Revered across the globe as an author of compelling novels, journalism and essays that came to define the twentieth century, George Orwell was an unmatched political visionary, shining a light on the insidious nature of propaganda. Yet this chronicler of war, social injustices and urban poverty spent his later years living in a rustic and remote farmhouse, miles from the nearest neighbour. His rural escape was on the Hebridean island of Jura – another paradox, given that he harboured a deep-seated prejudice against Scotland for much of his life.
In 1946, Orwell arrived at his isolated home of Barnhill as a grieving widower living in the shadow of war and the nuclear threat. It was there he wrote his masterpiece, Nineteen Eighty-Four. Beyond the writing desk, he was transformed: his new life was one of natural beauty and tight-knit community – and he grew to love a corner of the world he had once dismissed.
Orwell’s Island casts important new light on a great modern thinker and author. No previous biography has revealed so much about Orwell’s later years or his time on Jura, despite this being where he created Big Brother, the Thought Police and Room 101-creations still in common currency today.