Newsletter: Inside the Whale

Friday 11 March 2011

Inside the Whale, a collection of essays by Orwell, was first published on this day in 1940. The selection consisted of some of Orwell’s most famous essays: ‘Charles Dickens‘, ‘Boys’ Weeklies’ and ‘Inside the Whale’. We’re delighted that you can now read ‘Inside the Whale’ on our website, in addition to ‘Charles Dickens’ (‘Boys’ Weeklies’ will be following soon). For more on ‘Inside the Whale’, you can also watch Charles Holdefer’s talk from last year’s Orwell Conference in Lille which takes a line from the essay as its title, ‘As surely as doomed as the hippopotamus’; or read Salman Rushdie’s take over at Granta, ‘Outside the Whale’. Also published today, in 1935, was Orwell’s novel A Clergyman’s Daughter. You can find the first chapter on our website, along with the essay ‘Hop-picking’, an activity which features in the book.

And on 10 March 1937, The Road to Wigan Pier was published. We have plenty of resources on our website, and you can of course follow Orwell’s progress as he travelled around the north of England, 75 years ago, on our Road to Wigan Pier blog.

The Orwell Prize 2011

This year’s Prize has received a record-breaking 213 entries for the Book Prize, 87 journalists for the Journalism Prize and 205 bloggers for the Blog Prize. To see a full list of entrants, now linked for your reading pleasure, visit our website.
The longlists will be announced on 30th March 2011.

Orwell Prize at the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival 2011

We have three events coming up at the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival – click the links to find out more and book:
More speakers to be confirmed shortly…

From the archive

This week saw both Shrove Tuesday and International Women’s Day. To mark the former, you might want to take a look at Orwell’s wonderful 1946 essay on ‘British Cookery’ for the British Council, where he writes that ‘British pancakes are thinner than those of most countries, and are always eaten with lemon juice’. Images of the original transcript, and a letter thanking him for his work but explaining the decision not to publish on ‘the painful subject of Food in these times’, can be found on Flickr.

From elsewhere

On the web this week:

The Wigan Pier Diaries

This week, entries were published on 5th, 7th, 9th and 11th March.
Next week, entries will be published on 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th and 18th 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.

The Wartime Diaries

Next week, entries will be published on 14th March. 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.