Camilla Cassidy

Will we ever know the real George Orwell?

D.J. Taylor explores how the fracture between the person Orwell wanted to be and the person he seemed to be runs through his life and work

After the publication of Down and Out in Paris and London, Orwell’s family were taken aback by ‘the discrepancy between the man they knew and the life he appeared to be living’. [Bridgeman Images]

While George Orwell was staying with his family in Southwold during the 1930s, figuring out how to become a writer, the town pharmacist was busy shooting ciné footage. On the edge of a crowd watching a circus parade, he captured a tall man smoking at a street corner. It’s impossible to identify this brief glimpse as Orwell, but D.J.

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