Orwell, Raffles and Gulliver

Friday 14 October 2011

We’re very pleased to bring you two new Orwell essays this week. First up is ‘Raffles and Miss Blandish’, first published in October 1944. In it, Orwell compares the crime stories featuring gentleman thief Raffles from the early 20th Century with the more modern crime story No Orchids for Miss Blandish: ‘What I am concerned with here is the immense difference in moral atmosphere between the two books, and the change in the popular attitude that this probably implies.’ We’ve also just published one of Orwell’s most famous essays of literary criticism: ‘Politics vs. Literature: An examination of Gulliver’s Travels’, first published in Polemic’s September/October 1946 issue.

The Orwell Prize at Cheltenham THIS WEEKEND

There are still some tickets left for our events at The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival this weekend:

Hopefully see you there!

George Orwell Memorial Lecture 2011

Alan Rusbridger, editor-in-chief of Guardian News and Media, will be speaking on ‘Hacking away at the truth: an investigation and its consequences’ on 10th November at 6pm. For full details of how to book and video of previous Orwell Lectures, go to our website. The Orwell Lecture is organised by the Orwell Trust with Birkbeck College, University of London.

From the archive

‘Shooting an Elephant’, one of Orwell’s most famous essays, was broadcast on the BBC Home Service on 12th October 1948. You can read it on our website, along with other works from Orwell’s time in Burma, including ‘A Hanging’ and Orwell’s preliminary sketches for what would become Burmese Days. We also have a (rather unseasonal!) transcript of one of Orwell’s radio broadcasts, the Christmas edition of the poetry magazine show, Voice, while his essay ‘Poetry and the Microphone’ looks in more depth at the broadcasting of poetry on the radio. On twitter this week, Foyles Bookshop wondered if Christopher Hitchens, shortlisted for this year’s Orwell Prize for his Hitch-22, was the finest English language essayist since Orwell. You can read the first chapter of Hitch-22 on our site, and lots of Orwell’s essays via our ‘By Orwell’ section. Last Monday was World Mental Health Day. Our 2010 Book Prize winner, Keeper by Andrea Gillies, was about caring for a sufferer of Alzheimer’s – you can read the first chapter and an interview with Andrea by shortlisted journalist Amelia Gentleman, view photographs from ‘Inside a dementia ward’ with Andrea’s words, or watch Andrea in conversation about her book. And you can read one of Patrick Cockburn’s Journalism Prize-winning pieces from 2009, ‘My son, the schizophrenic’.

From elsewhere

The Wartime Diaries

The next entry will be published on 14th March.

The Hop-Picking Diaries

The final entry was published on 8th October.

The Wigan Pier Diaries

The final entry was published on 25th March. If you’ve got any suggestions about our website(s), we’d love to hear from you – email us on gavin.freeguard@mediastandardstrust.org or follow us on Twitter. And you can subscribe to this newsletter via email.