At the Buxton Festival, 13th July

Friday 17 June 2011

We’re thrilled to be returning to the Buxton Festival for a third year this July. To mark the 65th anniversary of Orwell’s famous essay, ‘Politics and the English Language’, Nick Cohen, Linda Grant and previous winner Matthew Parris will be answering the question, ‘is politics corrupted by corrupted language?’ You can read Orwell’s original essay on our website, along with another of his pieces on language, ‘In Front of Your Nose’. The event will take place at 10.30am on Wednesday 13th July, at the Palace Hotel, Buxton. Tickets are available for £10 on the Buxton Festival website, where you can also find out more about the rest of their literary programme.

Gordon Bowker

Orwell biographer Gordon Bowker’s latest subject is James Joyce. His biography of Joyce was Radio 4’s Book of the Week this week, and you can listen to the five episodes on the BBC website. Appropriately enough, Bloomsday – which celebrates Joyce and his novel, Ulysses – fell on Thursday this week. Gordon has kindly allowed us to publish another of his articles on Orwell, too, this time on ‘George Orwell and the Church of England’. The Spectator also published a piece on Orwell and religion this week, ‘Orwell vs God’, by Robert Gray. There’s much more from Gordon – and many others – on our ‘About Orwell’ page.

From the archive

Our previous visits to Buxton have generated some great debates. In 2009, previous winners Delia Jarrett-Macauley and Matthew Parris wondered ‘what makes a good political novel?’ with Chris Cleave, Marina Lewycka and Robert McCrum, and Book Prize winner Andrew Brown spoke to David Blunkett MP about Fishing in Utopia. In 2010, previous winner David Aaronovitch and D. J. Taylor argued for Orwell as the greatest political writer against Lucinda Hawksley and Michael Slater for Dickens, while Andrea Gillies talked about her winning book, Keeper, to her publisher, Rebecca Nicolson. And with James Joyce everywhere this week, why not read Orwell’s ‘Inside the Whale’, where Orwell describes the Irishman as ‘a kind of poet and also an elephantine pedant’ in a wide discussion on writers, art and politics? Or watch Canadian academic Pat Rae’s lecture on ‘Modernist Orwell’, a jargon-free argument about Orwell’s place in the literary canon?

From elsewhere

The Wartime Diaries

Over the last few week, entries were published on 14th June. Over the next week, entries will be published on 19th, 20th, 22nd and 23rd June.

The Wigan Pier Diaries

The final entry was published on 25th March. In addition to the blog, we have a Google Map tracking Orwell’s journey, a flickr set of archive images, and our page on The Road to Wigan Pier, with the first chapter and other links. If you’ve got any suggestions about our website(s), we’d love to hear from you – email us on or follow us on Twitter. And you can subscribe to this newsletter via email.