1-Crick, Bernard. George Orwell: A Life. London: Secker & Warburg, 1980 (Revised. London: Penguin, 1992). See also his reflections in Crick, Bernard. Orwell and the Business of Biography. British Studies distinguished Lectures; 33. Austin, Texas: Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, The University of Texas at Austin, 1996 (Reprinted in Louis, William Roger [Editor]. More Adventures with Britannia: Personalities, Politics and Culture in Britain. London: I.B. Tauris, 1998).

2-See for instance Larres, Klaus. Churchill’s Cold War: The Politics of Personal Diplomacy. Yale University Press, 2002. Review in Cercles on:

3-See for instance Ramsden, John. Man of the Century: Winston Churchill and his Legend since 1945. HarperCollins, 2002. Review in Cercles on:

4-Hitchens, Christopher. Orwell’s Victory. London: Allen Lane The Penguin Press, 2003.

5-French, Philip. ‘A saint carved in stone, very weathered’ [Review of Hitchens, Christopher. Orwell’s Victory. London: Allen Lane The Penguin Press, 2003]. Times Literary Supplement 5175 (7 June 2002): 23. In fact, he adds that ‘from the early 1940s he became publicly concerned about anti-Semitism, a concern that culminated in his lengthy 1945 essay on the subject’ (Taylor also has one of his short sections devoted to ‘Orwell and the Jews’, in which he writes that ‘It would be idle to classify Orwell as “anti-Semitic” ’), and Bowker writes that ‘The charge of homophobia sometimes levelled against Orwell does not stick as neatly as might be imagined’ and he devotes a long paragraph to a refutation of that charge [p. 431].

6-Brandon, Piers. ‘The saint of common decency’. The Guardian (7 June 2003) [‘This month sees two warts-and-all accounts of the life and work of George Orwell from D.J. Taylor and Gordon Bowker. Piers Brendon investigates’].,12084,971970,00.html

7-Foot, Paul. ‘By George, they’ve got it’ [Review of Orwell: The Life by D.J. Taylor & George Orwell by Gordon Bowker]. The Observer (1 June 2003). Accessible on line on:,6121,967812,00.html

8-For instance Andrew, Anthony. ‘Orwell: the Observer years’. The Observer (11 May 2003). Accessible on line on:,6000,953217,00.html

9-Davison, Peter. The Complete Works of George Orwell. 20 Volumes. London: Secker & Warburg, 1998.

10-Angus, Ian & Orwell, Sonia [Editors]. George Orwell: The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters. 4 Volumes. London: Secker & Warburg, 1968.

11-Collini, Stefan. ‘The grocer’s children: The lives and afterlives of George Orwell’. Times Literary Supplement 5229 (20 June 2003): 3-7 (quotation p.4).


13-Bowker, George Orwell, p.83.

14-Bowker, George Orwell, p.276. Sayers was a young Irish poet and critic with whom Orwell was acquainted in the 1930s.

15-Bowker, George Orwell, p.123.

16-Taylor, Orwell: The Life, p.2.

17-It is in 1991 that Orwell’s contribution to the Information Research Department list was first made public (Taylor, Orwell: The Life, p.409).

18-The first ‘authentic’ fragments of the list to be published in the press were derived from Davison’s research. See for instance Naftali, Timothy ‘George Orwell’s List.’ The New York Times (29 July 1998). Accessible on line on:

19-An article by John Ezard in The Guardian, ‘Blair’s babe: Did love turn Orwell into a government stooge?’ (21 June 2003. Accessible on line on:,6109,982198,00.html) discusses the background of the list, complementing the information in Bowker and Taylor, and comments on the extracts from a carbon copy of the original list reproduced elsewhere in the newspaper: ‘Among Orwell’s suspects’. Accessible on line on:,6109,982206,00.html

20-Bowker, George Orwell, p.xiii. Recent participations in the debate include a vigorous exchange of correspondence in The Guardian which took several forms. One letter (‘Orwell was not a nark’. 1 July 2003. Accessible on line on:,6000,988582,00.html) was a reaction to a denunciation of Orwell by Corin Redgrave, whose father featured on the infamous ‘list’: ‘Idealists and informers: Corin Redgrave responds to last week’s news that his father was named on George Orwell’s blacklist’. 28 June 2003. Accessible on line on:,3858,4700246-99939,00.html. There is also a long confrontation of arguments between Taylor and Scott Lucas (author of Orwell and the Betrayal of Dissent, to be published in October by Pluto Press): ‘Orwell: saint or stooge? In this week’s e-mail exchange, Scott Lucas and D.J. Taylor argue over the inheritance of the literary icon’s fickle idealism’. 28 June 2003. Accessible on line on: