George Orwell by Gordon Bowker

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Synopsis

George Orwell was one of the greatest writers England produced in the last century. He left an enduring mark on our language and culture, with concepts such as 'Big Brother' and 'Room 101.' His reputation rests not only on his political shrewdness and his sharp satires (Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four) but also on his marvellously clear style and superb essays, which rank with the best ever written. Gordon Bowker's new biography, written to coincide with Orwell's centenary, includes fascinating new material which brings his life into unfamiliar focus. He writes revealingly about Orwell's family background; the lasting influence of Eton on his work and character; his superstitious streak and youthful flirtation with black magic; and his chaotic and reckless sex life, which included at least one homoerotic relationship. It highlights the strange circumstances of his first marriage and provides remarkable new evidence of his experiences in Spain and their nightmarish consequences. It also offers a fresh look at his peculiar deathbed marriage to a woman fifteen years his junior. All this has enabled Bowker to give Orwell's life a brilliantly fresh and distinctive interpretation.
 

About Gordon Bowker

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Gordon Bowker has written highly acclaimed biographies of Malcolm Lowry (a New York Times Recommended Book of the Year) and Lawrence Durrell, and articles and reviews for the Observer, the Sunday Times, the New York Times and the Times Literary Supplement.
 
Published May 1, 2003 by Little, Brown & Company. 512 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Literature & Fiction, History. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for George Orwell

Kirkus Reviews

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An outstanding, if somewhat superfluous, account of "one of the great misfits of his generation."

Jun 24 2010 | Read Full Review of George Orwell

The Guardian

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Orwell DJ Taylor 448pp, Chatto & Windus, £20 George Orwell Gordon Bowker 512pp, Little, Brown, £20 George Orwell's reputation has been marred by the sound of biographical clocks striking 13, yet his crystal spirit remains un-dimmed.

Jun 07 2003 | Read Full Review of George Orwell

The Guardian

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Orwell: The Life by DJ Taylor Chatto & Windus £20, pp448 George Orwell by Gordon Bowker Little, Brown £20, pp495 Hailed by the Right all over the world, George Orwell made an indelible contribution to the Left.

Jun 01 2003 | Read Full Review of George Orwell

Publishers Weekly

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Bowker's centenary biography is the best of the many since Orwell's death at 46, of tuberculosis, in 1950.

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Publishers Weekly

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George Orwell entered the world as Eric Blair, a man whose eventual decision to hide behind a pseudonym created a double life between the private ""Blair"" and the public ""Orwell."" So theorizes Bowker in this detailed political and psychological portrait of the British writer whose most famous ...

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California Literary Review

Gordon Bowker, writing in the Times Literary Supplement (February 23, 2007) about Venables’s postscript to Eric & Us, says Blair “attempted to rape” Jacintha Buddicom and refers to the incident as “near-rape.” Frank Kermode in The New York Review of Books (June 14, 2007) states that Blair “tried ...

Apr 02 2008 | Read Full Review of George Orwell

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