Gordon Bowker's biography includes material which brings the writer's life into unfamiliar focus. Bowker 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. I...more
This is a perceptive and well-written biography of a complex, eccentric and flawed man. Bowker does a great job coming to grips with his subject, whose life he details in straightforward chronological order. He occasionally engages in some unnecessary speculation of the "Orwell must have thought ..." variety, but not so often that it adversely affects his credibility as a biographer. Bowker's prose is clear and uncomplicated and if the list of sources is any indication his research appears to be...more
OK, then, let me clarify: Eric Arthur Blair, who was to become George Orwell, was indeed born in June, 1903. Although he had previously published some minor articles with the by-line E. A. Blair, the pen name by...more
The title is indeed descriptive as the author probes the inner workings of the great author - Eric Blair (aka George Orwell). Bowker exposes the dualism of Blair/Orwell to describe many of the man's layers.
Blair, in his twenties, was a policeman for the British colonialist empire in Burma. He came to loathe the job and what he did. Just what he did can only be conjectured - but one can imagine the power of a colonial authority in Burma in the early 1900's.
Due to the lightening of the stifling religiosity that once held sway o'er continental Europe, the caverns, grottoes and circles that once were known collectively as Hell lay all but dormant for a fair few years.
Then this guy called Virgil, with his mate Bird Brian Brains, started up an excursion business, and also started letting out areas for film crews, authors and any number of conspiracy theorists. The most lucrative was this: