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A Clergyman's Daughter

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  5,350 ratings  ·  453 reviews
Intimidated by her father, the rector of Knype Hill, Dorothy performs her submissive roles of dutiful daughter and bullied housekeeper. Her thoughts are taken up with the costumes she is making for the church school play, by the hopelessness of preaching to the poor and by debts she cannot pay in 1930s Depression England. Suddenly her routine shatters and Dorothy finds her ...more
Paperback, Penguin Modern Classics, 296 pages
Published September 28th 2000 by Penguin Classics (first published 1935)
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Jay Orwell himself dismissed this novel, but I found it very enjoyable. Orwell wrote his best when he wrote with a political purpose and this book can be…moreOrwell himself dismissed this novel, but I found it very enjoyable. Orwell wrote his best when he wrote with a political purpose and this book can be thought of as socialist propaganda. I found it to be a very engaging account of poverty and homelessness and the exploitation of the poor. Just as Orwell was the beacon that guided western thought through the cold war and illuminated the dark abyss of authoritarianism and Stalinist thuggery. This novel is important now in an age of capitalist excess. I thought Dorathy's adventures as a teacher in a parsimonious school for profit instructive in our current school choice profiteering ethos. The chapter about spending the night in Trafalgar Square written as a play within the novel was inventive, rather like Joyce or Becket and the last chapter when Dorothy struggled with her loss of faith was very moving and profound and Job-like and like Job she returns to the status quo ante profoundly altered by the experience.(less)
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Philip Tucker
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3.47  · 
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Ahmad Sharabiani
A Clergyman's Daughter, George Orwell
A Clergyman's Daughter is a 1935 novel by English author George Orwell. It tells the story of Dorothy Hare, the clergyman's daughter of the title, whose life is turned upside down when she suffers an attack of amnesia. It is Orwell's most formally experimental novel, featuring a chapter written entirely in dramatic form, but he was never satisfied with it and he left instructions that after his death it was not to be reprinted.
عنوان: دختر کشیش؛ نویسنده: جورج
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MJ Nicholls
Mar 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Orwell sharpens his satiric knives in this early novel about Dorothy and her life of perpetual misery living in a backward petit bourgeois town. Capturing the pure hell of ill-bred country folk and hateful religious fustians, Orwell creates a sense of smothering hopelessness as his heroine finds herself among homeless hop-pickers, sweating for twelve hours in fields and sleeping in haylofts, and later working for starvation wages under a tyrannical crone who epitomises the penny-pinching meannes ...more
Lisa
Feb 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: orwell
Ritual is stronger than faith!

If you want to know the secret of religion's success in secular countries where people tend to lose their childhood beliefs over the course of their education, read this minor Orwell novel to see the psychological reasoning behind life dedicated church after becoming a convinced atheist. Social security and familiar rituals are the most cherished features in life for dependent individuals.

A Clergyman's Daughter remains in her "profession", even if she knows it has
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Sarah (Presto agitato)
A Clergyman’s Daughter, George Orwell’s second novel, is the story of Dorothy Hare, the uncomplaining daughter of a selfish, demanding rector. She lives a simple life visiting parishioners and tending to her father’s needs until she inexplicably wakes up one day on the London streets with no idea who she is or how she got there, and without a penny to her name.

This rather contrived plot serves as a framework for a series of essay-like episodes laced with Orwell’s characteristic biting social cri
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P-eggy
Jul 10, 2011 rated it did not like it
A book to be avoided at all costs if you like Orwell and want to keep thinking he was such a consistently good writer and storyteller. On the other hand, if you hated 1984 in school and are looking for ammunition against him, this book is it. Plus point: the book is very short.
Barry Pierce
Sep 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Orwell wanted this novel destroyed after his death. This and Keep The Aspidistra Flying. Oddly, this and Aspidistra are two of my favourite Orwells. It’s a great little book about class and being down and out and basically it’s really Orwellian. A good old fashioned socialist novel. Orwell tries to emulate Joyce in this novel with a whole chapter being in the dramatic form and I personally think it works but it was one of its main criticism when it was released. It makes me sad that I’m nearly t ...more
Darwin8u
Jul 28, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2019, british
“It is a mysterious thing, the loss of faith—as mysterious as faith itself.”
― George Orwell, A Clergyman's Daughter

Bottom-shelf Orwell, but still pretty good. I'm not sure I enjoyed the ending, but I'm glad Orwell left a small caveat and let this book be printed after his death, if only to benefit his heirs.
Edward
Jul 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
A Note on the Text

--A Clergyman's Daughter
Pink
Aug 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Okay, this is truly bizarre. I don't know what Orwell was thinking, or trying to do in those mid sections! Aside from that, it had all the elements you'd expect from his writing, with a tonne of social commentary. Kind of brilliant, kind of a failure. As always, essential reading.
Ana
full review below!

reading in progress, but i have a couple of minutes for a few ideas i'll develop later on in the review.

- i love this.
- i really love this.
- main character, a believable woman, Dorothy, she's smart, but the smartness is triggered through her liberation from her former life
- the narrative has a few glitches - like, what happened with her memory? i have 50 more pages to go, maybe i'll find out!!
- the use of the adjective "subhuman" reffering to an 11 year old girl's glance to
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Greg
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I had just finished Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, with all those rabbits, rabbits, rabbits, and started reading A Clergyman's Daughter, the heroine being one Dorothy Hare.
This early Orwell novel is up there with his best, one of my favourites. I suspect the reason Orwell didn't want it reprinted was because in his early enthusiasm he had hit the ground running and covered most of the themes he later went on to focus on more individually.
There are literary immortals in abundance, some lovable, som
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Kenchiin
Jul 14, 2015 rated it liked it
This is like a parody of a parody of a parody of a parody of life.
Vienna
Feb 04, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
I understand why Orwell hated this book himself and didn't want it to be published. I read the first 20 pages and it's so boring and meh that I decided to dnf it. Maybe I will try in the future, but who knows.
Smiley
Aug 01, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
This is another novel I read and haven't written any review due to, I think, all urgent work before my full retirement as of September, 2008. In fact, I read it in 2005, that is, nearly 5 years ago after I'd decided to keep reading this one. Of course, this isn't a well-known or famous one since it's George Orwell's first novel, in other words, his literary debut first published in 1935.

In brief, it's a story of a young woman, Dorothy senselessly intimidated by her father, who is tolerant toward
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Lorenzo Berardi
com·ple·tist /kəmˈplētist/
"An obsessive, typically indiscriminate, collector or fan of something".

Ah, I like this one. I am an obsessive - although not indiscriminate - collector of something: books.
Now, my problem with George Orwell is that I liked, if not adored, all that I read by him, which is pretty much all that the man wrote. With one exception: "A Clergyman's Daughter".

I knew that Orwell himself disowned this novel deciding to don't have it reprinted during his lifetime. However, unlike
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Furqan
This is the first time I’ve read Orwell and even though A Clergyman’s Daughter is not one of his acclaimed works (that reputation being reserved for Animal Farm and 1984) I greatly enjoyed reading this book. 5 stars!

The story is set in 1930s England, at the time of Great Depression, and follows the life of Dorothy Hare, the daughter of a parish Clergyman. Dorothy, bullied by her irascible and complacent father, drudges through her obligatory duties willingly (e.g. doing the domestic chores, ag
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J.
I cannot believe this is considered one of his "weaker" works. It is an absolute masterpiece.
This work is mesmerizing, intimate, psychologically complex and structurally unusual. I cannot really understand what aspect of it is so affecting, but there is something about it that stays with you once you finish. Its one of those works that has the ability to change, you were one person before you read it, and now perhaps you are another. The only parallel I can draw, and other commented on this is w
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Judy
Jan 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone interested in Orwell and/or the 1930s
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brandon
Sep 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: four, 2010
At first I thought I would be disappointed and was disturbed that I could think such a think of an Orwell book. The first chapter was incredibly slow goings; alas, the story became infinitely more interesting. It became more and more intense and dramatic as the narrative went along. By the time I reached the last chapter I was on the proverbial edge of my seat.

[Spoilers 1:]
When Dorothy first revealed that she had lost her faith, I was beyond shocked. I couldn't believe that such a revelation was
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Alexander
Oct 15, 2009 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book, though some sections were much better than others. The post-industrial revolution / pre-social reform period was a harrowing one in a lot of countries -- unfettered capitalism is a horrible thing for the masses, as we learned very recently here in the States. Orwell's description of the for-profit, unregulated educational system was both scary and funny.

The book slowed in spots, and his thoughts on faith, though poignant, will be familiar to anyone who's taken a college-leve
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Lucy Jackson
Jul 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm going to give a star rating when I've wrote a review because I can't make up my mind as yet.
I loved the first chapter and I loved Dorothy's character all the way through, what I enjoyed immensely was the real sense of being transported back in time and getting a flavour of what life was like, I thought the Londoners that Dorothy encountered were authentic for the period and I enjoyed the journey she went on, as tragic as it was.
I was a bit miffed when I started the second chapter for there w
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Scott Rhee
Apr 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
“A Clergyman’s Daughter” is George Orwell’s scathing critique of organized religion and a personal lamentation of the death of faith. It is, to a believer, probably not a pleasant read. It is, however, to those of us who don’t believe or have once believed and, for whatever reason, do not anymore, a heartwarming and bittersweet understanding of what disbelief feels like. To fellow atheists/agnostics, Orwell’s novel is a comfort, an acknowledgment, and a reminder that while it may not feel like t ...more
Ryan Williams
Nov 25, 2012 rated it liked it
'A Clergyman's Daughter is bollox.'
George Orwell.

Harsh words, but then Orwell was always his own harshest critic. Although this was Orwell's second published novel, it was his first to appear in England. It's an oddity of a book. Part reportage, part playlet, part social comedy, part satire - all crushed together. Critics of the time panned it. Orwell, one reviewer confidently pronounced, had as much chance of reaching James Joyce's stature as a tit had of reaching an eagle's.

Writing female char
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Ebru ADA
Jul 20, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
After “Animal Farm” and “1984”... Why this book George Orwell ??? Why??? 😔
Oria
Nov 29, 2011 rated it liked it
Ah, Orwell, I fell in love with your writing ever since I read "1984". I loved your clean, uncomplicated prose, the despair and sadness of your characters, the uncluttered narrative of your books. That is why I regret not buying “Why I Write”, a book of yours I picked up and then let go. But I will get it one day, I promise.

Despite of my admiration for your work – I loved "Burmese Days" and "1984", of course – I found "A Clergyman’s Daughter" a rather dull book in the beginning. Life as the unm
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Amena
Apr 21, 2019 rated it liked it
I think from all the Orwell books I have read so far, this is my least favourite. It tells the story of Dorothy, a Clergyman's daughter who finds herself destitute and homeless. She is a dutiful woman and serves her father, who is pretty much a brute. You become invested in her character and then she appears to suffer from some sort of amnesia and thus, finds herself on the streets of London. Whilst the premise was there and I was very intrigued by the blurb, there was a lot of waffle in this bo ...more
Lucy Amber
Dec 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
I think a lot of people were disappointed by this book because it’s Orwell, therefore setting their expectations really high. However, while some seem to find the unusual structure confusing, I think it allows the reader to feel the real desperation that Dorothy is experiencing, although she doesn’t seem to realise it. As for the lack of resolution Dorothy faces at the end of the book, I feel this is the very point. Her life always was, is and will be inevitably miserable. This is a great satiri ...more
Alex Poovathingal
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
A pointless book! This book seems to be the author's attempt to fill in all his life experiences upto that point into a non-fiction book. Many times, he goes back to the writing style followed in Down and Out in Paris and London and takes up a role of a historian and starts stating facts one after the other forgetting the characters and the story.
Lara Mi


Dorothy leads a monotonous life with endless chores and is practically living as a slave to her father. At no time does she perceive this as wrong or longs for anything better – on the contrary – after events take her from one ill fortune to the next, she finds herself longing for home.

What is it with all these aspidistras? I have yet to read Keep the Aspidistra Flying but George Orwell seems to mention this plant in almost every book of his I read. Anyway;

I am not sure what this book was trying
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Daren
Aug 21, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am not too sure about this one. I didn't detest it, parts I enjoyed, parts I didn't enjoy. It doesn't come across a a well constructed novel - it more moves from setting to setting as a means of reaching its conclusion- rather clunkily. Often the means of those transitions come across as unrealistic, or too coincidental to be viable.

It was an early novel of Orwell's, and one he himself wasn't proud of. I guess he was still developing his writing abilities. But for me it wasn't a disaster as a
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Eric Arthur Blair, better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English author and journalist. His work is marked by keen intelligence and wit, a profound awareness of social injustice, an intense opposition to totalitarianism, a passion for clarity in language, and a belief in democratic socialism.

In addition to his literary career Orwell served as a police officer with the Indian Imperial
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“It is a mysterious thing, the loss of faith—as mysterious as faith itself.” 14 likes
“Those things don’t really matter. I mean, things like having no money and not having enough to eat. Even when you’re practically starving - it doesn’t change anything inside you. Oh well, it’s beastly while it’s happening, of course; but it doesn’t make any real difference; it’s the things that happen inside you that matter.’
‘Meaning?’ said Mr. Warburton.
‘Oh - things change in your mind. And then the whole world changes, because you look at it differently.”
5 likes
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