Island writer Norman Bissell joins Waterstones Byres Road to launch his new novel Barnhill, exploring George Orwell’s last years on the Scottish isle of Jura, eager to finish the manuscript that would become the momentous 1984 amidst suspicions of assassination and suffering of tuberculosis.
George Orwell left post-war London for Barnhill, a remote farmhouse on the Isle of Jura, to write what became Nineteen Eighty-Four. He was driven by a passionate desire to undermine the enemies of democracy and make plain the dangers of dictatorship, surveillance, doublethink and censorship.
Typing away in his damp bedroom overlooking the garden he created and the sea beyond, he invented Big Brother, Thought Police, Newspeak and Room 101 – and created a masterpiece.
Barnhill tells the dramatic story of this crucial period of Orwell’s life. Deeply researched, it reveals the private man behind the celebrated public figure – his turbulent love life, his devotion to his baby son and his declining health as he struggled to deliver his dystopian warning to the world.
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