Money suffereth long, and is kind; money envieth not; money vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things…. And now abideth faith, hope, money, these three; but the greatest of these is money.
(1 Corinthians 13, adapted by Orwell at the start of Keep the Aspidistra Flying)
- Read the first chapter of Keep the Aspidistra Flying (courtesy of Penguin Books)
- Buy Keep the Aspidistra Flying (Penguin Books)
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.