(you can listen to articles using text-to-speech on your device)

EileenOrwellSpain

ORWELL'S EILEEN JULIA IN 1984

EileenMarakech OrwellDeskWriting

"After Orwell emerged from his days down and out
and learnt to swim in the left-wing literary subculture of London life in the thirties
he took what turned out to be a decisive step in his life when he decided to get married.
His wife was Eileen O'Shaughnessy, an Oxford graduate in English who came originally from Sunderland.
Her effect on Orwell's work was profound;
her experience of the totalitarian world of wartime London was as extensive as Orwell's
whilst her influence on the actual style and structure of his last two works was also considerable."
~ W.J. West in The Truth Behind the Satire

To Orwell Today Readers,

The adages, "What goes around comes around" and "One good deed deserves another" and "Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country" swirl around in my mind as I vent pent-up anger over Orwell books I recently reviewed: BOOK WIFEDOM ORWELLIAN PROLEFEED and ME-TOO JULIA SAY ORWELL MYSOGYNIST

I say this because Orwell -- who came to my aid when I was being attacked by feminists -- is now needing my aid as he comes under unrelenting feminist attack.

It was 33 years ago in 1990 when I, a 40-year-old, was attending a ten-month college program qualifying me to work with people with special mental and physical needs. I was politically incorrect -- a thought criminal -- on social issues, ie didn't approve of gov't funded abortion, sex ed, homosexual agenda, Indian Land Claims etc. These were hot, political, controversial topics being debated in the news all through the 80s. The instructors, mainly female, would cut me off (shut me down) when I expressed these sentiments in class and ultimately, when I refused to change my opinion, or apologise for them, they kicked me out and I didn't graduate.

I was feeling so bullied and persecuted that I sought solace by re-reading 1984, from high-school days, where Orwell said "being a minority, even a minority of one, did not make you mad". And the way he described feminists was as though he was speaking personally to me:

book1984cover book1984backcvr

"Winston disliked nearly all women, and especially the young and pretty ones.
It was always the women who were the most bigoted adherents of the Party,
the swallowers of slogans, the amateur spies and nosers-out of unorthodoxy."

WiganPier

"Sometimes I look at a Socialist -- the intellectual, tract-writing type of Socialist,
with his pullover, his fuzzy hair, and his Marxian quotation -- and wonder what the devil his motive really is....
'Socialism' and 'Communism' draw towards them with magnetic force every fruit-juice drinker, nudist, sandal-wearer,
sex-maniac, Quaker, 'Nature Cure' quack, pacifist, and feminist in England."

KeepAspidistraFlying

Keep the Aspidistra Flying - published in 1936 when he was 33 years old - is Orwell's 4th book.
When I read it I was totally amazed to hear him writing about abortion.
In it he said that if Marxism or Leninism came into power
there would be "free abortion clinics on all the corners"
.
He wrote these words 88 years ago when there wasn't an abortion clinic in sight
and now here we are (in 2024) almost at the point of having aborted the next generation.
Also I was amazed to read how much Orwell knew about pre-natal development.
~ Jackie Jura

Orwell's been attacked for years by capitalists and communists -- "oligarchical collectivists" as he called them in 1984. And now they're arming a sub-section -- the feminists from the anti-sex league in the pornosec department of Minitrue -- to aim and fire. They're poison-pen killers, or hired guns or "prostitute writers" as Jonathan Swift described them in GULLIVER'S TRAVELS.

Speaking of Jonathan Swift, he is considered the greatest satirist in the English language -- up until Orwell who is considered his equal, and who Orwell admired as his mentor -- having read GULLIVER'S TRAVELS at the age of 8 and every year after until his death age 46.

A satire, like GULLIVER'S TRAVELS, can be read at face value, and enjoyed immensely, without any understanding of its hidden meanings -- as can ANIMAL FARM and 1984. But if the reader has studied the life and times of the author -- then the satire can be appreciated and understood. This is how it was for me when, as an adult, I re-read GULLIVER'S TRAVELS -- and I created a section on ORWELL TODAY about my findings. The same is with ANIMAL FARM and 1984 which, upon reading them while uneducated about their historical significance, I still loved. Now for over 20 years I've been studying Orwell and have read much of all his writings, many of the books he mentions, all major biographies and dozens of studies on his masterpieces.

The feminist writers of the last two books -- WIFEDOM and JULIA -- claim to have discovered new revelations about Orwell's wife, marriage and character, ie he's "sadistic, misogynistic, homophobic, in-denial homosexual, violent, exploitative, neglectful, hypocritical, adulterous, a tepid unremarkable lover, seducer, stalker and twice-thwarted rapist". And they learned it, they say, from newly discovered letters -- published in a 2006 book by biographer Peter Davison -- that Orwell and his wife, Eileen wrote to friends. Then Funder and Newman put 2 plus 2 together and got 5, just like all good little Marxist feminists do. They pore over the Orwells' scribblings like witches inspecting the entrails of sacrificed animals.

EileenMarakech FeministsHatePalin OrwellDeskWriting

The symbolic image above -- of a screeching, stomping-mad feminist injecting herself between Eileen and Orwell -- says a thousand words.

LostOrwellCvr CommieListPg141 CommieListPg142

I own and have read THE LOST ORWELL and found nothing new or interesting about Orwell and Eileen that wasn't already written about in previous books. But, for the first time, Davison did publish, in 12 pages, the full crypto-commie list Orwell sent to the British government's Information Research Department in 1949 -- and for which the 'Establishment' hate him to this day -- which proves where their allegience lies.

Years ago I read GEORGE ORWELL A LIFE, by Bernard Crick that came out in 1980 and was full of intimate details of their lives. Just look at the index on Eileen alone -- it's full of info on her family, friends, education, marriage, financial situation, health and death from interviews and documents retrieved from complete access to the Orwell estate and the Orwell archives. For example, it explains how worried Eileen was that if the authorities knew how ill she was, before the adoption papers came through, they might not have been accepted as suitable parents. So she put off having the surgery as long as possible and in reality, it was too late. And also, in those days, there was no medical coverage for operations and hospital stays and she and Orwell didn't have much money until he got the job as war correspondent covering the end of the war in Europe. She'd made him quit his journalism and focus on writing his next book once they got out of London to live in the countryside and raise their child. Contrary to what the feminists say, Eileen was not "invisible" in the biographies or Orwell's books.

OrwellLifeCvr  OrwellLifeContents  OrwellLifeIndex

The following is one of the most important books I've read on Orwell's life, politics, writing career and how his message to us is interwoven all through his masterpeice -- THE LARGER EVILS: NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR: THE TRUTH BEHIND THE SATIRE, by William J West, published in 1992. For the purpose of this article I'm focusing on Orwell's wife, Eileen and have scanned some pages and highlighted excerpts pertaining to her. Readers can click on the images to enlarge to see in fuller context.

Cover CoverBack
*The first account of Eileen Orwell's major contribution to the book [1984], until now unknown

TableContents Index
Contents & Index
...Blair, Eileen nee O'Shaughnessy

PrefacePgIX PrefacePgX
Preface

The discovery of new work by a foremost author is always exciting; when it leads to the discovery of yet further material on a scale which overthrows accepted wisdom on one of the masterworks of an era then the excitement is lifted to a new plane. A biographer rarely has such an opportunity and it has only happened here through the discovery at the BBC, in 1984 itself; of a large cache of Orwell texts, letters and memoranda... It filled out the picture with new material that concerned the world in which Orwell lived and which created NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR... Finally, a wider picture began to emerge of what Orwell's masterwork had been about...

What is revealed now are the true origins of Orwell's great work. They include the first account of the role Orwell's wife Eileen played in the development of the book -- it has long been known that she was involved in the planning and writing of ANIMAL FARM but her connection with NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR has not been suspected. She worked in a highly secret world in wartime London which gave her access to knowledge which complemented Orwell's gained through his work at the BBC...

PrefacePgXIV

...A central figure in the shaping of the Orwell legend was undoubtedly Orwell's second wife Sonia. She lived until 1980 and was the driving force behind the setting up of the Orwell archive and also the co-editor of the four volumes of collected essays and letters which were intended to stand in place of a biography.... She had married Orwell on his death bed, quite literally, in circumstances which many have found difficult to understand... Whatever the connection between them that led to the marriage, it was only after Orwell's death that she became involved with him to such an extent that she used the name Sonia Orwell -- even Orwell had never changed his family name from Blair and tended to use Blair exclusively in his private life towards the end, and on Jura. She did not herself look after Orwell's son...but she did jealously guard his literary identity. In doing so she inevitably drew attention away from the far more important figure of Eileen, Orwell's first wife. It is not the least part of this book's aim to correct that imbalance. If Orwell's death at forty-six was a tragedy then Eileen's was ever more of one, for she did not even reach forty. She was indeed a heroic figure; had she survived, much of what is described in this book would surely have been known already. Her eclipse in the public's mind by Orwell's widow is understandable but it has played no small part in the mystsery which has arisen over Orwell and the roots of his most famous book...

IntroPg1
Introduction

The revelations following the collapse of the communist regimes in Eastern Europe in the 1990s confirmed what had been obvious to intelligent critics of those regimes for many years. Life in the 'iron curtain' countries had been harsh, except for a few privileged party members; there had been massive security supervision of everyone both inside and outside the system; and finally the entire system had been based on fear rather than the creation of a state based on brotherly love and the brotherhood of man. George Orwell's NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR, criticised for generations by communist intellectuals as being absurd and others as being an exaggerated fantasy by a terminally ill man, proved to be a precisely accurate account of a bureaucratic totalitarian state. And Orwell had specifically said that his book was a parody, a satire of something which could happen in Britain if people were not vigilant...

Pg6

After Orwell emerged from his days down and out and learnt to swim in the left-wing literary subculture of London life in the thirties he took what turned out to be a decisive step in his life, as it is in most people's, when he decided to get married. His wife was Eileen O'Shaughnessy, an Oxford graduate in English, although at first she studied theology, who came originally from Sunderland. Her effect on Orwell's work was profound and forms a major theme in this book; her experience of the totalitarian world of wartime London was as extensive as Orwell's whilst her influence on the actual style and structure of his last two works was also considerable.

Soon after they were married Eileen learnt that her life was going to be dominated by three things: Orwell's interest in politics, his work as a writer, and his health. His interest in politics became all consuming at the time of the Spanish civil war. Orwell joined a Trotskyist group that was affiliated to the Independent Labour Party to whom he then owed allegience. Known as the POUM it was later suppressed by the Stalin-backed communist party, an experience that scarred Orwell for the rest of his life. Eileen joined him in Spain and narrowly escaped imprisonment when the POUM was suppressed. Orwell was shot through the throat, missing death by a millimetre. He returned to Barcelona only to find that he had escaped death there as well, for POUM militia members were being imprisoned and tortured at will. He and Eileen escaped and returned to their cottage in Wallington, Hertfordshire, remaining there only briefly before his first serious bout of illness since they had been married forced them to go to North Africa for him to recuperate... Far from being a holiday in the conventional sense Eileen found that Orwell spent much of his time writing articles and other work and on the return trip he spent the daylight hours and late into the evening finishing his novel COMING UP FOR AIR. Her life must have required great devotion to Orwell as he struggled against his many difficulties; in the end it was she who saw that the journalism which he much enjoyed doing was wasted time when he could be writing real books. As will become clear it is largely due to Eileen and her lasting vision of the life Orwell, and later their adopted son, should be living that NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR came into existence at all...

In the pages that follow the reader will find many echoes of NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR from the smallest details through to central themes. The method adopted has been to follow the Orwells' lives from the last peaceful days in Wallington through their time in wartime London to Eileen's tragically early death, and then on to the rest of Orwell's life -- he died very shortly after NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR was published. Despite Eileen's warnings Orwell had no option but to continue with his journalism and later with work for the BBC throughout the war years...

Pg11 Pg12
A Raid in the Country

Orwell's first encounter with the world of NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR came just before the outbreak of the Second World War. He was at home in bed in his cottage in the country early one morning when there was a loud knock at the door. He went downstairs wondering who could be calling at that time of day to find himself faced by a group of policement armed with a search warrant intent on going through the house with a fine-toothed comb. He and Eileen looked on in amazement as they set about their job with zealous enthusiasm... For the calm of a rural English village to have been invaded in such a brutal way must have been a shock to the local people. The Orwells' lives could never be the same again, especially as they ran the local corner store and most of their daytime customers were local school children. It would have been particularly difficult for Eileen who would inevitably become the centre of gossip....

...Despite the deep hurt caused by this raid, not least to Eileen, before now the only response of Orwell's that has been recorded was in a few laconic letters that described what had happened and little more. But it seems very likely that he took things further: he was, after all, an ex-policeman himself and knew there would be something more than just the simple facts of the case to produce so drastic a result....

Pg14 EileenMOI Pg16

...But there was another quite extraordinary happening involving censorship when war broke out shortly after. Eileen was offered, and took, a job in the Censorship Department. It has been assumed that she had simply had an introduction through one of her university contacts but the job was far too sensitive for that, as we shall see. Sensitive posts, even before the days of moles and mole-hunts, were not given to people without a check being made. In Eileen's case this would have revealed that her husband was an author who had fought in Spain, that she had been there with him and, even more curious, his books were banned in India. Any one of these facts would have blocked her application unless she had special references... What job was she doing? Orwell's biographers have been vague, surprisingly, since they have remarked that she had an influence in the writing of ANIMAL FARM, and censorship is such an inmportant theme in NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR... Orwell himself gives us a clue to her work in an entry for his wartime diary for 24 May 1940:

"Eileen says the people in the Censorship Department where she works lump all 'red' papers together and look on the TRIBUNE [which Orwell wrote for] as being in exactly the same class as the DAILY WORKER. Recently, when the DAILY WORKER and ACTION were prohibited from export, one of her fellow-workers asked her: 'Do you know this paper THE DAILY WORKER AND ACTION?"

Orwell's diary was not published during the war; had it been, the censors would have removed this entry. The point of the story as Orwell told it was to illustrate that the staff in the Censorship Department were so politically ignorant that they did not know the difference between the communist paper the DAILY WORKER and that of Sir Oswald Mosley's British Union of Fascist's ACTION. What it tells us is that Eileen was working in one of the most sensitive posts in the censorship system, that issuing the censors' 'stops' which advised those actually doing the censorship what policy they should be following. Material going to America, which Orwell had most contact with, was examined in Liverpool and policy was based on telegrams from the London office, where Eileen worked, written in a combination of slang and cable-ese which strongly resembles that used by O'Brien in NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR. The two papers which were 'prohibited from export' as Orwell guardedly put it were banned for a quite specific reason and it is worth describing this in some detail as it helps to place Eileen's department in the scheme of things, and shows also how important for the origins of NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR this was....

...This is close to Orwell's world; and Eileen knew it well, for her department not only checked which papers could and which could not go out, but issued the censors' stops which determined what was allowed through from the correspondents of neutral countries actually in Britain. Eileen's training would have explained to her exactly how the system worked, and one co-ordination section in particular, which she would have known about, has the strongest Orwellian overtones. It was called the Anti-Lie Bureau, and linked some of the most secret facets of postal censorship as well as carrying out its Orwellian task of denying rumours that were reported to it as 'lies', or 'Haw-Haw rumours' which were very often quite true. Eileen's department had the task of going through the papers to discover possible sources for the various rumours circulating.... The Anti-Lie Bureau also acted as a co-ordination centre for the circulation of certain letters which had been intercepted in transit and which were actually shown to those who were said to have a 'need to know'... The effect on someone receiving such a letter back from their local postman can be imagined, although perhaps not quite as bad as the shock the Orwells had when their home was raided in the early hours of the morning... Anything of the slightest interest on a wide range of subjects from economics to morale was taken down and reported on special forms. These forms were sent to the office in London where Eileen Orwell worked. There all the information in them was collated and recorded by a department called Information and Records, the acronym IRD being commonly used, or the office slang 'RecDep' used in NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR. This meant that a very high proportion of people who wrote abroad had their comments on file in the Censorship Department...

Pg18 Pg20

...Orwell's off-hand comment that 'by a routine that was not even secret all letters were opened in transit' has appeared, no doubt, as an invention of a dying, slightly paranoid man. But it is a simple extension of what was happening to all overseas mail -- quite openly -- to what he knew through Eileen, and later his own knowledge, was happening to internal mails also. Those at whom his satires were aimed would have known quite well where this shaft was directed. Also Winston and Julia in NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR were Party members, numbered in their thousands rather than the millions of the proles, the ordinary people whose activities did not matter. Far from being a futuristic fantasy this level of surveillance was well within the capabilities of MI5 and the MOI at the time Orwell conceived his satire in 1943...

...But the first hint of the nightmare facing him and countless thousands of others was there in the knock on the door, the ring of stern faces, always exceptionally polite but with questions that had to be answered. The totalitarian bureaucracy of a Europe about to be plunged into war had reached England, and it was not to pass the Orwells by. That it was his wife who first took the brunt of the shock of this totalitarianism must have annoyed him the more. Their lives would never be the same, but they could at least speak out about it. For the moment he was not sure how, and whilst Eileen went off to her work in the Censorship Department during the weeks that followed the outbreak of war he remained in his cottage.

Pg31 Pg32
Wartime London

Living in London during the Second World War meant living through the Blitz, either the threat of destruction, or the bombs themselves falling sometimes as high explosive bombs, or later the pilotless jet-propelled bombs, the V1s, or the rocket bombs, the V2s. The Orwells experienced them all and moved four times during their days in London at least twice because of raids, although luckily neither was hurt.... They moved to a block of flats on the other side of the park which is quite obviously the original of Victory Mansions in NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR. Not only is its physical location the same, from its roof the tower of the Ministry of Information (as it then was) is clearly visible rising above the Georgian buildings which surround it... In its time it was the tallest building in London. When Orwell looked across London at it, no doubt Eileen explained what really went on there. Orwell looking out at the Ministry of Information became Winston Smith looking at the Ministry of Truth...

...Apart from his visits to the 'flicks' Orwell's life in London revolved around the new political and social groups who replaced the pacifists he had deserted. Eileen was now with him again but was crushed for some eighteen months by the death of her brother at Dunkirk. She did not shun society but was simply very withdrawn. Tosco Fyvel has left a memorable and moving description of her:

"Eileen accompanied him on his visits to us, but we all noticed a profound change in her. She seemed to sit in the garden sunk in unmoving silence while we talked. Mary Fyvel observed that Eileen not only looked tired and drawn but was drably and untidily dressed. Trying in vain to involve Eileen in conversation Mary said that she seemed to have become completely withdrawn. Since Orwell and Eileen were reticent to a degree, it was only after her second or third visit that we learned that her brother Laurence had been killed."

They also sometimes went to the Cafe Royal, another center of literary life, dominated by Cyril Connolly, Kingsley Martin, the editor of the NEW STATESMAN, and others inclluding Stephen Spender. Orwell couldn't stand what he called 'that Cafe Royal set'... The reason for attending the 'salon' at the Cafe Royal for many people was to keep in the swim, and, in real terms, ensure a steady flow of commissions for articles in the magazines run by Connolly, Martin and the others was maintained...

Pg93 Pg96
Animal Farm

When Orwell left the BBC it was with a feelilng of intense relief, tinged with some disappointment. The bureaucracy and political infighting were behind him, but he had not been able to get the job he most wanted, that of political correspondent of the OBSERVER for the North African campaign. As he suspected, his health was not good enough; he shrewdly remarked this would have meant the paper or the army would have had to pay Eileen a pension if he had not returned. However he did not leave without a job to go to... The posts of Literary Editor at TRIBUNE had come available... The duties were onerous but only kept Orwell in the office three days a week whilst the pay at 500-pounds was only marginally less than he had been getting at the BBC, and a good amount in those days... Orwell's experience at the BBC had not beaten him down. Rather he set to work on ANIMAL FARM with clarity of purpose, that same clarity with which he was contemplating writing NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR. His political purpose was to expose the dangers if Stalin's communism or anything like it appeared in Britain...

It is clear that Orwell wished his message to reach as many people as possible and last as long as possible and the form of a fairy story aimed at children chimed in with those aims... There was one other element which the Orwell's friends were aware of, which Orwell made no secret of, and that was the role Eileen played in writing the book. Writing to Max Plowman's widow he lamented that Eileen had died before the book appeared and that this was particularly sad as she had helped to plan it.

Eileen's influence has been mentioned by many writers, including Orwell's biographers, but what possible form her help could have taken has not been discussed. There are two pointers to the likely nature of this help. First, before Eileen married Orwell she had run a secretarial bureau... Secondly, after leaving the Censorship Department she worked for the Ministry of Food doing radio programmes for housewives giving them menus and cooking hints which they could use within the rationing system. She even did a broadcast for Orwell's own Indian station. Orwell referred to their marriage as being a real one where they shared worries and struggles, and, at least as far as work went, they certainly did. As we have already seen their shared knowledge of the censorship systems and the political and ideological struggles in the BBC was substantial. She never showed signs of wanting to be a writer herself but in ANIMAL FARM got very close to it, frequently telling her friends at the Ministry exactly how she and Orwell were getting along. Orwell himself seems never to have talked of work in progress...

The most direct evidence of the connection between the two books is that at the time he was writing ANIMAL FARM he also drafted a first outline of the book he called THE LAST MAN IN EUROPE which eventually became NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR. When this outline first appeared in print [in Orwell A Life by Crick in 1980] the existence of Orwell's BBC texts was not known, nor was the exact significance of the job Eileen held in the Censorship Department. It can now be seen that the book which we know as NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR stemmed directly from Orwell's experience at the BBC, or the war -- Miniform and the rest -- as seen from the perspective of the BBC, backed up by his wife's knowledge...

Pg119 Pg120 Pg122
Finding a Dream

There are moments of happiness in Julia and Winston's brief affair, ended in a few months by 'the Thought Police'.... Whether there was an 'original' of Julia in Orwell's own life or not, the country did provide one solace and hope for Orwell and Eileen, and the countryside occurs in Orwell's work repeatedly. Even in wartime London he remarks on things such as the willowherb amongst the bombed sites, and a heron flying over the park, and Eileen felt exactly the same way. In her last letter to Orwell she said, 'I don't think you understand what a nightmare the London life is to me'... He was far closer to Eileen's view of that kind of life which eventually helped to kill her. She once confided to Tosco Fyvel, who noticed that she seemed unhappy in one of the Fitzrovia pubs that Orwell and his colleagues frequented, that she only drank bitter beer in the smallest glass because she did not actually like it. One of her pet aversions was eating out in public which was, she thought, a barbaric ritual, at least in London...

Although...Eileen was the first to go to London and plunge into 'war work', while Orwell clung to the rural idyll which had been the home they married into, she shared with Orwell an urgent desire to get away as soon as possible. From 1940 Orwell had begun to develop a dream that seems to have helped him right through the worst years of the war, a dream he in turn shared with Eileen, that of a home on one of the Hebridean islands described so rapturously by Compton Mackenzie. Orwell wrote in his diary for 20 June 1940:

"Thinking always of my island in the Hebrides, which I suppose I shall never possess or even see. Compton Mackenzie [famous author Orwell admired from childhood] says even now most of the islands are uninhabited (there are 500 of them, only 10% inhabited at normal times, and most have water and a little cultivable land and goats will live on them.)"

...Compton Mackenzie [1883-1972] had been one of the first serious critics who had praised Orwell's work unreservedly from the beginning. It was support Orwell valued and he admired Mackenzie and believed what he said about the islands.

Orwell talked about the Hebrides, and the possibility of living there, with many wartime colleagues. Eileen would have been happy with a cottage anywhere in the country as long as it was away from London and most of his friends would have thought his idea of an island a little wild... In a first step towards a more bearable life the Orwells left their modernist flat in Victory Mansions for a more comfortable Victorian house in Maida Vale with a basement where Orwell could set up his lathe and woodwork shop... To add to their misery the one reason they had gone to live in Victory Mansions was borne out in practice when their new flat was blitzed. It was not a direct hit -- the manuscript of ANIMAL FARM was retrieved from the wrecked building -- but their home had to be demolished. They went to stay in Inez Holden's flat and then at last found another flat in Islington. With every move they must have longed even more for their island home. From June 1944 there was an additional reason, for Eileen had left her job with the Ministry of Food and adopted a son, Richard Blair.

Sometime in 1944 Orwell heard that there was a deserted farmhouse for let at a nominal rent on Jura. It has been said that Orwell first heard of Jura through David Astor, and went to the island in 1945 for a brief stay with Astor, and then stayed a fortnight with an elderly couple at the north of the island who lived in a cottage on the Fletcher Estate, as it later became. However, it is quite clear that there must have been some earlier introduction, for Eileen's first letters enquiring about the house were addressed not to Mrs Fletcher (nee Brown) but to Sandy Brown, her brother. He had been in London at the time but was killed on active service in 1944. Mrs Fletcher inherited the estate when her brother died and ran it until her husband Robin Fletcher came back from a Japanese concentration camp. She continued the correspondence with Eileen which was practical, concerned with questions such as food and how to survive in a place over twenty miles from the nearest shop. Eileen had lived in a cottage without electricity or hot water and with only primitive sanitation and knew the likely problems...

David Astor had been a good freind to Orwell since first meeting him during the war as proprietor of the OBSERVER [newspaper] and had offered him the foreign correspondent's posts for the paper in North Africa. This had been one of the factors that had boosted Orwell's courage when it came to actually leaving the BBC. This job had fallen through for good reasons already examined [Orwell couldn't pass medical]. Now, with the imminent fall of Germany in Europe, another job was found there which did not involve quite the health risks of North Africa. Orwell was finding life in London more and more difficult and the journalism an impossible distraction from the work he wanted to get on with, preferably away from it all on Jura. He leapt at the chance Astor gave him and this time there was no problem with the army medical boards which Orwell had to go through again, as war correspondents held military rank -- Orwell was known as Captain Eric Blair.

Orwell has been severely criticised for going off to Europe in this way, particularly because Eileen was shortly to have an operation. The authorized biographer [Crick] relates:

"He was too caught up in his fascination with the last days of the Third Reich to give proper attention to the situation at home, and he was accustomed to thinking Eileen could manage without him. He had his work to do and she had hers, and that was that. Neither would accompliush anything if they spent too much time worrying about the other."

These deeply offensive remarks have not one whit of evidence to back them up, the statement that he was accustomed to thinking that Eileen could get on without him is at odds with all the actual evidence of the reality of their marriage and the struggles they had gone through together. In fact the reasons for Orwell's going to Europe are plain for anyone to see. Both Orwell and Eileen were intent on leaving London: her last letter to him makes this abundantly clear and she had been making the actual arrangements to go to Jura. The problem with those plans was that they had no money with which to make the move... Now there was a need for a further sum which would have to have added to it some part of the income he would lose through his loss of the journalism, however despised.

Pg124 pg126 128

Seen in this light David Astor's offer -- an opportunity to acquire a large lump sum -- must have come as a godsend. Indeed since he was close to their future home in Jura it might be thought he made the offer, with that in mind, wrongly, for he was unaware that Orwell was actually going to live on Jura at this time. His account shows clearly that he was unaware that Eileen and George had set their heart on a life at Barnhill in 1944. It is now known that Eileen realised that she would have to have an operation of some kind even before she adopted their son. Orwell's going off to Europe offered her the ideal opportunity to have this done whilst he was away. There was a serious miscalculation in this plan, however, which in peacetime would have made no difference, in her much-reduced state of health it did have disastrous results. Those who have said that Orwell was acting with callous indifference when he went off to Europe have ignored or not understood important pointers to the contrary. Orwell knew very well that his health was extremely bad. He specifically mentioned that he had been refused the North Africa post because he might not survive and then Eileen would have got a pension for the rest of her life. The same thing applied when he went to Europe. As he might have expected the rigours of the journey produced a relapse and a haemorrhage whilst he was in Cologne. Far from showing a lack of care for Eileen and Richard -- to whom he was totally attached -- he drew up some notes to guide his literary executor which he sent off to Eileen to be witnessed. It is quite clear that he thought he was going to die in Cologne as there can be no other explanation for drawing up such a document which he had not done before despite his other serious bouts of illness. Far from his going to Europe showing lack of care for his family it showed compassion and love taken to the point where he was prepared to die, literally, knowing that either he would raise enough for them all to go and live on Jura or he would actually die, in which case they would be provided for.

There seems to be little excuse for those who have written in disparaging terms about Orwell going to Europe. This is particularly the case because the great risk he took was set at nothing by the completely unexpected tragedy of Eileen's death. The miscalculation mentioned earlier was over the question of time needed for her to build up strength before undergoing an operation. The hospital in London, aware of the strain that people living through the Blitz on low food intake had suffered, warned that some period in hospital before the operation could be carried out was essential. Eileen thought their concerns exaggerated and went instead to a hospital in the north of England, near where her sister-in-law lived. They could see no danger and she went ahead with the operation. However her weakness and exhaustion were real. Almost immediately after the anaesthetic was applied she collapsed and died. The death certificate mentioned specifically that the anaesthetic had been properly administered. Nor could any blame be laid at the door of doctors who could not be expected to understand the real changes that five years of deprivation had wrought on the constitutions of Londoners. Eileen had not expected the operation to be very serious. She wrote a letter which she meant to finish after she came round and, perhaps even more poignantly, the day following her death Orwell's letter containing his proposed will and literary executor's instructions arrived for her signature. Orwell heard of her death in hospital in Cologne, discharged himself with a strong dose of M&B tablets and flew back to England. He went straight to Inez Holden's flat, to which she had now returned, and his appearance was so changed that she scarcely recognised him. Her account in her unpublished diary shows that he was profoundly upset and still very ill. Despite this he immediately went north and arranged the funeral himself. If anyone's life can be said to have fallen apart, Orwell's had at this moment.

His immediate worry was clearly Richard. Having arranged for him to be looked after by his sister-in-law for a few months he decided, astonishly, to carry on with their plan to move to Jura. Perhaps Eileen's last letter encouraged him to do this. She urged him to drop reviewing and get away from the 'literary life'. Jura was still there and he could continue the arrangements; but for that to go ahead he still needed to carry on with is OBSERVER work and he clearly decided that was what Eileen would have wanted him to do. Eileen had died on 29 March 1945. By about 8 April he was in Paris again, travelling to Germany before returning to Paris for VE-Day, then going to Austria before coming back to London near the end of May...

Orwell knew simply that his book [ANIMAL FARM] was postponed yet again. When it did finally appear it was an instant success, and the American edition even more so. The genuineness of his feelings for Eileen and his determination to carry on with the dream of his home in the Hebrides can be seen in a letter he wrote to Max Plowman's widow, regretting that Eileen had not been alive to see ANIMNAL FARM's great success. The holiday he referred to in his letter to Herbert Read was on Jura and he called on the Fletchers and continued with the negotiations which Eileen had begun. However strong his desire to stay, without Eileen it was going to take a lot more effort to set up a home in such a remote spot. Orwell would have realized, perhaps for the first time, exactly what lay behind Eileen's practical questions. Also he wanted to raise his son there, and without a wife that could prove difficult. Most of his friends who knew of his interest in Jura thought he would give up the idea, just as they thought it likely that he would have Richard re-adopted....

Orwell clearly needed time to arrange things and so he returned from his holiday (as he had told Read he would) and plunged back into London literary life, resuming his old column and his articles. He lived in the flat in Islington with Richard, Eileen's place being filled as far as he was concerned by the very middle-class solution of a nurse who came by recommendation, Susan Watson. The experiment was not a success in the long run although she managed well enough in London, and Orwell cannot have been an easy person to live with for anyone not used to the incessant pounding of a typewriter. He must also have been lonely, and the fact that most of what he was typing was journalism of a kind that he despised and that he knew Eileen had warned him specifically against cannot have helped. In a letter to his agent Moore, written as early as June 1945, he said he was starting work on a new novel, which was NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR....

~ end quoting Truth Behind Satire by West ~

EileenBaby OrwellAtHome

I hope the above passages from books describing Orwell's and Eileen's own words and actions will serve as an antidote against the poison the me-too feminists have injected into the mainstream media with their heavily promoted lie-ographies.

FictionShelfJulia    BioShelfWifedom

I spoke too soon when I assumed both books were under FICTION at the bookstore when in fact only JULIA is. WIFEDOM is under BIOGRAPHY as I discovered when looking for it, photos above.

All the best,
Jackie Jura, March 2024


ME-TOO JULIA SAY ORWELL MISOGYNIST

BOOK WIFEDOM ORWELLIAN PROLEFEED

FLMleaderMarxist BLMCommieFlag BLM-POC-LGBTQ EVIL COMINTERN ORGAN

FeministsHatePalin PalinBookJohnson RABID FEMALES HATE SARAH PALIN (...In 1984 Orwell, as hero Winston Smith, said "he disliked nearly all women. It was always the women, and above all the young and pretty ones, who were the most bigoted adherents of the Party, the swallowers of slogans, the amateur spies and nosers-out of unorthodoxy". By women Orwell meant the women we call "feminists" -- the descendents of the feminist revolution that began in the 1960s where women burned their bras; didn't shave their legs; hated being at home with the children; demanded sexual promiscuity be accepted as it is with men; demanded abortion so they could kill unborn children they blamed on oppression from men; demanded free day-care so they could work "outside the home"; demanded equal pay as men for when they did work -- even if the fields they chose weren't equal to those men chose; demanded quotas so as many women as men had to be hired; demanded, demanded, demanded....)

OrwellWrongedWindow ORWELL A WRITER WRONGED

OrwellLostWritingsCvr LostWritingsFlap OrwellSwiftInterview GEORGE ORWELL THE LOST WRITINGS, edited by W.J. West, 1985 (..."I believe Gulliver's Travels has meant more to me than any other book ever written"... See ORWELL INTERVIEWS JONATHAN SWIFT

GulliverCvr GULLIVER'S ORWELLIAN TRAVEL TRUTHS (...I was chiefly disgusted with modern History. For having strictly examined all the Persons of greatest Name in the Courts of Princes for a hundred Years past, I found how the World had been misled by prostitute Writers to ascribe the greatest Exploits in War to Cowards, the wisest Counsel to Fools, Sincerity to Flatterers, Roman Virtue to Betrayers of their Country, Piety to Atheists, Chastity to Sodomites, Truth to Informers. How many innocent and excellent Persons had been condemned to Death or Banishment, by the practising of great Ministers upon the Corruption of Judges, and the Malice of Faction. How many Villains had been exalted to the highest Places of Trust, Power, Dignity, and Profit: How great a Share in the Motions and Events of Courts, Councils, and Senates might be challenged by Bawds, Whores, Pimps, Parasites, and Buffoons: How low an Opinion I had of human Wisdom and Integrity, when I was truly informed of the Springs and Motives of great Enterprises and Revolutions in the World, and of the contemptible Accidents to which they owed their Success....)

DanteCover DanteBackCvr DanteReadingDivine 1984 ORWELL'S DANTE INFERNO (In researching for trips to England to follow in Orwell's footsteps I read biographies so as to know where the significant places in his life were and to then go there. During my HOMAGE TO ORWELL in 2003, I visited the hospital where Orwell died on January 21st, 1950. And I also visited the cemetary where he is buried and knelt at his grave. Friends who had visited Orwell in the hospital -- where he spent months -- have told stories of their conversations with him and describe his room. They say the book Orwell was reading, leading up to his death, was DANTE'S DIVINE COMEDY which was on his bedside table. Since then I've wanted to read THE DIVINE COMEDY but as years went by it wasn't a top priority and I forgot about it really. My only real knowledge of the classic was that it's also called DANTE'S INFERNO because it decribes nine circles of hell that Dante has to descend into before ascending into heaven. It's the origin of the phrase "to hell and back"...)

Marx Face Lenin Face Trotsky Face Stalin Face COMMUNIST CONSPIRACY FOR WORLD DOMINATION (Goldstein's Theory & Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism)

27.Goodthink and 16.Ministry of Truth and 25.Prolefeed and 30.Love Instict & Family

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

email: orwelltoday@gmail.com
HOME PAGE
website: www.orwelltoday.com