September 29, 2023

Over seventy years since his premature death, George Orwell has become one of the most significant figures in western literature. His two dystopian masterpieces, Animal Farm (1945) and Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) have together sold over 40 million copies. Even now, he continues to exert a decisive influence on our understanding of international power-politics.

D.J. Taylor’s new biography Orwell: The New Life, the first full-length study for 20 years, draws on a wide range of previously unseen material – newly-discovered letters to old girlfriends and professional colleagues, the recollections of the dwindling band of people who remember him, new information about his life in the early 1930s – to produce a definitive portrait of this complex, driven and self-mythologizing man.

This program was presented in partnership with The Orwell Foundation.


D. J. Taylor’s Orwell: The Life won the 2003 Whitbread Prize for Biography. He is also the author of a dozen novels, among them Trespass and Derby Day, both of which were longlisted for the Booker Prize. His non-fiction includes The Prose Factory: Literary Life in England Since 1918; Lost Girls: Love, War and Literature 1939-1951, and On Nineteen Eighty-Four: A Biography. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a trustee of both the Orwell Foundation and the Orwell Archive at University College, London.

From the corruption of truth to pervasive new technologies, and from poverty and inequality to the rise of political extremism, George Orwell’s concerns are as relevant today as they were to the circumstances in which his great novels were conceived. The Orwell Foundation is an independent charity: through our prestigious prizes, public events and work with young writers, we offer a platform for debate and discussion designed to appeal to the widest possible audience, connecting with everyone to whom George Orwell and his writings are a source of inspiration.

This season was generously supported by the following friends and partners:

Categories: History, Literature & Poetry