George Orwell: the Socialist Who Loved Nature - a talk by Norman Bissell as part of the 15th Edinburgh Independent Radical Book Fair.
George Orwell was one of our finest political writers who wrote it as he saw it in his essays, novels and journalism. As a result of his experience fighting on the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War he became a committed socialist and was amongst the first to expose the counter-revolutionary role of Stalinism in his book Homage to Catalonia. In The Lion and the Unicorn published in 1941 he advocated revolution in England led by a people's army, the Home Guard.
Yet in his diaries he wrote about the weather, bird life, walking and fishing. At one point he and his wife Eileen kept goats, geese and chickens behind their village shop in Wallington and had a dog called Marx! When he went to the Isle of Jura in 1946 he made a vegetable garden, shot rabbits, kept geese and dug peat. He was a socialist who loved nature (except for rats and snakes).
This talk reveals the unknown Orwell and discusses his continuing significance today.