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Orwell : wintry conscience of a generation /
Jeffrey Meyers.
1st ed.
New York : W.W. Norton & Co., c2000.
xvi, 380 p. : ill., maps ; 25 cm.
More Details
New York : W.W. Norton & Co., c2000.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Jeffrey Meyers is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 2000-09-01:
Two major biographies sit on shelves dedicated to George Orwell (1903-50)DBernard Crick's Orwell: A Life (LJ 3/15/81) and Michael Shelden's Orwell: The Authorized Biography (LJ 10/1/91). Is another detailed look at Orwell really necessary? The answer is an unqualified yes. Meyers, a prolific biographer and critic, has contributed widely to the Orwell literature, and this is his first reassessment of the writer in 25 years. It is also the first important study to utilize the 20-volume The Complete Works of George Orwell (Secker & Warburg, 1998). With freshness, clarity, and compression, Meyers presents the now familiar saga of Orwell's difficult and ultimately tragic life, effectively interweaves excerpts from letters and interviews with Orwell's contemporaries (appending his account of difficulties with interviewees), and generously describes and critiques Orwell's writings, placing him firmly "in the English tradition of prophetic moralists." His writing about Orwell's persistent womanizing may surprise some readers, and his account of Orwell's activities during the Spanish Civil War is especially lucid. More readable and insightful than Crick's effort, though not as substantial as Shelden's, which is better suited to true Orwell aficionados, this will be welcomed by general readers and Orwell admirers. Highly recommended for all academic and public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/15/00.]DThomas A. Karel, Franklin & Marshall Coll. Lib., Lancaster, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews,
Library Journal, September 2000
Booklist, October 2000
Globe & Mail, October 2000
New York Times Book Review, October 2000
San Francisco Chronicle, October 2000
New York Times Book Review, December 2000
Reference & Research Book News, February 2001
Books in Canada, September 2001
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Publisher Fact Sheet
Experienced Biographer Jeffrey Meyers delves into the complex personal history of the man whose visionary work gave us the great anti-utopias of twentieth-century literature. Meyers draws on a close study of the new edition of George Orwell's Complete Works, interviews with his family & friends, & unpublished material in the Orwell Archive in London to shed new light on this most unusual literary figure. A child of the waning British Empire, Orwell came to reject the stifling class system of his birth, & through his writing forged a new social consciousness that continues to engage modern intellectual thought. Meyers's work also reveals the human failings of this creative visionary--his childhood insecurities, his political dilemmas, & his conflicted relationships with women. What emerges is a darker--but distinctly more nuanced--portrait of the legendary figure.
Unpaid Annotation
"A respected biographer and no stranger to his subject" (Newark Star-Ledger), Meyers delves into the complex life of the man whose visionary work gave us the great anti-utopias of modern literature. "The breadth of his research is impressive" (New York Times Book Review), drawing on a close study of the new edition of Orwell's Complete Works, personal interviews, and unpublished material in London's Orwell Archive.Meyers's "briskly paced, absorbing narrative . . . offers keen insights" (Boston Sunday Globe) on Orwell's intellectual development, as well as his human failings -- his childhood insecurities, his political dilemmas, and his conflicted relationships with women. "Leagues in front of" Orwell's previous biographers, Meyers "convincingly demonstrates the essence of Orwell's character" (Denver Colorado Post), revealing a "much more helpful and believable portrait" (Paul Theroux).
Table of Contents
Illustrationsp. ix
Mapsp. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Prefacep. xv
An Edwardian Childhood, 1903-1914p. 3
Misery at St. Cyprian's, 1911-1916p. 16
Slacking Off at Eton, 1917-1921p. 28
Policing Burma, 1922-1927p. 48
The Joy of Destitution, 1927-1932p. 73
Among School Children, 1932-1934p. 95
Eileen and Wigan Pier, 1935-1937p. 118
Fighting for Spain, 1937p. 139
Morocco and Coming Up for Air, 1938-1939p. 178
London in the Blitz, 1939-1941p. 194
Wartime Propagandist, 1941-1943p. 213
Fatherhood and Eileen's Death, 1944-1945p. 227
Animal Farm and Fame, 1945p. 243
Escape to Jura, 1946-1947p. 256
The Dark Vision of Nineteen Eighty-Four, 1948p. 274
The Art of Dying, 1949-1950p. 292
Epilogue: Orwell's Legacyp. 314
The Geography of Kipling's "Mandalay"p. 327
Allusions in Burmese Daysp. 329
Getting at the Truthp. 331
A History of Illnessp. 337
Notesp. 339
Bibliographyp. 367
Indexp. 371
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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