The Making of George Orwell

  • J. R. Hammond
Part of the Literary Companions book series (LICOM)


In the churchyard of the village of Sutton Courtenay, Oxfordshire, there lies a simple headstone placed near the end of an avenue of yews. Inscribed on the stone are the words:

Here Lies

Eric Arthur Blair

Born June 25th 1903

Died January 21st 1950

There is no indication that this marks the grave of an important literary figure, no clue as to the identity or achievements of Eric Arthur Blair. Many visitors to the churchyard must pass it by unaware that the spot marks the resting place of one of the major twentieth-century English novelists, an essayist of distinction and the author of Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four. For the man who is buried in this peaceful spot fashioned a distinctive style of prose writing which carried his name and reputation far beyond the confines of the English-speaking world and earned for his books a readership of millions. He was successively a tramp, a schoolmaster, a village-shopkeeper, a soldier, a radio producer and a sergeant in the Home Guard. He became in the forty-six years of his life a political writer of uncommon ability, a pamphleteer in the tradition of Cobbett and Defoe and an outspoken commentator on the social and political issues of his time. He was also a man who was ‘essentially quixotic’, I a man who disliked twentieth-century technology and wrote with simple feeling on gardening, wild life and the passing of the seasons.


Short Story Imperial Police Literary Effort Public School Tradition Prose Writing 
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Copyright information

© J. R. Hammond 1982

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  • J. R. Hammond

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