George Orwell

Reluctant servant of the Raj: Burma Sahib, by Paul Theroux, reviewed

17 February 2024 9:00 am

Few personal details survive about Eric Blair’s life as a policeman in Burma, making his years in the East fertile ground for the novelist

Ravenous rats

14 October 2023 9:00 am

Surprisingly for a novel riffing on Orwell’s dystopia, Julia is portrayed as a cheerful young woman uninterested in politics and believing in nothing at all

Russia’s long history of smears, sabotage and barefaced lies

12 August 2023 9:00 am

Mark Hollingsworth describes how the KGB became the world’s most industrious conspiracy-theory factory, with its agents of influence dedicated to sowing maximum confusion

George Orwell’s unacknowledged debt to his wife Eileen

12 August 2023 9:00 am

Eileen O’Shaughnessy’s creative influence on her husband George Orwell has been ignored for far too long, says Marina Benjamin

The unfamiliar Orwell: the writer as passionate gardener

27 November 2021 9:00 am

This is a book about George Orwell’s recognition that desire and joy can be forces of opposition to the authoritarian…

Can a criminal really be ‘prolific’?

23 October 2021 9:00 am

The BBC made a documentary about a man sent to prison for being the ‘most prolific rapist in British legal…

How two literary magazines boosted morale during the Blitz

31 July 2021 9:00 am

William Loxley’s lively account of ‘Bloomsbury, the Blitz and Horizon magazine’ begins with W.H. Auden and Christopher Isherwood emigrating to…

How the International Brigades were ‘thrown into the heart of the fire’

17 October 2020 9:00 am

During the Spanish civil war of 1936 to 1939, 35,000 men and women from around the world volunteered to fight…

end history

Is this the end of history?

29 June 2020 5:04 am

Midway through Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, there occurs this exchange between two characters: ‘“How did you go bankrupt?” Bill…

Pure poison: BBC1’s Talking Heads reviewed

27 June 2020 9:00 am

The big mistake people make with Alan Bennett is to conflate him with his fellow Yorkshireman David Hockney. But whereas…


Society isn’t systemically racist. It is systemically woke

15 June 2020 4:30 am

Structural, systemic, systematically — we’re hearing these words a lot at the moment. Racism isn’t individual. It is structural or…

There’s nothing equal about this virus

18 April 2020 9:00 am

Filthy germ-laden townsfolk were out and about on the footpaths near my home on Easter Sunday, dragging with them their…

No lockdown, please, we’re Swedish

4 April 2020 9:00 am

There’s no lockdown in sight here

Coronavirus shouldn't be used as an excuse to expand the state

24 March 2020 2:28 am

Since this is the nearest most of us have ever got to living under the Blitz, I’ve been re-reading George…

Radio 4's new H.P. Lovecraft adaptation will give you the chills

24 January 2020 10:00 pm

Of all the many things I’ve learned from the radio so far this decade, the most deranging is that the……

George Orwell would have been a Brexiteer

24 January 2020 10:00 pm

I’ve been reading a new biography of George Orwell that’s been published to coincide with the 70th anniversary of his…

What would George Orwell make of Brexit?

24 August 2019 5:30 pm

In the London Review of Books this month, James Meek wrote a long article about Jacob Rees-Mogg and his ‘curious duality’ in…

The royals should embody virtue – not signal it

24 August 2019 9:00 am

ONE should not be censorious if the Duke and Duchess of Sussex fly in private jets to their holidays, though…

George Orwell. Credit: Getty Images

Novel explosives of the Cold War

24 August 2019 9:00 am

One autumn night in 1991, I stood on the rooftop terrace of a tacky villa in Saranda once owned by…

History holds far fewer lessons for Brexit than both sides think

17 August 2019 9:00 am

How we love bringing history into our political debates. It may seem strange in a country where so little history…

China’s surveillance technology is terrifying – and on show in London

6 July 2019 9:00 am

I was recently treated to a small taste of the real China. It was in the incongruous setting of a…

The spring gentian’s ‘tongues of ocean blue’

Dying buddleias on railway lines are what excite the new nature writer

3 March 2018 9:00 am

A parliament of owls. A gaggle of geese. A convocation of eagles. But what is the generic term for the…

‘Pastry Cook of Cagnes’, 1922, by Chaïm Soutine

Cabbages and kings

14 October 2017 9:00 am

The first pastry cook Chaïm Soutine painted came out like a collapsed soufflé. The sitter for ‘The Pastry Cook’ (c.1919)…

Labour must stop feeling repulsed by the idea of Englishness

21 May 2016 9:00 am

My party needs to stop being scared of patriotism

Down and Out in Paris and London is a chav safari

30 April 2016 9:00 am

Down and Out in Paris and London is a brilliant specimen from a disreputable branch of writing: the chav safari,…