George Orwell was a tireless and lively correspondent.
He communicated with family members, friends and newspapers, figures such as Henry Miller, Cyril Connolly, Stephen Spender and Arthur Koestler, and strangers who wrote to him out of the blue.
This carefully selected volume of his correspondence provides an eloquent narrative of Orwell's life, from his schooldays to his final illness. Orwell's letters afford a unique and fascinating view of his thoughts on matters both personal, political and much in between, from poltergeists, to girls' school songs and the art of playing croquet.
In a note home to his mother from school, he reports having 'aufel fun after tea'; much later he writes of choosing a pseudonym and smuggling a copy of Ulysses into the country.
We catch illuminating glimpses of his family life: his son Richard's developing teeth, the death of his wife Eileen and his own illness.
His talent as a political writer comes to the fore in his descriptions of Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War, his opinions on bayonets, and on the chaining of German prisoners. And of course, letters to friends and his publisher chart the development and publication of some of the most famous novels in the English language, providing unparalleled insight into his views on his own work and that of his contemporaries. A Life in Letters features previously unpublished material, including letters which shed new light on a love that would haunt him for his whole life, as well as revealing the inspiration for some of his most famous characters.
Presented for the first time in a dedicated volume, this selection of Orwell's letters is an indispensible companion to his diaries.