D J Taylor to write second Orwell biography for Constable

D J Taylor to write second Orwell biography for Constable

Constable has signed a fresh biography of George Orwell by D J Taylor, whose earlier book on the writer, published in 2003, won the Whitbread Prize.

Andreas Campomar, non-fiction publisher for the Little, Brown imprint, bought UK and Commonwealth rights in Orwell: The New Life from Gordon Wise at Curtis Brown. It will be published in 2023.

Following in the wake of his previous Orwell: The Life (Vintage), it will make use of a host of new material and has the blessing of the estate and Orwell’s son Richard Blair. In particular, Taylor will have access to two large collections of letters from the 1930s as well as details of Orwell’s final months and relationship with second wife, Sonia Brownell, plus details from Sylivia Topp’s book on his first wife Eileen: The Making of George Orwell (Unbound).

Taylor said: “In the decade-and-a-half since Orwell: The Life, my enthusiasm for Orwell has remained undimmed. Much of the new material enables us to recast his early life in a very different way, and the thought of spending another three years in his company is a highly cheering prospect.”

Campomar added: “Orwell: The New Life will be a re-examination of the writer by arguably his greatest biographer. Rather than reworking his original biography, D. J. Taylor will write this book from scratch. Not only will it present Orwell for the twenty-first century but also demonstrate how a biographer’s relationship with his subject can change over time.”

Constable will also publish critical editions of the six novels, all with in-depth commentaries and introductions by Taylor. The novels will start appearing mid-2021.