Buxton 2010: The greatest political writer – Orwell vs Dickens


  • Orwell: D. J. Taylor (biographer, critic, novelist, author of George Orwell: The Life)
  • Dickens: Michael Slater (academic, author of Charles Dickens: A Life Defined by Writing)
  • Orwell: David Aaronovitch (The Times, winner of the Orwell Prize for Journalism 2001)
  • Dickens: Lucinda Hawksley (writer, great-great-great-granddaughter of Charles Dickens)
  • Chaired by Dame Janet Smith (chair, Buxton Festival)

In 1939, George Orwell composed a famous essay about Charles Dickens. ‘When one reads any strongly individual piece of writing, one has the impression of seeing a face somewhere behind the page’, wrote Orwell. But in this contest between two of Britain’s greatest writers, which face will fit? Advocates for both Orwell and Dickens speak up in this debate – and you, the audience, will decide.



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