George Orwell’s essay “Charles Dickens” begins by comparing the attitudes to Charles Dickens of the conservative Catholic G. K. Chesterton with those of the Marxist critic T. A. Jackson. Chesterton’s name remains well-known if only through the adaptations of his Father Brown stories, though Orwell’s attitudes to political Catholicism have also helped to keep him in the public eye. The name of T. A. Jackson, outside of Orwell’s essay, is scarcely remembered, perhaps because he “occupied the position of an outsider” Philip Bounds says. Here Bounds explains why he finds Jackson “of immense value to the revolutionary project”.
Charles Dickens: The Progress of a Radical was published in 1937 by Lawrence and Wishart.
Click here for a downloadable version of Philip Bounds’ Against the Grain on T. A. Jackson.
Philip Bounds is the author of Orwell and Marxism: The Political and Cultural Thinking of George Orwell (I B Tauris)