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Revenge is Sour


On the death of Rudyard Kipling
Charles Dickens
My Country Right or Left
Review 'Mein Kampf', Adolf Hitler
Tolstoy and Shakespeare
Mark Twain 'The Licensed Jester'
The English People
Words to Go
What is Fascism?
Review books by F A Hayek and K Zilliacus
Colour Bars in Britain
Tobias Smollett: Scotland's Best Novelist
Antisemitism in Britain
In Defence of P G Wodehouse
Notes on Nationalism
Author's Preface to the Ukrainian edition of Animal Farm
Revenge is Sour
You and the Atom Bomb
What is Science?
Review 'Drums under the Windows', Sean O'Casey
The Sporting Spirit
James Burnham and the Managerial Revolution
Burnham's View of the Contemporary World Struggle
Letter to F J Warburg
Review 'Portrait of the Antisemite', Jean-Paul Sartre
Reflections on Gandhi
Conrad's Place and Rank in English Letters
The Question of the Pound Award
Review 'Their Finest Hour', Winston S Churchill


This is an excellent and endlessly interesting collection. For anyone who wants to go beyond Animal Farm, Nineteen Eighty-Four and that essay on 'Politics and the English Language' which is the only one that most people have read, this is a wonderful book.

The introduction is the clearest short exposition of the development of Orwell's political thought that I have read; how he was of the left but hostile to most 'socialists', and how the Spanish Civil War gave him clarity in opposing totalitarianism of both right and left. Not only that, but it has some lovely lines in it, such as how Orwell's recklessness got him injured when he was shot by a sniper in Spain: 'He had literally stuck his head above the parapet.'

The notes are well done, comprehensive and good reading in themselves.

The criteria for including essays in the book are current relevance, rarity, excellence, and those showing Orwell's development as a writer, and this delivers a collection that is varied, captures Orwell's distinctive smoky voice as it grows in confidence, and offers some remarkable insight into modern controversies, particularly over antisemitism, authoritarianism and public morality ' the title essay, 'Revenge is Sour', is a fine short meditation about how, when someone to whom an injustice is done is in a position to take revenge, they no longer need to.

John Rentoul, chief political commentator for The Independent

George Orwell's later life and intellectual development are examined through salient essays, lively notes and an illuminating introduction. This is fresh and therefore - like Orwell - relevant.

Neil Kinnock, former Leader of the Labour Party

This book is a must-read for anyone looking for fresh thinking about today's challenges. It is an exciting and well-edited collection of George Orwell's lesser-known writings which, surprisingly, bring his characteristic breath of fresh air and insights into many contemporary challenges, including nationalism and identity politics, racism and antisemitism, populism and anti-scientific fake news, planning and markets. It includes still vibrant commentaries upon big personalities like Rudyard Kipling, Charles Dickens, PG Wodehouse, Gandhi and Jean-Paul Sartre and contemporary reviews of the ideas of Friedrich Hayek, Hitler's Mein Kampf and Winston Churchill.

Charles Clarke, former Home Secretary

Publishing details

Title: Revenge is Sour - lesser-known short works by George Orwell

Subtitle: The development of George Orwell portrayed in enduring articles and reviews, annotated

Editor: Cole Davis

Publisher: Volitor

376 pages; 6" x 9"

     Hardcover 978-1-9163632-2-9
     Paperback 978-1-9163632-1-2
     E-book 978-1-9163632-3-6

The compilation, introduction and annotation © Cole Davis (2021)
Cover illustrations © David Atkinson (2020)
George Orwell is out of copyright
except in the USA, where this book is not available

Cover design by Deividas Jablonskis

Contact details:
Volitor books: Volitor and Vor Press email address
David Atkinson: David Atkinson email address
Deividas Jablonskis: Deividas Jablonskis website Deividas Jablonskis email address