Keep the Aspidistra Flying

In Orwell’s third novel, poet and part-time bookseller Gordon Comstock (whose debut collection, Mice, showed ‘exceptional promise’ according to the TLS) grapples with rejecting money-worship and a steady job in advertising, poverty and the dulling of his creativity, and faithful girlfriend Rosemary. Will Gordon succumb to advertising and the aspidistra, that totem of lower middle-class respectability? Based loosely on Orwell’s own experiences of writing life and working at Westrope’s Bookshop, Hampstead.