Reflections on Gandhi

Friday 06 January 2012

Happy New Year, everyone! And with the new year comes a new Orwell essay on our site. First published in January 1949, Orwell’s ‘Reflections on Gandhi’ reflected on the life and legacy of the Indian independence leader, who had died the previous year. ‘Saints should always be judged guilty until they are proved innocent’, began Orwell – and you can read the rest of his judgement on our website.

Entries now OPEN

The Orwell Prize 2012 is now OPEN for entries. Entry forms for all three prize, and basic details of the entry process, are available on our ‘How to Enter’ page. You can also check out the full rules and the values of the Prize, or learn more about the judges. Entries close on 18 January 2012, for all work first published in 2011. The Prize is self-nominating, but if you think there’s someone who should enter, either encourage them to do so or get in touch. Good luck!

Nineteen Eighty-Four at Foyles

The Foyles Café at Foyles Bookshop, Charing Cross Road is currently exhibiting some of Aleks Krotoski’s photographs inspired by Nineteen Eighty-Four. Aleks spent just over a year telling the first 369 words of the novel, one word at a time, in photographs. You can see the full set of images on her Flickr stream, and you can buy some of the images via her online storeMore on the novel on our site. And more news on the exhibition soon…

From the archive

‘Reflections on Gandhi’ is one of a number of Orwell essays with anniversaries this week. From January 1946, there’s ‘The Prevention of Literature’, about free speech; from 4 January 1946, there’s ‘Freedom and Happiness’, a review of Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We (a major influence on Nineteen Eighty-Four); and on the 5 January, both ‘A Day in the Life of a Tramp’ (1929) and ‘Just Junk – But Who Could Resist It?’ (1946) celebrated milestones. Two men were found guilty of the 1993 murder of Stephen Lawrence this week. Events around the murder and the investigation formed the basis of Brian Cathcart’s The Case of Stephen Lawrence, winner of the Orwell Prize for Books in 2000. We hope to bring you an extract from the book in due course, but until then, here’s Brian’s assessment of the verdict this week, and ‘Stephen’s Last Day’, a reconstruction published by The Independent in 1998.

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 or follow us on Twitter. And you can subscribe to this newsletter via email.