Peter Davison's Memoirs: Life, Work, Orwell

PD talks to JS[Professor Peter Davison in conversation with Professor Jean Seaton]


This would have been the thirty-first volume devoted to the work of George Orwell that I have had the privilege of editing. I contributed a General Introduction to the twenty-volume Collected Works and a descriptive introduction to the Facsimile of the manuscript of Nineteen Eighty-Four but where there are introductions to the other volumes they have been contributed by distinguished scholars and authors such as my friend and colleague, the late Richard Hoggart. Other distinguished authors who introduced Penguin reprints include Dervla Murphy, Julian Symons, Malcolm Bradbury, and Ben Pimlott. Indeed, that contributed to the Italian edition of the Facsimile of Nineteen Eighty-Four was by no less than Umberto Eco. At the risk of stepping outside the role of editor, I am pleased to have this chance to express what will in effect show my gratitude for having had the opportunity to work on – and live with – the work of so great a writer. (Peter Davison)

Professor Peter Davison was asked to contribute an Introduction to a new selection of works by George Orwell, concentrating on his own ‘Road To George Orwell’ as his initial paragraph above makes clear. This introduction was not published, which has given the Orwell Society the opportunity and privilege to publish these memoirs. They appear on the Society website in five parts: