ORWELL'S WIFE'S GRAVE
To Orwell Today (UPDATE),
I visited Eileen Blair's grave again. I visited in early August 2006 (last month) and I call in there every few months to pay my respects. As I described in an earlier email, her grave is in St Andrew’s Cemetery, Jesmond, Newcastle. Orwell was there in 1945 for the funeral.
I have uploaded 2 videos of my visit to Youtube. You can put the URLs on your site if you want.
The URLs are: EILEEN BLAIR CEMETARY and EILEEN BLAIR GRAVESTONE
-Stephen Maule (Winston)
To Orwell Today,
re: Orwell meets future wife at 77 PARLIAMENT HILL
I live about 2 miles from Eileen Blair's grave in Newcastle and it amazes me to think that Orwell stood there in 1945 for the funeral. I found the grave after doing some research at the civic centre. The woman on the phone said to me "the grave was bought by an Eric Arthur Blair, does that mean anything to you?".
Inside I laughed and thought, YES but does it mean anything to you!
PS - Here are directions for getting to Eileen Blair's grave
That's wonderful that you've been to Eileen's grave. If I'd known where it was we would have gone there this past summer [August 2004]. But I was definitely thinking of her and Orwell while I was in Newcastle. Orwell went more than once to visit her grave and he planted a rose on it too, although I don't know if it's still there. If you like you could take a photo and I could post it on the website for everyone to see. Also, if you include directions on how to find the grave others could go there too.
That's hilarious about you phoning the bureaucrat at the civic center and her asking you if the name "Eric Arthur Blair" meant anything to you. EUREKA! Did you ask her if the name "George Orwell" meant anything to her?
Orwell's wife Eileen had died on March 29th, 1945, a month after Orwell had left for Europe as war correspondent for the Observer newspaper. The last word in the unfinished letter she'd been writing him before she died was "clock" which is found in the first sentence of "1984". In her previous letter she had described to him her hatred of London and her wish that he would stop wasting his energy on journalism and move to the country where they could raise their child and he could write what she believed would be a masterpiece. Her funeral was on April 3rd and in "1984" Winston starts his diary on "April 4th". Also, Orwell may have been honouring Eileen when he named "1984" because she had written a futuristic poem in 1934 entitled "End of the Century, 1984", which was based on her recent reading of Huxley's "Brave New World". In her poem she describes the future fifty years down the road when,
'Shakespeare's bones are quiet at last,
...No book disturbs the lucid line,
For sun-bronzed scholars tune their thought
To telepathic Station 9
From where they know just what they ought,
...mental cremation that should banish
Relics, philosophies and colds'
poem taken from book 'Inside George Orwell', page 382
excerpt from my JOURNEY TO ORWELL'S JURA:
...Leaving Scotland and heading back to my husband's relatives between Durham and Newcastle, we stopped at Hadrian's Wall. The next day, our final day up north, we all went to South Shields for a picnic but it rained so hard we ate it in the car instead of on the beach. After taking 'a seaside photo' we drove to Newcastle for shopping.
Orwell's wife Eileen had been born and raised in South Shields and she is buried in Newcastle. Several times on his journeys to and from Jura Orwell stopped in Newcastle to visit Eileen's grave. As we passed the "Angel of The North" I snapped a photo in rememberance of her for Orwell.
All the best,
ORWELL'S WIFE NAMED "1984"
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