To Orwell Today


Any idea how I could find out who currently owns the film rights for 1984?

Norm H.

Greetings Norm,

I understand that Orwell's son Richard currently owns the film rights to Orwell's books. But that's only because Orwell's second wife, Sonia, spent every cent she had in suing the accountant who had fraudulently manipulated her into signing control of Orwell's company and copyright over to him. A month before she died of cancer in December 1980 Sonia won an out-of-court settlement and the accountant who had stolen the copyrights agreed to sell them back to her for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Although too late for her to benefit from the inheritence that was rightfully hers, she secured Orwell's bequeathement for his son and his descendents.

It's amazingly fortuitous that I came across this information while in the UK this past summer on my Pilgrimage to Orwell. On the day before I left England I was reading The Sunday Times and the following article jumped off the page at me, accompanied as it was by a full-page photo of Orwell and Sonia:

ORWELL A WRITER WRONGED (George Orwell saw none of the millions earned by Animal Farm or Nineteen Eighty-Four. Nor did his widow, Sonia. New legal evidence points to flagrant fraud). Tim Carroll, Sunday Times, Aug 15, 2004

All the best,
Jackie Jura

Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~