Down and Out in Paris and London
Written by George Orwell / Introduction by Hugo Rifkind
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About the Book
George Orwell’s vivid memoir of his time living among the desperately poor and destitute, Down and Out in Paris and London is a moving tour of the underworld of society.
Written when Orwell was a struggling writer in his twenties, it documents his ‘first contact with poverty’. Here, he painstakingly documents a world of unrelenting drudgery and squalor – sleeping in bug-infested hostels and doss houses of last resort, working as a dishwasher in Paris’s vile ‘Hôtel X’, surviving on scraps and cigarette butts, living alongside tramps, a star-gazing pavement artist and a starving Russian ex-army captain. Exposing a shocking, previously-hidden world to his readers, Orwell gave a human face to the statistics of poverty for the first time – and in doing so, found his voice as a writer.
George Orwell (1903–1950) is one of England's most famous writers and social commentators. He is the author of the classic political satire Animal Farm and the dystopian masterpiece Nineteen Eighty-Four. He is also well known for his essays and journalism, particularly his works covering his travels and his time fighting in the Spanish Civil War. His writing is celebrated for its piercing clarity, purpose and wit and his books continue to be bestsellers all over the world.
Hugo Rifkind is a columnist, critic and leader writer for The Times and a presenter on Times Radio, having formerly been a columnist for the Spectator, GQ and the Herald. He is a regular panellist on BBC Radio 4’s comedy show The News Quiz, and an occasional guest on television shows that aren’t supposed to be funny at all. He was born and raised in Edinburgh, studied in Cambridge, and now lives in North London in a house where everybody else speaks German, including the dog.
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