George Orwell, Sonia Brownell and the Orwell Archive

Tuesday 18 February 2020 @ 17:00

Free (suggested donation)

Common Ground Room, IAS, University College London, Gower Street, London, Greater London, WC1E 6BT

Be in the room with exclusive access to the original letters, photographs and objects that connect George Orwell and Sonia Brownell

On 13th October 1949, Sonia Brownell and George Orwell were married in University College Hospital, where Orwell was being treated for tuberculosis. Orwell died three months later. We will be in the room with exclusive access to the original letters, photographs and objects that connect Orwell and Sonia, using them as the basis for a discussion about their relationship and Sonia’s life.

The event, taking place as part of a day of activities to celebrate the 2019 Orwell Memorial Lecture, is hosted by Orwell’s biographer, D. J. Taylor, author of Orwell: The Life and most recently Lost Girls: Love, War and Literature (2019), who will be joined by Professor Jean Seaton, Director of the Orwell Foundation and Sarah Gibbs (doctoral candidate, UCL English).

This event is in partnership with the UCL Special Collections, home of the UNESCO-registered George Orwell Archive. The archive is the most comprehensive body of research material relating to the author George Orwell (Eric Blair) (1903-1950) anywhere.

The Orwell Lecture, given in memory of the author, essayist and journalist George Orwell, has been given annually since 1989 and has attracted notable speakers including Dr Rowan Williams, Dame Hilary Mantel, Robin Cook and Ruth Davidson MSP. Speakers are tasked with discussing any topic ‘Orwell might have been interested in’. This year’s lecturer is Daniel Finkelstein, who will be speaking on the topic ‘How to Predict an Election’ later in the evening.

(Image of Eric Blair and Sonia Brownell’s wedding card supplied courtesy of the Orwell Estate)

Please make sure to register for a new ticket if you had originally registered for the event in November 2019

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