Skip to comments.British Spy Files on Orwell to be Released
Posted on 09/04/2007 10:54:10 AM PDT by msnpatriot
The secret file that MI5 kept on the author from 1929 until his death in 1950 is being declassified Tuesday by the National Archives.
It reveals that in contrast to the fictional "Big Brother," the cruel and all-seeing secret police of Orwell's classic "1984," MI5 took a surprisingly benign view of the writer.
Orwell savaged the totalitarianism of Stalin's Russia in "Animal Farm" and "1984." But he was also a socialist who railed against inequality in earlier works such as "Down and Out in Paris and London" and "The Road to Wigan Pier."
The documents show Orwell _ whose real name was Eric Arthur Blair _ attracted the attention of police in 1936 for alleged "communist activities in Wigan." Then 33, he had gone to the mining town to research a book about working-class life in northern England.
(Excerpt) Read more at newsmax.com ...
I wonder if the files will determine if “Shooting an Elephant” was completely made up or actually a true story.
“MI5 took a surprisingly benign view of the writer.”
Probably because they realized that the most vehement anti-socialists are disillusioned Socialist?
Interesting indeed. Thanks for posting.
True enough, and it hits embarassingly close to home.
“He dresses in a bohemian fashion both at his office and in his leisure hours,” police noted.”
They should have showed him his file as he lay dying of tuberculosis (that he had acquired while researching “Down and Out..”) he would have died laughing.
Did any of this Secret Policeman’s Ball actually read through his stuff? They would have been reassured by “Homage to Catalonia.”
They might have found “A Clergyman’s Daughter” a bit disquieting.
They would have been reassured when our hero embraces middle class morality in “Keep the Apidistra Flying” however.
That was a wonderful book, and one which, alas, our modern schools probably wouldn't dare to teach (along with anything by Solzhenitsyn).
Eric Arthur Blair - Possible relation to Tony Blair?
Eric Blair, before he was “George Orwell”, was a government clerk in the police operations of the British Empire, I believe, in Burma, at one time. He thought it was a most unsuitable occupation for his personal talents.
Maybe he was under Kim Philby's oversight.
The days of left-wing patriots are long gone.
he was always a socialist, he was just very much anti-soviet. they tried to kill him in Spain and did kill many of his friends
Socialist myself in the immediate post war years in England. Sure, some of Englands best and finest were socialists. Very quickly, the political charlatans latched on to an easy thing. The old working class war horses were given high office.
How quickly some of them morphed (new word I picked up) into veddy special persons. I know that Orwell was asking about the defunding of these elite "public schools". The socialist got a foot in, by saying that this elite class ridden system must go. Orwell asked a socialist biggie, as to what he was going then to do. This regarding the socialist's offspring.
The socialist then said, "if we cannot restrict them, MY CHILDREN will jolly well gain entry to 'er, Harrow or Eton . This they did. Orwell was horrified. A little known book by Orwell and just an absolute joy is:
Coming Up For Air
Written just before 1939, Orwell used this escapist novel to forecast the bombing of England. Orwell said the poor downtrodden English public would fight. Fight to preserve the row housing, the tabacconists shop, the fish and chips shop. He touched on the ecology (believe it or not).
Orwell was right. A bit of a screed, no harm done though (laughs).
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