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George Orwell, The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters. 4. Letter to Rayner Heppenstall


George Orwell

George Orwell

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George Orwell, The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters

4. Letter to Rayner Heppenstall

The Stores
Wallington
Nr Baldock, Herts.
11 April 1940

Dear Rayner,4
Did those photos come to anything? If so, I’d be very obliged if you’d send me any that seemed worth reproducing and let me know what the negatives etc. cost. I’ve just had a thing from some kind of American literary Who’s Who5 wanting to put me in, with photo, and I suppose I’d better comply as it’s all an advert.

4. Rayner Heppenstall (1911- ), novelist, poet and critic, whose works include The Blaze of Noon and Four Absentees, met Orwell in the spring of 1935 through Richard Rees and their friendship continued until Orwell’s death.
5. Stanley J. Kunitz and Howard Haycraft, Twentieth Century Authors (New York 1942). See 7.

Hope all goes well with you. I’m here alone, Eileen6 coming down at weekends when she can. They are working her to death in that office7 and I want to get her out of it if possible, but at present nothing is transpiring about a job for me. I haven’t touched my novel8 but am kept very busy doing reviews which help to keep the wolf a few paces from the backdoor. Also with the garden, spring sowing being in full swing. I am aiming to raise 6 cwt of potatoes against the famine I foresee next winter. Did you go to the Easter conference at Langham9 by any chance? They asked me to speak, I couldn’t get away, but sent a lecture10 to be read by someone else, attacking pacifism for all I was worth. I don’t know how they liked it and would like to hear from someone who was there. Please give my love to Margaret.11 I hope she is going on OK.
Yours,
Eric

6. Eileen Blair, Orwell’s wife.
7. The Censorship Department.
8. A projected Saga in three parts which was never begun seriously. See I, 159.
9. The Adelphi Centre at Langham, Essex, an offshoot of the Adelphi magazine, founded in 1936 for Summer Schools, conferences etc. to promote Socialist studies. At this time it was dominated by Max Plowman, an ardent pacifist.
10. This has not been preserved.
11. Mrs Rayner Heppenstall.

PS. I had some publications by some BFs who call themselves the Apocalyptic school12 to review recently and took the opportunity of giving a boost to Dylan,13 whose stuff I have decided I really like in a way.

12. New Apocalypse, an anthology of criticism, poems and stories, 1940, representing a neo-Romantic movement centred round the poets Henry Treece and J. F. Hendry.
13. Dylan Thomas.

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