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.