The author of 1984 and Animal Farm was a brilliant, eccentric, complicated man. He was, at various times, a member of the colonial police force in Burma, a tramp, a dishwasher, a critic and journalist, a fighter in the Spanish Civil War, a teacher and a shopkeeper.
In the summer of 1983, radio producer Wadhams spent eight weeks crisscrossing Britain and Spain interviewing more than seventy people who had known Orwell. The result was a unique resource: more than fifty hours of interviews with a huge range of people, most of whom are now dead.
Their recollections are woven with biographical detail in this fascinating memoir to produce a very human portrait of one of the greatest writers of our time. The list of contributors includes well-known names such as Stephen Spender, Malcolm Muggeridge and Lord Astor, but also the unknown men and women who inspired much of Orwell’s writing: the men who fought beside him in Spain; classmates at Eton; his first girlfriends and confidantes; friends and family members.