The Orwell Diaries

Chris Higgins

George Orwell began keeping a series of diaries on 9th August 1938 (love that British date formatting!). These diaries were never published. Seventy years later, the diaries are being released day by day in an annotated blog format. According to The Orwell Prize (who are putting up the entries), Orwell's diaries reveal several dimensions of the man:

From his domestic diaries (which start on 9th August), it may be a largely unknown Orwell, whose great curiosity is focused on plants, animals, woodwork, and - above all - how many eggs his chickens have laid. From his political diaries (from 7th September), it may be the Orwell whose political observations and critical thinking have enthralled and inspired generations since his death in 1950. Whether writing about the Spanish Civil War or sloe gin, geraniums or Germany, Orwell's perceptive eye and rebellion against the "˜gramophone mind' he so despised are obvious.

So far, the entries have been amusingly terse and mundane. "Drizzly. Dense mist in evening. Yellow moon." is the complete entry from August 10. On August 12, Orwell comments on the heat and the ripening blackberries. Where will the diaries go next? Bookmark the site to find out. See also: NPR on Orwell's Diaries, including interviews with those involved in the project.