Orwell was prolific to an extraordinary degree, and in the 21 years of his writing career wrote several times what many other famously prolific authors produced over much longer periods.

He crossed the boundaries in his writing, covering novels, journalism, critical reviews, editing, diaries, and commentaries, on subjects from high and low art, language, politics and philosophy, cookery, nature and the English countryside, different cultures, history and war, self-analysis, humour (and he could write humorously on all kinds of subjects see “Down and Out in Paris and London”, for example), and of course on a range of social issues.  He carried on voluminous correspondence with many people (some of it with French people and in French).

He was a prolific author, leaving a huge mass of material. And he also did things with his life. There are also various good quality collections of his work, sometimes specific and famous collections of essays, some of his letters, some of his diaries, of his political writings, or his criticism, and so on.

Careful which editions you buy. And where you buy from. Amazon may be best avoided. There are scam versions, which are now getting about quite widely, especially on the internet. Our recommendation is that you go to your local bookshop/bookstore, and if in doubt ask there.


This little list just covers some of the better known works.  It also refers to some of the works with particular reference to Paris. Below is a table of the book titles with their titles for the French translations.

1928-1929      First professional articles published in Paris (in French)

1930-1931     Early version of Down and Out in Paris and London. Contributed essays to
.                  Adelphi magazine (including The Spike and The Hanging) under his own name

1933             First book, Down and Out in Paris and London (Victor Gollancz),
.                  using for the first time the pseudonym “George Orwell”

1934             Burmese Days published in United States (October)

1934-1935     A Clergyman’s Daughter (published 1935)
.                  Burmese Days published in USA (1934)  in England (1935)

1935            La Vache Enragée (Down and Out, French edition) published
.                  translated by Réné-Noël Raimbault;  (a later edition in French
.                  Dans la dèche à Paris et à Londres, by Michel Petris, was published in 1982,
                 and that is the name that is now most commonly used)

1936            Keep the Aspidistra Flying published

1937          The Road to Wigan Pier published. Left Book Club edition 40,000 copies

1938           Homage to Catalonia published  40 copies sold in his lifetime

1939           Coming Up for Air   published

1940           Inside the Whale   published

1941           The Lion and the Unicorn published

1943-1946  Literary Editor of Tribune

1945           War correspondent for The Observer in Paris and Cologne (March-May)
.                  Animal Farm published

1946           Critical Essays (essays from the wartime) published
                  How the Poor Die

1949           Nineteen Eighty-Four published. Over 400,000 copies sold in first year.

Dans la dèche à Paris et à LondresDown and Out in Paris and LondonOriginal translation (by R-N Raimbault) as
La Vache Enragée)
La Ferme des animauxAnimal Farm 
1984Nineteen Eighty-Fourbut also known as 1984 in American and other English language editions
Hommage à la CatalogneHomage to CataloniaFirst published in French as
La Catalogne libre
Une histoire birmaneBurmese Days 
Le quai de WiganThe Road to Wigan Pier 
Un peu d’air fraisComing up for Air 
Et vive l’aspidistraKeep the Aspidistra Flying 
Une fille de pasteurA Clergyman’s Daughter 
Just a few recommendations for Orwell’s Essays (among so many gems to choose from …) If you have a particular one you would like to see recommended, simply send a message : click here to use the contact form
Politics and the English Language 
Why I Write 
Some Thoughts on the Common Toad 
The Lion and the Unicorn 
A Hanging 
Shooting an Elephant 
How the Poor Die 
Notes on Nationalism 

Beware of fraudulent editions of Orwell’s work, especially online. Even Amazon is best avoided unless you are expert enough. This problem seems to have been precipitated by the ending of copyright (in most countries) in 2020.
There have been reports in the New York Times, Le Figaro and elsewhere.
The best solution is to buy at your local bookshop (bookstore). If you are in doubt you can ask a real person there for any help!

Sometimes people ask about books about Orwell, what can be recommended?
There are now several excellent biographies and although they cover his life, they have different strengths in looking at particular aspects of his life and work. There has been a lot of research of late, too. There have also been articles and books of somewhat “uneven” quality.
If want to start with a couple of excellent biographies, and an excellent summary of the reasons to read today what Orwell was saying, try these:

Gordon Bowker:  George Orwell
D.J. Taylor: Orwell, The Life        
Christopher Hitchens: Why Orwell Matters

Bookshops: Suggested sources for new and secondhand English language editions in Paris:

Shakespeare and Company
Abbey Bookshop
Berkeley Books
Red Wheelbarrow Bookstore
San Francisco Book Company
WH Smith

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