Michael Sheldon's superb biography of George Orwell restores a sense of drama and passion to Orwell's life, revealing him as a fascinating, even heroic character struggling to achieve his ambitions against a background of great public and private turmoil. Orwell's life has to rank as one of the most exciting in literary history. An old Etonian and an officer in the Indian Imperial Police, he was also a dishwasher in a Paris hotel, a hop-picker in Kent, an investigative journalist, a wounded veteran of the Spanish Civil War, a celebrated velist and a dreamer whose life was cut short by tuberculosis. Sheldon's portrait of Orwell is unusually complicated and subtle. Drawing on a wide range of unpublished sources, Orwell is brought vividly to life as a passionate, vital, engaging personality. Meticulously researched and stylishly written, this is one of the most important literary biographies to be published.
Michael Sheldon is the author of Friends of Promise: Cyril Connolly and the World of Horizon. He is journalist and reviewer, and currently Professor of English at Indiana State