Poverty then and now: Orwell and his successors

Thursday 06 September 2012

The Orwell Prize will be returning to the Letchworth George Orwell Festival for a second year in just two weeks. This time we’re taking a discussion on poverty then and now with some of Orwell’s ‘successors’. Our exciting panel is made up of Dr Michael Sayeau who runs the Orwell archive at UCL, Director of Befriend a Family Jacqueline Crooks, Gwenton Sloley a real life character from Hood Rat and author of Road to Wigan Pier Revisited Stephen Armstrong. Stephen will be guestposting on his experiences after writing his book in next week’s newsletter. In the lead up to the event we’re busy re-reading the panelist’s books as well as Orwell’s The Road to Wigan Pier and our Road to Wigan Pier blog on Orwell’s diary entries. If you’d like to know more about the event and book tickets see our website.

Orwell Plaque

Next week a George Orwell plaque will be unveiled in Kilburn where he wrote Animal Farm. Orwell’s son, Richard Blair, will be at the ceremony on Tuesday 11th September at 3pm, Kington House.

From the archive

Orwell’s essay ‘Shooting an Elephant’ was first published in September 1936. The piece went on to be broadcast by the BBC home service and remains one of his most beloved. The possibly autobiographical story follows a police man in Burma reluctantly shooting an aggressive elephant. It is widely accepted as a metaphor for Orwell’s views on British Imperialism. Also out this month – in 1941 – is The Art of Donald McGill.

From elsewhere

  • This week Toby Harnden, winner of the Orwell Prize for Books 2012 wrote ‘Haunted by Helmand’ for the BBC on their documentary Our War
  • DJ Taylor and Tony Wright discuss ‘Orwell: Left or Right’ on the Today program
  • Former Orwell Prize judge Gaby Hinsliff says ‘Fixing Britain’s work ethic is not the answer to this economic mess’in the Guardian
  • The wartime diaries

    This week’s entries were published on 27th and 29th August 1942. Next week’s entry will be published on 7th Septmber 1942. Don’t forget our other Orwell Diary blogs: his Hop-Picking Diary and The Road to Wigan Pier Diary. You can sign up to our newsletter 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.