ORWELL CHESTNUT TREE A LONGFELLOW?

To Orwell Today,

Hello:

As a lover of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, the beloved American poet, you should recall his 19th century poem starting:

"Under the spreading chestnut tree
The village smitty stands...."

Perhaps this is where the phrase came from in Orwell's writing????

Sincerely,
Ginger August
USA

Greetings Ginger,

Thanks for your contribution to the ongoing discussion about the origin of Orwell's poem in "1984", ie:

"Under the spreading chestnut tree
I sold you and you sold me...."

It could be that Orwell had Longfellow's poem in mind (especially since the first line is identical) and also, its theme is one Orwell believed in as well, ie he admired the working man for his ability to build things and his hard work - ie Boxer was the working-man hero of ANIMAL FARM.

There's no doubt Orwell would have been familiar with Longfellow's poetry -- it having been famous in the century before Orwell's birth - because Orwell was a great reader of poetry and tried writing poetry himself (before realizing he was better at writing prose).

Upon just now doing some research on Longfellow, I notice that he's famous also for translating the epic poem THE DIVINE COMEDY from Latin into English. Coincidently, one of the books Orwell was reading while lying dying in hospital was THE DIVINE COMEDY.

We can't always know for sure the origin of the poems Orwell used throughout his books but it's interesting to conjecture. They, like many of the characters decipherable as real people throughout his novels, are sometimes a combination of imagination and reality.

All the best,
Jackie Jura

THE VILLAGE BLACKSMITH, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Wikipedia

BOXER AND THE PROLES & VISITING ORWELL'S GRAVE

Reader Raymond believes the source of Orwell's inspiration for the CHESTNUT TREE CAFE is the 1940's song I'LL BE SEEING YOU

CHESTNUT TREE CAFE ROYAL & CHESTNUT CAFE & DIARY SYMBOLISM

45.Chestnut Tree Cafe

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

email: orwelltoday@gmail.com
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