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Selected Essays


'I write... because there is some lie that I want to expose.... But I could not do the work of writing a book, or even a long magazine article, if it were not also an aesthetic experience.'

This volume contains the best essays by one of the best English essayists. George Orwell has become famous all over the world for Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four, but throughout his writing life he was also a prolific journalist and essayist. He wrote brilliantly about politics, about literature, and about contemporary cultural life, always with that steely honesty and intolerance of cant which were the hallmarks of his direct, limpid prose.

Stefan Collini's selection brings together nineteen essays, including such well-known pieces as 'Shooting an Elephant', 'Charles Dickens', 'Politics and the English Language', and 'Lear, Tolstoy and the Fool'. A substancial Introduction situates Orwell's writing in its historical context and analyses the distinctive features of his style, while extensive notes explain historical allusions and identify his sources and quotations.

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