Coming Up for Air: Documentary into Novel

  • Valerie Meyers
Part of the Macmillan Modern Novelists book series


In May 1937 Orwell was wounded in the Spanish Civil War, and early in 1938 he became for the first time seriously ill with tuberculosis. He wrote his fourth novel, Coming Up for Air, in Marrakech, Morocco, where he spent the winter of 1938-39 to recuperate. After Keep the Aspidistra Flying, Orwell’s life and work changed decisively. He married in July 1936 and went to live in a village in Hertfordshire. The Road to Wigan Pier, his report on the conditions of unemployed workers, published by the Left Book Club early in 1937, made him known to a wider audience, and his experiences in the north of England and Spain confirmed his growing socialist convictions. His next book, Homage to Catalonia, an account of his experiences in the Spanish war, was a personal narrative, like Wigan Pier, which combined documentary observation, social and political commentary and autobiographical reflection.


Unemployed Worker Political Commentary Outer Suburb Opening Chapter Socialist Conviction 
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© Valerie Meyers 1991

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  • Valerie Meyers

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