Rachel Cooke (10 March 2020) The Guardian.
  52. Eileen: The Making of George Orwell by Sylvia Topp (2020) Unbound. ISBN 1783527080.
  53. Was George Orwell just a dirty old man? Craig Brown explains why the novelist would probably have got himself in trouble in the current climate by Craig Brown (14 February 2018) The Daily Mail (archived from 1 Jun 2023 19:05:07 UTC).
  54. Eric & Us: A Remembrance of George Orwell by Jacintha Buddicom (1974) Frewin. ISBN 0856320765.
  55. See the Wikipedia article on Eric & Us.
  56. George Orwell: Surveillance and the State by Mark Dunton (6 June 2019) The National Archive blog.
  57. Blacklisted writer says illness clouded Orwell's judgement by Fiachra Gibbons (24 June 2003) The Guardian.
  58. Why Orwell Matters by Christopher Hitchens (2003) Basic Books. ISBN 0465030505.
  59. Orwell's row with Wells Kultura Press 5 November 2023