Orwell has become one of the most potent and symbolic figures in western political thought. Even the adjective 'Orwellian' is now a byword for a particular way of thinking about life, literature and language yet, despite this iconic status, the man who was born Eric Blair in 1903 remains an enigma.
Drawing on a mass of previously unseen material, D J Taylor offers a strikingly human portrait of the writer too often embalmed as a secular saint. Here is a man who, for all his outward unworldliness, effectively stage-managed his own life; who combined chilling detachment with warmth and gentleness, disillusionment with hope; who battled through illness to produce two of the greatest masterpieces of the twentieth century.
Moving and revealing, Taylor's Orwell is the biography we have all been waiting for, as vibrant, powerful and resonant as its extraordinary hero.
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Number of pages: 496
Weight: 364 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 32 mm
"Taylor wins the biographical contest...[He] is an accomplished literary critic and he illuminates Orwell's work in the context of his life elegantly and expertly" * Guardian *
"Taylor's book has the unmistakable depth of flavour that comes from long, slow, careful cooking-pithy and fascinating" -- Jan Dalley * Financial Times *
"Taylor writes with such skill and aplomb that it's impossible not to be swept along by the intelligence and observations" * Independent on Sunday *
"Taylor's biography is a persuasive and profoundly moving exploration of the ways in which Orwell's work was constructed from the stones of a ruined life-[it] is likely to prove in many ways definitive" * Daily Telegraph *
"Fetchingly original...Taylor's [biography] is pacy socio-journalism" -- Ian Thomson * Scotland on Sunday *