Happy Easter

Friday 06 April 2012

Aged eight a young George Orwell wrote to his mother Ida while studying at boarding school during Easter break 100 years ago. “Thank you for that letter you sent me, but I couldent read it somewon tore it up before I red it, so if you had anything you specialy wanted me to know you had better put it in your next letter and I hope that wont get torn up…” We’re very grateful to George Orwell Novels for publishing the letter in full along with a drawing, you can read it here.

Shortlist announcement

We will be announcing our shortlists for The Orwell Prize 2012 on 24th April at the University of Westminster. Standby for further details.

From the archive

On Monday Aung San Suu Kyi won the Burmese presidential election in what was described as a ‘landslide victory’. George Orwell’s first novel, Burmese Days tells the story of a 1920s Burma. Emma Larkin’s introduction to this work looks at his time there. At our 2010 Orwell Prize launch debate we asked, ‘What is next for Burma?’ The Observer published an article entitled ‘Future of a ruined Germany’ written by their war correspondent George Orwell on 8th April 1945.

From elsewhere

This week The World did a lovely podcast on the resonance of Animal Farm with Ukrainian refugees. Orwell didn’t ask for royalties for foreign language editions where the people were oppressed and he wrote a tailored preface for the Ukrainian edition you can read here. Lee Hall, the BBC writer who penned the original script for Billy Eliot, is working on a screenplay for a Down and Out in London and Paris film. “It’s a very timely book because it’s about people in the midst of a depression,” Hall told the BBC. “The destitution and poverty and hopelessness of those people… chimes with the anger that was displayed during the [English] riots last year.” He went on to explain that he believes that this is the real story of when Eric Blair became George Orwell.


This week, entries were published on 1st and 3rd April and today. Over the next week, entries will be published on 10th and 11th April. 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 or follow us on Twitter. And you can subscribe to this newsletter via email.