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Orwell D.J. Taylor

Orwell By D.J. Taylor

Orwell by D.J. Taylor

New RRP £14.99
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The definitive biography of one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century.

Orwell Summary

Orwell: The New Life by D.J. Taylor

Over seventy years since his premature death, George Orwell (1903-50) has become one of the most significant figures in western literature. His two dystopian masterpieces, Animal Farm (1945) and Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) have together sold over 40 million copies. Even now, he continues to exert a decisive influence on our understanding of international power-politics.

D.J. Taylor's new biography, the first full-length study for 20 years, draws on a wide range of previously unseen material - newly-discovered letters to old girlfriends and professional colleagues, the recollections of the dwindling band of people who remember him, new information about his life in the early 1930s - to produce a definitive portrait of this complex, driven and self-mythologising man.

Orwell Reviews

If you want to know how [Orwell] became a great writer, and a tormented figure, and a national treasure, David Taylor's New Life is the doubleplusgood place to start * New Statesman *
An astonishing verdict on George Orwell's virtues - and his vices . . . [The book] adds fresh material to give a fuller portrait of the real Eric Blair . . . it is hard to imagine him portrayed more sensitively or judiciously than he is here * Telegraph *
Incisive . . DJ Taylor is the keeper of the Orwell flame * The Times *
Mr. Taylor's Orwell: The New Life is a new text that completes the picture by fleshing out Orwell's emotional life with recently discovered letters and interviews with the last living people to have known him. Expertly told and subtle in judgment, The New Life will not be the last word in the ever-growing field of Orwelliana, but it will become its central monument * Wall Street Journal *
Fluent, careful, nuanced and revealing . . . Taylor is excellent on how Orwell's childhood nourished and shaped his life . . . Taylor presents Orwell's deficiencies unstintingly while at the same time managing not to toxify the subject . . . illuminating, fair-minded work * Irish Independent *
A full, richly detailed, admiring, illuminating account that nevertheless retains a sprightly, sometimes ironic pithiness . . . With a wealth of contextual information and access to extensive archival material, Mr Taylor assuredly traces his subject's picaresque progress * Country Life *
Taylor is not only a compelling writer, but is also able to distil the essence of a notoriously elusive man . . . his prose [is] brisk and entertaining without skimping on detail . . . Orwell: the New Life comes as close to recreating the man as can be expected, and at a time when his insights are most needed * Critic *
Taylor presents Orwell's deficiencies unstintingly while at the same time managing not to toxify the subject . . . [an] illuminating, fair-minded work * Irish Independent *
A tour de force . . . if you read this definitive book, you'll almost feel you've been George Orwell himself * Daily Mail *
This is a book which tells the story of how and why George Orwell became George Orwell, what it means and why it matters * Spectator *
Orwell's voice comes alive again in a biography drawing on newly discovered letters * Guardian *
[A] rich, vivid and comprehensive profile . . . DJ Taylor's landmark biography feels like the closest we will ever get to the truth behind [Orwell] * Business Post *
Taylor keeps man and myth in play, always countering our idea of Orwell with Orwell's idea of himself and rendering his odd, infuriating, delightful character from the various shadows he threw * Tablet *

About D.J. Taylor

D.J. Taylor's Orwell: The Life won the 2003 Whitbread Prize for Biography. His other works of non-fiction include Thackeray (1999), Bright Young People: The Rise and Fall of a Generation 1918-1940 (2007), The Prose Factory: Literary Life in England Since 1918 (2016) and Lost Girls: Love, War and Literature 1939-1951 (2019). He has written a dozen novels, including English Settlement (1996), which won a Grinzane Cavour Prize, Trespass (1998) and Derby Day (2011), both of which were longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. His most recent books are the short story collection Stewkey Blues (2022) and Critic at Large: Essays and Reviews 2010-2022 (2023). His journalism appears in a variety of publication on both sides of the Atlantic, including the Times Literary Supplement, the Guardian, the New Criterion, the Critic and Private Eye. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and lives in Norwich with his wife, the novelist Rachel Hore.

Additional information

Orwell: The New Life by D.J. Taylor
Little, Brown Book Group
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
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Customer Reviews - Orwell