Friday 12 August 2011
Hop-picking was long a late-summer tradition, with London workers heading to more rural counties like Kent to pick hops (a key ingredient of beer). In 1931, Orwell made the trip to Kent. His experiences appeared in his novel, A Clergyman’s Daughter, but they were also turned into an essay, ‘Hop-Picking’, for the New Statesman and Nation, which you can read on our website. Orwell kept a diary during his hop-picking period – we’ll have more news on that next week. But until then, if you’d like to know more about hop-picking, take a look at the sidebar links on this rather interesting website.
You may be aware of allegations made about the winner of the Orwell Prize for Journalism 2008, Johann Hari, which have been investigated by our governing Council of the Orwell Prize. You can read the latest statement on our website.
From the archive
With policing prominent in the news after the riots in the UK, you might like to revisit our 2009 Blog Prize winner, secret policeman Jack Night, for a view from the frontline. Or you could watch our ‘future of policing’ discussion from the 2010 Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival, featuring Sir Ian Blair, Roger Graef and Professor Robert Reiner. It was described by theartsdesk as ‘surprisingly heartening’, the panel giving ‘both reasoned and reasonable responses, drawing on everything from Max Weber and John Stuart Mill to Raymond Chandler in the process’.
- The BBC’s Emma Jane Kirby retraces Orwell’s Down and Out in Paris and London – you can read more about the original on our site
- Stylist Magazine put both Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm in their top 100 closing lines list…
- …and both featured in NPR Books’ top 100 sci-fi and fantasy poll
- Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We, one of the inspirations for 1984, didn’t make the NPR list, but you can read Orwell’s review on our site
- Patrick Cockburn, winner of the 2009 Journalism Prize, spoke to The Browser about Iraq and recommended five books on the subject
- The Mr. Men series of books celebrated their 40th anniversary – there’s an amusing review of the Orwellian and Kafkaesque Mr. Messy on Amazon
- And Wood Green’s excellent Big Green Bookshop asked their customers and followers, ‘If you owned a bookshop, what’s the first book you’d order for the shelves?’ 1984 did rather well, as you can see from the results
The Wartime Diaries
The next entry will be published on 28th August.
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. We’ll have some more exciting Orwell diary news soon… If you’ve got any suggestions about our website(s), we’d love to hear from you – email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or follow us on Twitter. And you can subscribe to this newsletter via email.