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Down and Out in Paris and London

George Orwell

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Macmillan Collector's Library


Orwell’s first published book, Down and Out in Paris and London, is at once a very personal account, an exposé of poverty-stricken lives between the wars, and a call for social and economic reform.

Part of the Macmillan Collector’s Library; a series of stunning, clothbound, pocket-sized classics with gold foiled edges and ribbon markers. These beautiful books make perfect gifts or a treat for any book lover. This edition is introduced by writer Lara Feigel.

Towards the end of the 1920s, whilst living in Paris, Orwell’s few remaining funds are stolen and he falls into a life of severe poverty. Living hand to mouth, with barely a centime to his name, he shares squalid lodgings with Russian-born Boris and, for a while, finds tedious and back-breaking work as a ‘plongeur’ – washing up in the bowels of Paris restaurants. Back in England he lives as a tramp, finding occasional shelter in dangerous and filthy doss houses.

In the media
The thief who took the last of an ailing George Orwell’s money from his Paris room in 1929 did a big favour to political literature.

Vanessa Thorpe Observer

Little that Orwell has written, here and elsewhere, has lost the hum of relevancy, from the causes of poverty and its long-term effects – “it annihilates the future” – to its everyday toll of boredom.

Laurence Mackin Irish Times