Journalism took a heavy toll of Orwell in the first months of 1946. Despite this unremitting pressure, he produced a major sequence of articles on 'The Intellectual Revolt'. He wrote one of his finest short essays, 'Some Thoughts on the Common Toad'. He reviewed Zamyatin's WE, wrote two radio plays for the BBC, THE VOYAGE OF THE BEAGLE, and a version of 'Red Riding Hood' for Children's Hour, and a pamphlet for the British Council, BRITISH COOKERY; these three are printed here for the first time. The complex history of 'How the Poor Die' is unravelled, as is the problem posed by his passports giving his date of birth incorrectly, something that would prove significant in the writing of NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR. Orwell renewed contact with Yvonne Davet; he corresponded with Ihor Szewczenko; he tried to get Victor Serge's memoirs published in English and, with Arthur Koestler, to expose Soviet responsibility for the massacre of the Poles by arranging for a translation of Joseph Czapski's SOUVENIRS DE STARBIELSK to be published. Despite all this, Orwell did get away to Jura with his son, Richard.
He was able to relax and even fish, as his Domestic Diary (published for the first time) shows; and he wrote fifty pages of NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR. This was what the animals of ANIMAL FARM had failed to do.
George Orwell (1903-1950) served with the Imperial Police in Burma, fought with the Republicans during the Spanish Civil War, and was a member of the Home Guard and a writer for the BBC during World War II. He is the author of some of the most celebrated works of non-fiction and fiction in the English language.