Orwell: The Authorized Biography

Michael Shelden, Author HarperCollins Publishers $25 (497p) ISBN 978-0-06-016709-7
Sheldon ( Friends of Promise: Cyril Connolly and the World of the Horizon ) has written an exhaustive and sometimes exhausting account of the life and work of the English writer who is best known for the classic novels Animal Farm and 1984 . The book traces Orwell's life from his birth as Eric Blair in 1903 in Motihari, India, to his death 46 years later in London. Though much of the detail is intrinsically interesting, like Orwell's deathbed marriage, too much of the material discussed seems unrelated to Orwell's development as a writer and social critic. What Sheldon does best is show how such events and circumstances as war and conflicts with authority shaped Orwell's writing in 13 novels and scores of essays. But even this could have been done in fewer than 373 pages. Photos not seen by PW. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/04/1991
Release date: 11/01/1991
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 566 pages - 978-1-84275-173-2
Paperback - 624 pages - 978-0-06-092161-3
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7861-0393-5
Compact Disc - 978-1-4551-5523-1
MP3 CD - 978-1-4551-5525-5
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