A Clergyman’s Daughter
Writing to his friend Brenda Salkeld in July 1934 Orwell gave vent to his feelings of frustration concerning the novel on which he had been working since the beginning of that year: ‘I am so miserable, struggling in the entrails of that dreadful book and never getting any further, and loathing the sight of what I have done. Never start writing novels, if you wish to preserve your happiness.’18 He had abandoned school teaching in December 1933 following a severe attack of pneumonia and was now able to devote himself wholly to writing. Living with his parents at their home at Southwold in Suffolk he worked steadily on A Clergyman’s Daughter and submitted the completed work to his agent in October 1934. ‘I am not at all pleased with it,’ he wrote diffidently. ‘It was a good idea, but I am afraid I have made a muck of it — however, it is as good as I can do for the present.’19 Throughout the writing of the novel his letters to his friends indicate the difficulties he experienced during its composition. To Orwell the creation of a full-length work of fiction was always a time of travail but one has the impression that he found the writing of A Clergyman’s Daughter an unusually difficult and laborious experience.
KeywordsPneumonia Assure Smoke
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