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George Orwell, the Secret State and the Making of Nineteen Eighty-Four <back  
Richard Lance Keeble
ISBN: 9781845497613
Format: softback
156 x 234 mm
(6.14 x 9.21 inches)
Pages: 182
Imprint: abramis
Cover Price: £14.95
George Orwell, the Secret State and the Making of Nineteen Eighty-Four
  • Description

To what extent did George Orwell's involvement with British secret intelligence influence the writing of Nineteen Eighty-Four? How crucial was his friendship with David Astor, the millionaire owner of the Observer, with his background in intelligence and the Special Operations Executive, in the making of his great dystopian masterpiece? Has the role of Julia - who conducts a passionate, secret affair with anti-hero Winston Smith in Nineteen Eighty-Four - as a possible Party spy engaged in a honeytrap operation, been marginalised too often?

These are just some of the questions highlighted in George Orwell, the Secret State and the Making of Nineteen Eighty-Four which brings together 24 fascinating, original and often controversial essays by Richard Lance Keeble - to mark the 70th anniversary of Orwell's untimely death at the age of only 46. In addition, the text examines:

  • Orwell's attitudes to sexuality reflected, in particular, in his essay on the sexy seaside postcards of Donald McGill;
  • Orwell's humorous writing in a range of texts including Homage to Catalonia (his account of fighting alongside the Republican militia during the Spanish civil war in 1937), 'Some thoughts on the common toad' and his 'As I Please' columns in Tribune;
  • Orwell as a literary journalist focusing on his extraordinary prep school memoir 'Such, Such Were the Joys';
  • Orwell as the inventor not only of Cultural Studies but also Journalism Studies;
  • Orwell as a film reviewer, and
  • Orwell as a proto-blogger.

John Rodden, the leading authority on Orwell's legacy, comments:

'Keeble's provocative collection of essays represents an original and significant contribution both to Orwell biography and literary criticism.'

D. J. Taylor, the award-winning biographer of Orwell, comments:

'Richard Keeble is an indefatigable guide to the latest developments in Orwell Studies. I read George Orwell, The Secret State and the Making of Nineteen Eighty-Four with both profit and pleasure.'

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