Happy Birthday to George

Friday 29 June 2012

George Orwell was born as Eric Blair on 25th June 1903 so Monday could have been his 109th birthday. We had lots of tweets on what people were reading to celebrate and the most prominent were; Nineteen Eighty Four, Road to Wigan Pier and Homage to Catalonia. If you’d like to celebrate Orwell you can find many of his essays, as well as notes on his novels with their first chapter and much much more on our website.

Buxton Festival 2012

We’re so excited to be returning to Buxton on 16th July. For 2012 we’ll be taking Paul Anderson, Jan Montifiore, Charles Allen, Tony Wright and Stuart Evers to row about who is the better writer; Orwell or Kipling. You can see full details on our website.

From the archive

Independent Booksellers’ Week starts tomorrow. Why not pick up Keep the Aspidistra Flying for a picture of Orwell’s Gordon Comstock working in a book shop? Or you can read ‘Bookshop Memories’ which tells the story of Orwell’s own experiences selling books. Or you could reacquaint yourself with Orwell’s, ‘Confessions of a Book Reviewer’ and have a look at 2012 posthumous Special Prize winner Christopher Hitchens’ ‘Fleet Street’s Finest’. Or you could read Orwell’s brilliant ‘Good Bad Books’.

From elsewhere

  • Orwell Prize winner Clive James recently looked back across his entire career on BBC Radio 4s Meeting Myself Coming Back.You can listen to the podcast here.
  • For the week of Orwell’s birthday, news site Flavorwire put together a package of 15 Authors on Why They Write
  • This week Raja Shehadeh, winner of the 2008 Orwell Prize for Books, wrote a great post for the New York Times blog on Israeli Checkpoints.

  • The wartime diaries

    This week’s entry was published on 26th June 1942. Next week’s entries will be published on 1st and 3rd July 1942. Don’t forget our other Orwell Diary blogs: his Hop-Picking Diary and The Road to Wigan Pier Diary. If you’ve got any suggestions about our website(s), we’d love to hear from you – email us on katriona.lewis@mediastandardstrust.org. You can also follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.