Winner of the 2004 Whitbread Prize for Biography
"D. J. Taylor has written not only the best recent biography of George Orwell . . . but also one of the cleverest studies of the relationship of that life to the written word."
-The Washington Post Book World
In the last fifty years, Animal Farm and 1984 have sold more than forty million copies, and "Orwellian" is now a byword for a particular way of thinking about life, literature, and language. D. J. Taylor's magisterial assessment cuts through George Orwell's iconic status to reveal a bitter critic who concealed a profound totalitarian streak and whose progress through the literary world of the 1930s and 1940s was characterized by the myths he built around himself.
Drawing on previously unseen material, Orwell is a strikingly human portrait of the writer too often embalmed as a secular saint. This biography is as vibrant, powerful, and resonant as its extraordinary subject.