Press Release: A Life in Letters and Diaries
Edited and Introduced by Peter Davidson
A Folio Society Exclusive
Few writers can command as great a cultural and political legacy as George Orwell. Yet behind the literary figurehead of Big Brother and double-think, lies a largely undiscovered man of complexities and contradictions. Compiled exclusively for The Folio Society, this collection offers a unique portrait of one of the 20th century’s most essential novelists, journalists and thinkers.Peter Davison, the world’s preeminent Orwell expert, has made an
inspired selection from the most recent editions of letters and diaries, as well as correspondence from family and friends, to cover all aspects of Orwell’s life. From his first forays ‘as an amateur tramp’ to his joy at the English countryside and garden, it is the closest we come to Orwell’s autobiography.
Included here are his account of his travels though northern England, his letters from the Spanish Civil War,and his wartime diaries, with descriptions of events overseas as well as on the Home Front: all show the development of an impassioned social and political commentator with an astute perspective. In later
letters to friends and publishers, we hear the flint strikes of his defining books Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four – ‘I’ve now got an idea for a really big novel’ – as well as his seething against publishers who refused to print his work, ‘I hope… to find an English publisher soon who has more courage’.
This new illustrated collection is the only one to combine both letters and diaries into a single,manageable volume. Among the 16 pages of colour photographs and 21 integrated black and white illustrations included, we find a young Orwell towering over the heads of Spanish recruits outside a Barcelona barracks, while, later
in life, a family photograph shows him at home, feeding his favourite goat, Muriel. It is an unobstructed view of an author, whose name continues to be, as Davison writes in his new introduction, ‘a vital point of reference in uncertain times’.
Three-quarter bound in cloth with a cloth front board. Set in Dante. 506 pages. Frontispiece and 16 pages of colour plates, 21 integrated black & white illustrations. Printed endpapers. Ribbon marker. Blocked slipcase. 9½˝ x 6¾˝.
UK £49.95 US $73.95 Can $99.95 Aus $99.95
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