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Radio 4 presents a journey through the life and work of George Orwell, running from late January 2013.


Of course there is no real George Orwell – it was the pen name of Eric Blair – but he was a writer and political commentator who is very hard to pin down. Ever since his early death in 1950, he has been at one and the same time the darling of some on both the left and the right of British politics - whilst being reviled by others. For all the beautiful simplicity of his writing and storytelling Orwell/Blair is a complex mass of confusions – an anti-establishment, pro-English, ex-Etonian ex-policeman and socialist, who was ardently anti-authoritarian. He was as anti-fascist as he was anti-communist, a former Spanish Civil War soldier who was anti-war but pro the Second World War, and so on and so on. Through dramatisations of the key books, through four newly commissioned plays that explore the disjuncture between the man who was Eric Blair and the writer who was George Orwell, and through factual programming and readings, Radio 4 will take you on a journey from Burma via Catalonia, Wigan, Jura, Manor Farm along the road that led to Nineteen Eighty-Four, one of the most influential novels of the twentieth century.

Joseph Millson role

Eric Blair / George Orwell / Reader

Broadcast dates

Homage to Catalonia
Part 1: Sunday 27th January at 3pm, repeated Saturday 2nd February at 9pm
Part 2: Sunday 3rd February at 3pm, repeated Saturday 9th February at 9pm

The Real George Orwell: Burma
Monday 28th January at 2.15pm

The Real George Orwell: Dreaming
Monday 4th February at 2.15pm

The Real George Orwell: Loving
Monday 11th February at 2.15pm

The Real George Orwell: Jura
Monday 18th February at 2.15pm

Down and Out in Paris and London
Monday 28th January to Friday 1st February 10.45pm
Monday 4th February to Friday 8th February at 10.45pm


BBC Radio 4