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:
- Saturday 15th October, 10am: ’Victorian Values’ with Jose Harris, Owen Jones and Shiv Malik
- Sunday 16th October, 6pm: ‘The Political Network’ with Graeme Archer and Oliver Kamm
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’.
- ConservativeHome’s Paul Goodman profiles Graeme Archer, winner of the Orwell Prize for Blogs 2011 and appearing at the Cheltenham Literature Festival this weekend
- A list of ‘5 Classic Movies That Were Made Possible By Insane Schemes’ from Cracked.com features the animated Animal Farm – much more on our Animal Farm page, including links to an article on the CIA funding of the Animal Farm animated film (full and abridged) and contemporary newsreel about the film
- Writer Wayne Gooderham blogs about the marginalia in second-hand copies of Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four
- Edmund de Waal’s The Hare with the Amber Eyes, longlisted for the Orwell Prize 2011, won the Independent Booksellers’ Book Prize, while Helen Dunmore’s The Betrayal (shortlisted for the Orwell) made the shortlist – the first chapters of (almost) all of this year’s Orwell Prize longlist are on our website
- Good luck to Declan Walsh, shortlisted for this year’s Journalism Prize, who will be leaving The Guardian for the New York Times
- Chris Cleave, who spoke about political novels at one of 2009 Buxton Festival events, wrote about book reviewing – Orwell wrote ‘Confessions of a Book Reviewer’ back in 1946
- Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher celebrated her 86th birthday – John Campbell’s biography of her was shortlisted in 2004
- Longlisted blogger Dan Hodges has left the New Statesman for Telegraph Blogs
- And ahead of the Rugby World Cup semi-finals, here’s Orwell’s ‘The Sporting Spirit’
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.
And you can subscribe to this newsletter via email.