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George Orwell Special Branch File
Introduction by Tom Secker
The Metropolitan Police Special Branch file on radical author and journalist George Orwell shows that he was the subject of repeated inquiries, but not of any punitive action. He is referred to variously as a "Communist", an "advanced Communist", a "Socialist" and "a bit of an anarchist", which I find highly amusing. Orwell described himself as a "libertarian socialist", i.e. an anarchist in the Bakunin mould.
The file also shows that all these movements both within the UK and beyond it were closely monitored, including when they got involved in the Spanish Civil War, and with opposition to the Second World War. The file also includes a newspaper review of Orwell's The Road to Wigan Pier and reports on his activities, including his association with the Booklovers Corner bookshop, which is now a pizza restaurant and take-away.
Click on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time.
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