To Orwell Today,

Good Afternoon Jackie,

Do you know who I may contact to access Inez Holden's diaries and papers? I have searched on line and it said they went to her cousin Celia when Inez died and the diaries are now with 'the family' of Celia since she has passed away. Do you know how I may contact her family?

I am researching the life of a distant deceased relative of mine, Margaret Branch (nee Johnston). Back in the 1940's she was friends with Elaine and George Orwell. She was also friends with Inez and it was Inez who introduced Margaret (known as Micky to her friends) to the poet Stevie Smith.

I am hoping Inez's diaries will mention Micky/Margaret Johnston. Margaret was also a journalist from around 1942-45 before she joined UNNRA and went out to work in the ex concentration camps.

Any thing you can suggest I am most grateful,
Ed Knox

Greetings Ed,

Sorry, I don't know how you can contact the family of Inez Holden's cousin Celia (that being Celia Paget whose twin sister was married to DARKNESS AT DAWN author Arthur Koestler, another mutual friend of Orwell).

And -- in case it's not a typo -- the name of Orwell's wife was "Eileen" -- not Elaine.

All the best,
Jackie Jura

Reader Graham says Inez Holden was born in 1903, not 1906 or 1904

Reader Jack is trying to verify the birthdate of Inez Holden which ORWELL TODAY says is 1906 but Wikipedia gives as 1904

ORWELL'S INEZ SPOKE NEWSPEAK (Naomi wonders about the Inez Holden who hung about with Mr Orwell...

ORWELL'S CRYPTO-C0MMIE LIST ("...Celia Paget, whom Orwell loved and trusted, made an important visit in April 1949. They sat outside in the horribly damp little wooden hut and ate ghastly tinned peas, and Orwell seemed awfully ill. Celia was then working for the Information Research Department, which had been established by the Labour government's Foreign Office in 1948. Its purpose was 'to devise means to combat Communist propaganda, then engaged in a global and damaging campaign to undermine Western power and influence.'....He also offered to give her a list "of actors, journalists and writers who in my opinion are crypto-Communists, fellow-travellers or inclined that way and should not be trusted as propagandists" (my emphasis). These people, whose Communist sympathies were well known, would not lose their jobs or be harmed in any way. They would, quite simply, not be asked to write anti-Soviet propaganda for the British government. Orwell, a great maker of lists in his notebooks, sent Celia thirty-five names, explaining that "it isn't very sensational and I don't suppose it will tell your friends anything they don't know." He felt that listing politically unreliable people would prevent them from "worming their way into important propaganda jobs where they could do us a lot of harm"...)

Jackie Jura
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