Orwell's London

John Thompson, Author Schocken Books Inc $14.95 (120p) ISBN 978-0-8052-3965-2
""Some quiet morning, when the clerks are streaming across London Bridge, and the canary's singing and the old woman's pegging the bloomers on the linezoom, whizz, plonk! Houses going up into the air, bloomers soaked with blood, canary singing on above the corpses.'' This is how George Orwell envisions London in Coming Up for Air, and this is largely the London that Thompson, who teaches at Oxford, copiously details in this slim volume. The squalor of the metropolis as experienced by the author of Down & Out in Paris & Londonhis youthful days of WW I, the years between the wars, WW II and the postwar depression periodare traced in 10 short chapters containing photographs with lengthy anecdotal captions narrating the places the renowned writer frequented: flats, boarding-houses, bookstores, pubs, churches, BBC offices and more. Readers looking for a general biography of Orwell should look elsewhere. December 25
Reviewed on: 10/01/1985
Release date: 10/01/1985
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