Brian Sewell at Foyles with The Orwell Prize and Quartet Books

Friday 16 August 2013

The Orwell Prize, Britain’s most prestigious prize for political writing, is supported by the Media Standards Trust, Political Quarterly, AM Heath and Richard Blair (Orwell’s son). We are delighted to announce that this autumn we will team with Foyles and Quartet Books to present Brian Sewell in conversation with John Bird. Frequently – to the point of cliché in fact – described as Britain’s most famous and controversial art critic, Brian Sewell is so much more; a fearlessly opinionated journalist, scandalously honest memoirist, reluctant TV presenter and self-described gypsy scholar. His waspish wit and uncompromising views have made him something of an icon (though he would surely reject the term), and have been shared with the public via his Orwell Prize-winning essays, his Evening Standard columns and, most recently, his two-volume memoirs, Outsider. He will be joined by Big Issue founder and author of The Necessity of Poverty John Bird to discuss tramping and to reflect on homelessness and attitudes to it since Orwell’s seminal Down and Out in Paris and London, in an event that marks the 110th anniversary of his birth. The event will take place on the evening of Wednesday 9th October at Foyles flagship store in Charing Cross, full details here. Brian Sewell’s collection of Orwell Prize winning essays are on offer for the month of August, on sale here.

Christopher Andrew’s Secrets of the 1962 Missile Crisis Lecture

As we’re revving up to another year of prize activities you might want to watch Christopher Andrew’s 2012 Orwell Lecture – The Most Dangerous Moment in British History, Secrets of the 1962 Missile Crisis. The seven part film is newly available on our YouTube channel here.

Another birthday for Animal Farm

Saturday will mark the publication anniversary of Animal Farm which was first released in 1945. The book still carries worldwide resonance, particularly for those who have lived through a dictatorship. You can watch The Orwell Prize film on our visit to Burma here. On our website we have a an Animal Farm section where you can find links to Orwell’s preface to the Ukranian edition as well as the first chapter courtesy of Penguin and much more.

Great journalism from elsewhere

  • Revealed: What the West has given Syria’s rebels, Kim Sengupta for the Independent
  • In Muslim lands the dream of democracy has died, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown for Ya Libnan
  • The tycoon, the dictator’s wife and the $2.5bn Guinea mining deal, Ian Cobain for The Guardian

  • The diaries

    Don’t forget our other Orwell Diary blogs: his Wartime Diary, Hop-Picking Diary and The Road to Wigan Pier Diary. You can sign up to our newsletter If you’ve got any suggestions about our website(s), we’d love to hear from you – email us on You can also follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.