To Orwell Today,
Your website recommends Orwell biographies that you have found useful for enthusiastic Orwell readers. Which of these do you consider to have the best compilation of Orwell photographs?
By the way, I took your advice and purchased a Canon Sure Shot identical to yours on eBay. It zooms right in and makes fine pictures. Many thanks!
Sometimes you're like a spiritual connection to Orwell, the way your emails come along at serendipitous times. (Your middle name isn't George is it?). It must be the magic of our mutual connections to typewriters, a doubleplusBIG component of Orwell.
For you the typewriter connection is through your son who wrote classic typewriter tributes explaining why he prefers manuals.
For me the typewriter connection is through my grandfather who owned the same model of typewriter as Orwell and upon which I learned to type, a skill I constantly use in A DAY IN ORWELL TODAY as you had so enquired.
Your email today has spurred me on to get caught up on some Orwell work. I've been lazy in getting around to adding my latest Orwell purchase to the RECOMMENDED BOOKS ON ORWELL list since receiving it two weeks ago. I bought it from a bookstore in the UK and miraculously it arrived in exactly one week. I ordered it on a Monday and it arrived on the following Monday (just when I needed a dose of Orwell the most). It was such excellent service and delivery that I sent a letter of appreciation to the bookstore.
I haven't finished reading THE OBSERVER YEARS ORWELL yet because it isn't a biography - which I usually devour - but instead a compilation of the reportage, journalism and book reviews Orwell did for the "Observer" newspaper between the years 1942 and 1948. The "Observer" (now London Guardian) takes credit for 'discovering' Orwell long before he was famous. They started calling him 'a great writer' way back in 1938, before anyone else did:
Orwell: the Observer years (mark left here more profound than on Fleet and Grub streets). Guardian Unlimited
Also your email today is godincidental because it talks about our mutual use of the Canon Sure Shot camera, as discovered in our conversation about MEETING ORWELL THROUGH BOOKS. You gave one to your son Kevin and I'll be using mine soon on an upcoming trip with my son Kevin. I think you and I are unusual these days in our adherence to film cameras, instead of those new-fangled digitals that everyone else seems to be using. I guess that's where your Kevin inherited his steadfastness in using manual typewriters.
Now, to answer your question about the best biographies for good photos of Orwell I recommend:
GEORGE ORWELL: A LIFE by Bernard Crick, ORWELL: THE AUTHORIZED BIOGRAPHY by Michael Sheldon and GEORGE ORWELL AT HOME: ESSAYS & PHOTOGRAPHS by Freedom Press
However, at risk of blowing my own horn, I also recommend the two on-line books I've written (pictured above) about my visits to Britain and all things Orwell:
HOMAGE TO ORWELL and PILGRIMAGE TO ORWELL by Jackie Jura
There you will find never-before-seen photos (taken with my Canon Sure Shot camera) of places dear to Orwell's heart.
All the best,
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~