2016 Dystopian fiction prize challenge for university students

To celebrate George Orwell’s dystopian masterpiece, Nineteen Eighty-Four, the Orwell Society is organising a competition for students (both BA and MA) at British universities. Dystopian narratives of 3,000 words should be sent to Professor Richard Lance Keeble, chair of the Orwell Society, via dystopianfictioncompetition@orwellsociety.com, by 17 February 2017. A fee of £5 will be charged for each entry.

The judging panel comprises Richard Blair, the son of George Orwell and Patron of the Orwell Society, Dr Julie Wheelwright, programme director of the Creative Writing (narrative non-fiction/creative writing and publishing) MA at City University London, Dr Luke Seaber, tutor in Modern European Culture at University College London, and Professor Keeble. The prize of £500 will be announced on 17 March and comes with a trophy which is a bust of Orwell (to be kept for one year). They will be handed over by Richard Blair at the Society’s AGM later in the year.

The judges will be looking for the narrative which best follows in the tradition set by Orwell in Nineteen Eighty-Four and which Orwell is most likely to have admired. The winning entry will be published in the Society’s Journal and (along with the two runners-up) on the Society’s website, www.orwellsociety.com.

Entries can be submitted by paying £5 by one of the following means, referencing your name and the prize:

  • Via Paypal: The PayPal account is paypal@orwellsociety.com.
  • Sterling bank transfer: Make a sterling payment to the Society’s bank account (account name: ‘The Orwell Society’; sort code 601035; account number 13166417).
  • UK sterling cheque: Please send your cheque, payable to The Orwell Society, to The Orwell Society, Marie Cottage, Bickenhill Lane, Catherine-de-Barnes, Solihull B92 0DE.

All submissions should be in a Word file (not PDF) and begin with a cover page providing title of story, name of author, name of university, name of programme studying on, and full contact details (address, telephone etc). The story should be presented in 12 pt Times Roman double spaced – with each page numbered, and it should end with a word count.

JURA 2016

By Jean Seaton

In 1948 George Orwell’s instructions for getting to Jura were off-putting. It took two days from Glasgow. The description of the alternative trains, buses, ferries, boats which ended, once you had got to Jura, with taxis, walking 8 miles or a boat (and walking) to get to his house, Barnhill, took 19 lines. Frankly, I am surprised it did not take longer. Now it is all much faster but Jura is still remote, drifting off mainland Argyle, down a long grey loch. Just getting to Jura, let alone on again to Barnhill, as we did with the Orwell Societies’ wonderful recent trip is thought provoking.

Of course we all knew that Barnhill was remote – but measuring it out, pacing the distance is different. It makes the psychological stretch Orwell put between himself and the world – perhaps to escape the drum beat of grief for the death of his wife Eileen, certainly to put writing 1984 and Richard at the centre of his life – tangible. It made the imperative discipline of writing, difficult to comprehend from outside, starker. It was a social distance as well as a physical one. It may have been accidental (his friend, patron and editor David Astor had suggested it – he had land there) but it was extreme.

Orwell built a busy, daily, intimate world there with Richard – Susan Watson, Richard’s nanny and then Avril his sister. There was potato growing, raspberry cane planting, snake and toad watching, (and killing) hen-hutch making, rabbit catching, cow milking, fishing – and Richard tending. Richard recalls the freedom of pottering about outside as a tiny child (he also remembers eating all the peas). Shops, post, modern things like flour and sugar were 2 hours away over a rough track by motorbike. Orwell’s diary records Richard stamping on two cauliflowers, and that Avril and he made a bottle of brandy last a week. Fuel and water were a problem. But this little, complete, world (perhaps glimpsed in 1984 – as a nirvana – when Winston and Julia go out into the country) was maintained at a distance from everything else. In the year before he went to Jura, David Taylor his biographer calculated Orwell wrote 130 pieces of journalism, including several substantial essays, while also campaigning and lobbying. He was astonishingly productive, rattling on, driving himself. In Barnhill he wrote 1984. Everything he had left, (because he was so ill) he gathered and spent for the book – and Richard.

We happy band of Orwell pilgrims went the easy modern way. Many of us efficiently corralled at Glasgow station by Justin Bowles (one of our number) on to a bus, well fed at a lovely restaurant on the way, we were welcomed by Richard and Eleanor Blair and Quentin and Liz Kopp at what was apparently a harbour. But then two fine boats driven by two fine chaps roared in and scooped us up. We sped out down the long loch to Jura. Foam and clouds scudding alongside – it was full of expectation and exciting. At Craighouse, the tiny Jura harbour we walked up to at the friendly and comfortable Jura Hotel. We had rooms that overlooked the harbour and the outlying islands – which looked serenely mysterious and almost eastern across the bay they enclose.

Jura is beautiful and peaceful. It seems familiar, small neat houses, a village hall, a restrained little church, a poignant church yard with tomb-stones rather like Nordic Sagas listing the long lineage of the people buried there: yet also strange. Partly because it is remote and must have been more remote in the late 1940s (though busier) and because now only 180 people live scattered over it. Now visitors come in to sail, walk, bike and watch birds. The climate is mild because of the Gulf Stream. There are banks of yellow flag irises everywhere and spikes of purple spotted heath orchids grow in mounds. It is dominated by three mountains, the ‘Paps’ whose tops were always covered in cloud. So Jura is a puzzle: supposedly wild but rather well mannered, distant and northern but temperate.

Who were we? Congenial, informed, united by an interest in Orwell, everybody contributed to the collective pool of knowledge. People who like Orwell are a likable lot. We gathered (like the Canterbury pilgrims) from all over the world. What Orwell would have made of becoming a secular saint with relics much prized is any-body’s guess. But it was fun and we all had a different angle on ‘George’. There was Jennifer Custer (from the literary agency A.M Heath which manages the Orwell estate who is in charge of all the foreign translations of Orwell) originally from America – full of contemporary literary knowledge and tremendous fun, Chen Yong from China, a visiting fellow at St Anthony’s’ Oxford (sponsored by the Orwell Prize-winning Timothy Garton-Ash) who was working on the reception of Orwell (and who wanted us to be more critical). A lively American academic Carol Biederstadt who is doing a PhD on Burmese Days (she is certainly going to be more critical) and her delightful husband Bill – a Burmese with his own terrible story of politics and dispossession. But there were people with a life long interest in Orwell too like George Wojcik and Anne Drysdale from Canada. Paul and Michelle Lam and Mairi Morrison (mother of 5) also from America were all keen on literary expeditions.

From nearer at hand there was Desmond Avery, and ex-aid worker (who wrote a smashing paper on Orwell at the BBC), David Ryan, a journalist in the last stages of a great project and book on screen adaptions of Orwell – who had really interviewed everyone. Les Hurst whose encyclopaedic knowledge of Orwell was a constant resource, Keith and Christine Lloyd, again with a passion and interest in Orwell. Janice Moss (who had bookshops in her blood) and Justin Bowles, who had been a banker and manager in Asia and who was returning with a sceptical curiosity to Orwell who he had discovered as a teenager. There was Stephanie La Lievre, the Programmes Manager for the Orwell Prize – set up in Orwell’s name to reward the best political writing, now about to move into UCL with the Orwell Archive, but as much a project as a prize, with a Youth Prize unrolling all over the country, lectures (last year Rowan Williams in 2015, Ian Hislop in 2016, next year novelist AL Kennedy and Josie O’Ruarke who runs the Donmar ) events, the founder of workshops in Wigan and the Unreported Britain project I am the Director of the Prize. Which I took over from Bernard Crick who was Orwell’s first biographer.

The real privilege was to be on Jura with Richard where he was in part formed, and with Eleanor who has shared the long after history of Orwell. Beside their busy lives there has always been this public role. But it was also fascinating to share the experience with Quentin, son of Orwell’s complex friend George Kopp – who also died unexpectedly young and Quent’s wife Liz. The whole trip was brilliantly choreographed and we were looked after so thoughtfully by Richard and Eleanor, Quentin and Liz. They had planned everything – and it all worked. Liz worked tirelessly to keep us going (and always made sure we had our tea!). Then we were especially lucky as well to be there with Catherine O’Shaughnessy as was, (Catherine Moncure now) the daughter of Gwen O’Shaughnessy – the wife of Orwell’s brother in law (and doctor) Lawrence. Catherine lives in America after a distinguished life as a midwife all over the world. Richard, Quentin and Catherine had grown up together and their lives been shaped by Orwell and his circle: or indeed by the early deaths of all their fathers. We were there with what the biographer and historian Ben Pimlott called the ‘pooled brood’ of children Kopp and Orwell left to be brought up by formidable women in their wake. Pimlott had as a child shared holidays with Richard, the O’Shaungessys and Kopps in Norfolk and wrote ‘ I remember George as a ghostly presence: a difficult, often exasperating, yet beloved spectre, whose name conjured up muddy boots and dirty finger-nails, adventures in foreign parts, and a stubbornly masculine failure to be practical. For me, Orwell’s stern whimsicality has ever since been bound up with a pre-affluent world that no longer exists – of long-faced, heavy-smoking, New Statesman & Nation-reading men (and a few women), who treated the well-to-do with tolerant condescension, and regarded a commitment to history, literature and the public service as taken-for-granted attributes of any civilized human being.’ Like anthropologists we inspected the way of life Orwell had led with those who had shared it on Jura. How lucky we were.

We literary groupies talked in the bar, talked over very nice breakfasts and smashing dinners and talked as we pottered about the harbour. The next day some of us went to the distillery, (where 1984 Whisky – produced in a limited edition now costs £1,000 a bottle but more modest purchases can be made). In the afternoon we watched, Gary Wilkinson’s revealing film about Eileen O’Shaugnessy – Orwell’s first wife, Wildflower. It was about her background in the North East of England, and her radical politics at Oxford, it made her even more intriguing. It was a gem. But we also saw a wonderful 1984 BBC film The Crystal Spirit: Orwell on Jura. It was sparely and beautifully written by Alan Platter – who knew Orwell – and shot evocatively by David Glenister at Barnhill. Ronald Pickup, who David Ryan (of course) had interviewed, played Orwell. He looked like Orwell, (though was a small man) but more movingly he communicated a convincing and indeed sweet version of the spirit – a tremendous performance in a really fine film.

The highlight next day was the boat trip around the island to Barnhill. We saw sea eagles in great untidy nests and the ancient and unique Jura raised beaches, we saw seals basking (and perhaps we saw them swimming), we saw abandoned cottages, cormorants and fishes, we saw a herd of deer scampering up a beach – descended, it is said, from the deer the Vikings left on the islands as a larder store for when they came visiting again. We also saw the vulgar new buildings for a ‘golf course’. Half the island has been bought by a rich Australian, and Jura (which unlike the other Hebridean islands did not suffer the forced evictions of the clearances) maybe is now about to become a rich man’s plaything. The famous Jura garden lush in the warm climate has been shut to the public since he bought it in 2011.

Thrillingly we sallied out through the Corryvreckan Whirlpool. The name comes from the Gaelic – meaning the ‘cauldron of speckled seas’, which is just what it looks like. It is caused by a sudden dip on the ocean floor combined with the funnelling of water between two islands. It is huge and menacing. Tiny wicked little whirlpools bubble up around the circumference of bigger swirling pools and the whole is a boiling expanse. Not perhaps as terrifying when you are safe in a powerful motorboat as it would have been in a small boat in the late 1940s. But epic-ally dangerous. It was here that Orwell took Richard and his nieces and nephews and as the engine broke off nearly drowned all of them. We saw the tiny island Orwell managed to bundle everyone onto where they were saved by a passing fisherman. It was, (I thought), interestingly reckless of Orwell to go out towards it in boat crammed with children – it spoke of a risk-taking streak that verged on the un-reasonable. Of course, it all ended well, Richard fished out of the sea by the seat of his trousers.

Then finally at the end of the island we got out and walked up a winding hill to Barnhill itself. The house sits commandingly on the saddle of the island buffeted by winds. It is an austere, assured house, not grand but nevertheless imposing. But it provides perspective – you see things from the windows. Inside it is more or less as I imagine it was when Orwell had it. White painted, comfortable but not ‘comfy’ and upstairs where we (a bit lugubriously) inspected the window where Orwell had his desk and the place where he had his paraffin fire, perishingly chilly in winter. Jamie and Damaris Fletcher– the son and daughter in law of the Fletchers who let the house to Orwell – had extremely kindly come to open it up for us and let us wander about it, (and had baked a very fine fruit cake for us). Later over dinner we also met Kate Fletcher who lives much of the year on Jura. It was very kind of them and it was memorable. They too had had their lives inflected by this odd episode.

Best of all however, was Richard reading a perfectly selected piece from his father’s diary. Orwell treated himself, and his illness, with the curiosity, detachment and observant eye he treated others. It was poignant, magnificent, and in an odd way funny: the worst a writer can imagine is not being able to summon the words to shape reality originally. So in the sun, on the hill overlooking the loch we gathered round to hear Richard read his father’s words:

“When you are acutely ill, or recovering from an acute illness, your brain frankly strikes works and you are only equal to picture papers, easy crossword puzzles etc. But when it is a case of a long illness, where you are weak and without appetite but not actually feverish or in pain, you have the impression that your brain is quite normal. Your thoughts are just as active as ever, you are interested in the same things, you seem to be able to talk normally, and you can read anything that you would read at any other time. It is only when you attempt to write, even to write the simplest and stupidest newspaper article, that you realise what a deterioration has happened inside your skull. At the start is it impossible to get anything on to paper at all. Your mind turns away to anything conceivable subject rather than the one you are trying to deal with, and even the physical act of writing is unbearably irksome. Then, perhaps, you begin to be able to to write a little, but whatever you write, once it is set down on paper, turns out to be stupid and obvious. You have also no command of language, or rather you can think of nothing except flat, obvious expressions: a good, likely phrase never occurs to you…It would seem natural enough if the effect of illness were simply to stop you thinking, but that is not what happens. What happens is that your mind is just as active as usual, perhaps more so, but always to no purpose. You can use words, but always inappropriate words, and you can have ideas, but you cannot fit them together.”

The Euston Road Group

By Sonia Brownell

[Transcribed from Horizon Volume III, No. 17, May 1941]

On May 17th an exhibition of paintings by the Euston Road Group will be opened at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, and will continue for two months. This has been organised by the Contemporary Art Society, whose work since the war deserves great praise and particularly support. Not only does it still continue to buy paintings by living artists for presentation to gallerys [sic], but it has organised exhibitions of paintings for sale throughout the country, of which this is the fifth.

Everyone who is interested in contemporary painting knows the name ‘The Euston Road School’. Some look on it as a movement of vitality, promise and importance; while others, amazed that work which appears to them so commonplace and unexciting can have attracted attention, attribute its success to chance. As this is the first exhibition to be devoted to their work, it will be possible to see it as they themselves wish to present it; for although some of Coldstream and Pasmore’s best pictures are unfortunately in America, the selection is certainly representative and indicates their approach to their work. Although each of the painters constituting the group has an entirely personal style, there is a similarity of approach which gives the exhibition the unity which has caused the interest in their work to be collective as well as individual.

The Euston Road Group consists of only a few painters and their pupils, with not a very large body of work. Claude Rogers, William Coldstream and Rodrigo Moynihan were at the Slade together in Tonks’ last years, and shortly after they met Victor Pasmore and Graham Bell. The School as a school was opened by Coldstream, Pasmore and Rogers in 1938, when they took a studio off the Euston Road. It was Sir Kenneth Clark who was largely responsible for this venture, as his patronage enabled three of them to devote their entire time to painting and give up the various jobs by which they had been supporting themselves, while his continued encouragement ensured the survival of the School; Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant and Mrs. Anrep were also among those whose interest were invaluable. Their pupils were young students who admired their work and painted in the studio with them. Though at present – as is inevitable and only natural – the work of these pupils is largely imitative and the influence of the older painters remains the most striking feature of many of their pictures, some of them show great promise; Colin McInnes, Denys Dawnay and Basil Rocke exhibit some interesting work, and Lawrence Gowing, who is beginning to make a reputation for himself, is seen to advantage.

In the years leading up to 1938 they had, like most young painters, experimented in a variety of methods of painting, but a genuine similarity of interests and feeling had brought them to together and gradually led them to the formation of styles alike enough to constitute a group; so that this group was not an artificial product, but the outcome of a natural growth, with the ‘Euston Road Style’ not the result of a programme or manifesto, but a natural development which they had been at no pains to cultivate. They had found no satisfaction in working within the conventions of any of the modern schools, nor had they the urge to reply on the exploitation of any personal idiosyncrasies exaggerated into a style of extreme individualism. Behind the work of these painters was a desire to paint unhampered by what they considered the mannerisms of most contemporary schools of painting, to try to see they objects they painted directly and to render the in all their complexity.

The painters of the Euston Road School resemble each other in that they all paint almost entirely from nature. They find the release of their imagination in the visual selection of subject-matter which for any reason at all excites or interests them, and in the careful exploring of its appearance. And so their subjects are nearly always simple ones, people or things which can be directly observed while the artist works. To try to render what was seen in all its complexities, although certain of its features may appear to be unsuitable for translation for into an existing pictorial manner, is their concern; and it was particularly interesting at a time when such methods were not generally used by the younger painters. The Post Impressionists seemed to have driven too much of the humanism out of their art and to have narrowed it down to an affair of design, while the compulsory anarchy of the Sur-Realists was equally unsympathetic to the temperaments and talents of the Euston Road painters. They might perhaps be called ‘prose-painters’, for they work slowly, referring to the authority of the observed fact before making each statement. They do not deliberately set out to describe their emotions or allow their attention to be diverted from the visual appearance. Technically they work most often by building up their pictures with layer upon layer of their paint, reaching an impasto only at the end in certain passages.

But if they are slow workers and their output compared with that of many modern painters small, their methods and approach are such as to allow them to work with deliberate clarity and some detachment; and the excitement of their work for the spectator lies in their ability to throw new light on plain subjects and make us as interested in them as the painters themselves.

[Horizon note: Paintings by Pasmore and Gowing were reproduced in Horizon, Nos. 7 and 12]

George Orwell: The Complete Poetry

Written by: George Orwell
Narrated by: Greg Wise, Dione Venables
Length: 2 hrs and 19 mins
Unabridged Audiobook

This title is scheduled to be released on 26/07/2016

This anthology has been in the making for some years in the mind of the editor, Dione Venables, founding member of The Orwell Society. In 2006 she contributed the postscript to her cousin Jacintha Buddicom’s memoir about the childhood and early youth of George Orwell. She continues to work for greater clarity and appreciation of the great man’s genius and felt that this emotional layer of perception had been largely ignored by academia.

For the promotional video please see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpiBgsDgvzk

For further information please see: http://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Classics/George-Orwell-The-Complete-Poetry-Audiobook/B01HDPN8HG?source_code=FCB30DFT11BkTR06091690OA#publisher-summary

The book George Orwell: The Complete Poetry (edited by Dione Venables, Finlay Publishers), is distributed via Scarthin Books of Cromford and can be ordered from any wholesaler.

Through An Artist’s Eye: Felicia Browne and the Spanish Civil War

Through An Artist’s Eye is an Arts Council funded project – an artistic and poetic response to the life and work of British artist Felicia Browne, who volunteered in the Republican militia at the start of the Spanish Civil War in the Summer of 1936. Tragically she lost her life on her first mission, aged 32. The project draws on Felicia’s letters and sketches of the period, once lost but rediscovered by Professor Tom Buchanan (of Oxford University). Examples of these works are contained in the Felicia Browne archive at Tate Britain.

For the full press release see: https://artistseyecom.wordpress.com/press/

Animal Farm at the National Arts Festival in South Africa

Seven decades have passed since the first publication of Orwell’s Animal Farm, yet the plight of Manor Farm and its animal denizens is ever relevant in contemporary South Africa. The story persistently transports the audience into the complex realities of not only the rise of the Soviet Union, and the power, propaganda and political corruption that was embodied in Stalin and Trotsky; but as the world has changed, Animal Farm continues to “clairvoyantly” predict the emergence and decline of corrupt and oppressive leaders around the world. In our daily lives we continue to see the clash of Napoleon and Snowball repeated. We cringe at the ‘Squealer’ spin-doctors, the oppressed ‘suffragette’ chickens, the gallant goats and sigh at the demise of loyal earnest citizens embodied by the exploitation of the hard working horse ‘Boxer’.

The fiery energy that exists between the all women cast is palpable, and offers a fresh approach to critically examining patriarchal and deeply masculine political systems, and forms of storytelling. The entire production – save for Coppen and choreographer Daniel Buckland – is run by women, including the producers, stage manager and lighting designer. Animal Farm reflects histories that are inherently patriarchal and oppressive, yet this version is no longer told by men, but fully embodied by women.

After several five star reviews, sold out shows and standing ovations and two Naledi Theatre Awards, Animal Farm is a not to be missed show.

For further information see: https://www.nationalartsfestival.co.za/events/animal-farm/

Not Hampstead But Hong Kong: George Orwell and the Booksellers

[Our anniversary articles have identified the stylistic similarities between George Orwell’s Keep The Aspidistra Flying and his bleaker and better known Nineteen Eighty-Four. Professor Douglas Kerr of Hong Kong University points out more disturbing connections between the two in the real world now]

When Gordon Comstock, in Orwell’s Keep the Aspidistra Flying, went to work in a bookshop, he thought he had entered a profession where the worst danger he might encounter was being bored to death. But people in the book trade in Hong Kong today face quite different hazards.

What would Orwell have thought of the saga of the Hong Kong booksellers? We can be pretty sure, at least, that he would not have been surprised. The “Hong Kong booksellers” in question are five men associated with the Mighty Current publishing house, and its retail shop, Causeway Bay Books. Lui Por was general manager of Mighty Current, Cheung Chi-ping its assistant general manager, and Gui Minhai one of the principal shareholders. Lee Po was co-owner of Causeway Bay Books and Lam Wing-kee was the shop’s manager. In October 2015, they started to disappear; four during travel to Thailand or southern mainland China but Lee (a British citizen, also called Lee Bo in British press reports) from Hong Kong itself.

It seemed that Orwell’s words in Nineteen Eighty-Four had come true: ‘…there was no trial, no report of the arrest. People simply disappeared… ‘.

On 17th January, Gui (who vanished from Pattaya) appeared on state television in China, in tears, saying that he had had a crisis of conscience, and had turned himself in for breaking the conditions of a two-year suspended sentence he had received after a drunk-driving offence on the mainland in 2004, in which a person was killed. Another letter from Lee to his wife was now published, in which he referred to Gui’s “complicated history” and called him “morally unacceptable”.

The following day, at last, Chinese authorities confirmed that Lee was detained on the mainland. In another letter, Lee asked the Hong Kong police to drop their investigation of his disappearance. Cheung, Lui, and Lam appeared on Phoenix TV at the end of January, to admit they had distributed unlicensed books on the mainland.

No doubt there will be further developments in the case. It has attracted a good deal of attention worldwide, which China habitually rejects as unwarranted interference in its internal affairs. The Hong Kong government, after making some ineffectual noises, fell silent. Various patriotic Hong Kong citizens told the press that Lee’s explanation had cleared everything up, and it was right that the booksellers should be investigated and punished if they had done something wrong. But it is not easy to maintain a faith that China respects the rule of law in Hong Kong, in the light of what seems to have happened to Lee and his associates.

Causeway Bay Books has closed down. Mighty Current publishing house seems to have been sold. In fairness it should be pointed out that Mighty Current was not exactly a purveyor of works of idealistic political theory. They specialized in gossipy and often scurrilous books about celebrities, principally powerful figures in China.

Perhaps we are too free in using the word “Orwellian”. Still, readers of Orwell may feel that many of the features of this case ring a whole symphony of Orwellian bells. In conclusion, I would just draw attention to one. It has to do with truth. When Orwell came back from Barcelona in 1937, he felt that both political forces and the press had lied so regularly, comprehensively, and shamelessly in the interests of propaganda, that it might never be possible for the truth about the Spanish War to be recovered. Truth is a casualty in the affair of the Hong Kong booksellers too, though in a different way.

In Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four, most people believe the lies the telescreen tells them about the government’s achievements and victories, and the benevolence of Big Brother. In the case of the booksellers, however, there appears to be a further level of cynicism. A shoddy and ludicrous version of events is served up to the public. Do you believe it? Of course not. But the thing is, it doesn’t actually matter if you believe it or not. Causeway Bay Books has closed down. Mighty Current publishing house seems to have been sold. Case closed. Please return to your homes quietly.

As for poor Mr Lee, he wants us to know how well he has been treated and how civilized the mainland enforcement agencies are. Yes, he loves Big Brother.

[With thanks to Oliver Chou of the South China Morning Post. More coverage at http://www.scmp.com/topics/hong-kong-bookseller-disappearances]

A fuller version of this article can be found using the following link:
https://www.academia.edu/24789999/George_Orwell_and_the_Hong_Kong_Booksellers

Members who have enjoyed this series of articles might be interested to know that our forthcoming Journal contains an article by Sylvia Topp, who is currently working on a biography of Orwell’s first wife, Eileen O’Shaughnessy. The article titled Orwell in Love shows how he may well have based the character, Rosemary, in his novel Keep the Aspidistra Flying, on her.