The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell: Volume 1: An Age Like This, 1920-1940

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Overview

George Orwell is a major figure in twentieth-century literature. The author of Down and Out in Paris and London, Nineteen Eighty-four, and Animal Farm, he published ten books and two collections of essays during his lifetime -- but in terms of actual words, produced much more than seems possible for someone who died at the age of forty-six and was often struggling against poverty and ill health. His essays, letters, and journalism are among the most memorable, lucid, and intelligent ever written, the work of a ...
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Overview

George Orwell is a major figure in twentieth-century literature. The author of Down and Out in Paris and London, Nineteen Eighty-four, and Animal Farm, he published ten books and two collections of essays during his lifetime -- but in terms of actual words, produced much more than seems possible for someone who died at the age of forty-six and was often struggling against poverty and ill health. His essays, letters, and journalism are among the most memorable, lucid, and intelligent ever written, the work of a master craftsman and a brilliant mind. Taken as a whole they form an essential collection, and read in toto and sequentially, they provide a remarkably literary self-portrait of an engaged, and consistently engaging, writer.

Here, in four volumes, is the best selection of his nonfiction writing now available, a trove of letters, essays, reviews, and journalism that is breathtaking in its scope and eclectic passions.

An Age Like This collects Orwell's essential early writings, including material that would later emerge in Down and Out in Paris and London, as well as observations on marriage, reviews of Henry Miller and J. B. Priestley, reports from the Spanish Civil War, an examination of the meaning and value of Charles Dickens, and notes on the early years of the Second World War.

A nonfiction record of a great writer's work and an evolving picture of his life. Includes much material never published before in book form.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This four-volume set, first published in 1968, covers 30 years of Orwell's nonfiction. Each volume is divided by year and intermixes his correspondence with news stories and discussions on numerous subjects. Orwell's nonfiction is well worth reading; these reasonably priced books offer an extensive collection for both academic and public libraries. (LJ 2/1/01) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Booknews
This is the first of four volumes reprinted in paperbound editions from the 1968 Harcourt, Brace, and World publications. Sonia Orwell provides a brief introduction in which she describes how the author of </1984/> was a writer who "...wrote nine books and published two short collections of essays before he died: but in terms of actual words...produced very much more than seems possible for someone who died at the age of forty-six...." Presented chronologically, Orwell's letters give a picture of his life as well as his work. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements xi
Introduction xv
A Note on the Editing xxi
1. Why I Write 1
1920-1929
2. Letter to Steven Runciman 11
3. A Farthing Newspaper 12
4. Letter to Max Plowman 15
1930
5. Review of Herman Melville by Lewis Mumford 19
6. Review of Alexander Pope by Edith Sitwell, etc 22
7. Review of Angel Pavement by J. B. Priestley 25
8. Letter to Max Plowman 27
1931
9. Lettercard to Mac Plowman 33
10. Review of The Two Carlyles by Osbert Burdett 33
11. The Spike 36
12. A Hanging 44
13. Letter to Dennis Collings 49
14. Letter to Dennis Collings 51
15. Hop-Picking 52
16. Letter to T. S. Eliot 72
17. Letter to T. S. Eliot 73
1932
18. Letter to Leonard Moore 77
19. Review of The Spirit of Catholicism by Karl Adam 79
20. Letter to Eleanor Jaques 81
21. Letter to Eleanor Jaques 83
22. Letter to Leonard Moore 84
23. Letter to Leonard Moore 84
24. Letter to Eleanor Jaques 85
25. Clink 86
26. Review of Byron and the Need of Fatality by Charles du Bos 95
27. Common Lodging Houses 97
28. Letter to Brenda Salkeld 100
29. Letter to Eleanor Jaques 101
30. Letter to Eleanor Jaques 102
31. Letter to Leonard Moore 104
32. Letter to Eleanor Jaques 105
33. Letter to Leonard Moore 106
34. Letter to Eleanor Jaques 107
35. Letter to Eleanor Jaques 108
36. Letter to Leonard Moore 109
1933
37. Introduction to the French edition of Down and Out in Paris and London 113
38. Letter to Leonard Moore 115
39. Letter to the Editor of The Times 115
40. Letter to Eleanor Jaques 117
41. Poem 118
42. Letter to Brenda Salkeld 119
43. Letter to Eleanor Jaques 119
44. Letter to Brenda Salkeld 120
45. Letter to Eleanor Jaques 122
46. Letter to Eleanor Jaques 122
47. Poem 123
48. Letter to Leonard Moore 125
49. Letter to Brenda Salkeld 125
50. Letter to Leonard Moore 129
1934
51. Letter to Leonard Moore 133
52. Letter to Leonard Moore 134
53. Poem: On a Ruined Farm near the His Master's Voice Gramophone Factory 134
54. Letter to Leonard Moore 135
55. Letter to Brenda Salkeld 136
56. Letter to Brenda Salkeld 137
57. Letter to Brenda Salkeld 139
58. Letter to Leonard Moore 141
59. My Epitaph by John Flory 141
60. Letter to Leonard Moore 142
1935
61. Letter to Leonard Moore 147
62. Letter to Brenda Salkeld 147
63. Review of Caliban Shrieks by Jack Hilton 148
64. Letter to Brenda Salkeld 150
65. Letter to Rayner Heppenstall 152
66. Letter to Rayner Heppenstall 153
67. Review of Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller 154
1936
68. [On Kipling's Death] 159
69. Review of The Lively Lady by Kenneth Roberts, etc 160
70. Letter to Cyril Connolly 162
71. Letter to Sir Richard Rees, Bt. 163
72. Review of Penguin Books 165
73. Letter to Jack Common 168
74. The Road to Wigan Pier Diary 170
75. Letter to Jack Common 214
76. Letter to Jack Common 215
77. Letter to Sir Richard Rees, Bt. 217
78. Review of Bastard Death by Michael Fraenkel, etc 219
79. Letter to John Lehmann 221
80. Letter to Geoffrey Gorer 221
81. Letter to Anthony Powell 223
82. Letter to Denys King-Farlow 224
83. Review of The Rock Pool by Cyril Connolly, etc 225
84. Letter to Henry Miller 227
85. Review of Black Spring by Henry Miller, etc 230
86. Letter to Jack Common 233
87. Review of Zest of Life by Johann Woller 234
88. Shooting an Elephant 235
89. Bookshop Memories 242
90. Review of The Calf of Paper by Scholem Asch, etc 247
91. In Defence of the Novel 249
92. Letter to Leonard Moore 256
93. Review of The Novel Today by Philip Henderson 256
1937
94. Postcard to James Hanley 263
95. Your Questions Answered 264
96. Letter to Eileen Blair 264
97. Letter to Victor Gollancz 267
98. Letter to Mr Thompson 268
99. Letter to Cyril Connolly 268
100. Spilling the Spanish Beans 269
101. Review of The Spanish Cockpit by Franz Borkenau, etc 276
102. Letter to Rayner Heppenstall 278
103. Letter to Geoffrey Gorer 280
104. Review of The Men I Killed by Brigadier-General F. P. Crozier 282
105. Letter to Geoffrey Gorer 283
106. Review of Journey to Turkistan by Sir Eric Teichman 286
107. Review of Red Spanish Notebook by Mary Low and Juan Brea, etc 287
108. Letter to Jack Common 288
109. Lettercard to Cyril Connolly 290
110. Review of Storm over Spain by Mairin Mitchell, etc 290
1938
111. Review of Spanish Testament by Arthur Koestler 295
112. Letter to Jack Common 296
113. Letter to the Editor of Time and Tide 297
114. Letter to Raymond Mortimer 299
115. Letter to Alec Houghton Joyce 302
116. Letter to Jack Common 303
117. Review of Workers' Front by Fenner Brockway 304
118. Review of Trials in Burma by Maurice Collis 306
119. Review of Glimpses and Reflections by John Galsworthy 307
120. Letter to Cyril Connolly 309
121. Letter to Jack Common 310
122. Letter to Stephen Spender 311
123. Letter to Stephen Spender 312
124. Letter to Jack Common 314
125. Letter to Geoffrey Gorer 315
126. Notes on the Spanish Militias 316
127. Letter to Cyril Connolly 328
128. Letter to Jack Common 329
129. Letter to the Editor of the New English Weekly 330
130. Review of Assignment in Utopia by Eugene Lyons 332
131. Review of The Freedom of the Streets by Jack Common 335
132. Why I Joined the Independent Labour Party 336
133. Letter to Jack Common 338
134. Review of The Civil War in Spain by Frank Jellinek 340
135. Letter to Cyril Connolly 343
136. Review of Searchlight on Spain by the Duchess of Atholl 344
137. Letter to Ida Mabel Blair 347
138. Review of The Communist International by Franz Borkenau 348
139. Letter to Jack Common 351
140. Letter to Jack Common 352
141. Letter to Jack Common 355
142. Letter to John Sceats 357
143. Letter to John Sceats 360
144. Letter to Cyril Connolly 362
145. Letter to Frank Jellinek 363
146. Letter to Jack Common 367
1939
147. Review of Power: A New Social Analysis by Bertrand Russell 375
148. Letter to Herbert Read 377
149. Review of Russia under Soviet Rule by N. de Basily 378
150. Letter to Geoffrey Gorer 381
151. Review of Communism and Man by F. J. Sheed 383
152. Letter to Herbert Read 385
153. Marrakech 387
154. Letter to Jack Common 393
155. Not Counting Niggers 394
156. Review of Stendhal by F. C. Green 398
157. Democracy in the British Army 401
1940
158. Letter to Victor Gollancz 409
159. Letter to Geoffrey Gorer 410
160. Review of The Last Days of Madrid by S. Casado 411
161. Letter to David H. Thomson 413
162. Charles Dickens 413
163. Boys' Weeklies and Frank Richards's Reply 460
164. Inside the Whale 493
165. Letter to Geoffrey Gorer 527
166. Letter to Humphry House 529
167. The Limit to Pessimism 533
168. My Country Right or Left 535
Appendix I Books by or containing contributions by George Orwell 541
Appendix II Chronology 543
Index 553
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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2001

    Orwell: As He Pleased

    In my humble estimation Orwell was, by far, the best writer of the 20th century. Overflowing with compassion for all humanity, Orwell wrote about events happening in his life as if he were reflecting on them years later. His perception of the world was so keen and his analytical senses so acute, we are blessed to have his best writings available to us in this 4 volume set. Volume 3, I believe, is the best of this collection because it contains the bulk of the weekly, As I Please, that ran in the 'Tribune' magazine from 1943-1945. This is some of his best freelance writing covering a whole range of topics. They capture the essence of his thoughts politically and socially. Here too you gain a view of life in WW2 Britain: rationing, blackouts, air raids, and, more importantly, how it felt to live through it. I would reccomend you buy all 4 volumes and start at the beginning. You will not regret the experience.

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