Search

New book uncovers details about Orwell’s association with coastal town

PUBLISHED: 15:55 13 March 2018 | UPDATED: 15:55 13 March 2018

A mural of George Orwell on Southwold Pier. Picture: Courtesy of Ronald Binns

A mural of George Orwell on Southwold Pier. Picture: Courtesy of Ronald Binns

Archant

George Orwell is often famed for his exploits abroad, but many may not be aware of his links to a place much closer to home.

Orwell had connections to Southwold for more than 20 years. Picture: Courtesy of Ronald BinnsOrwell had connections to Southwold for more than 20 years. Picture: Courtesy of Ronald Binns

It was on the Suffolk coast, namely Southwold, that one of the most influential literary and cultural figures of all time wrote his very first book and came to adopt his renowned pseudonym.

Nearly 90 years later, a retired lecturer and Reydon resident has followed up his interest in Orwell’s links to the town by penning a new book.

Ronald Binns, who has led guided walks of Southwold’s Orwell sights during Southwold Arts Festival, spent three years writing ‘Orwell in Southwold’, studying archive material in Lowestoft Record Office along the way.

Despite rarely settling down anywhere, Orwell - real name Eric Blair - had a prolonged connection with Southwold and Mr Binns believes it warrants exploration.

“Orwell’s connections with Southwold lasted for over 20 years but it’s an aspect of his life that has generally been neglected,” said Mr Binns, who has written books on Shakespeare and Booker Prize-winning novelist J.G. Farrell.

“He wrote two books in the town and lived in no less than four houses, all of which survive. People also forget that his sister Avril, was a prominent Southwold personality with a posh tea shop on Queen Street.”

Mr Binns’ research also unearthed some rather intriguing findings about Orwell’s love life in Southwold, thought to be alluded to in his classic final novel.

“He had a very intense secret love affair, which he later drew on in Nineteen Eighty-Four,” added Mr Binns, once a student under acclaimed novelist Malcolm Bradbury.

“I was excited to uncover previously unpublished photographs and information about his Southwold girlfriends. It was fascinating to learn about where they used to go for romantic walks and which pubs they drank in.

“In this book I’ve managed to disentangle the complicated story of Orwell’s involvement with Southwold, as well as all the writing he did when he was in the town. It was far more important to his career than you might guess from books about him.”

• Ronald Binns will be talking about his book and signing copies at Southwold Library on April 16 from 2pm. ‘Orwell in Southwold’ is on sale at Southwold Books, Wells Bookshop and Southwold Library.

Other news

16:00

An ex-teacher has been jailed for 10 years after engaging in sexual activity with two female pupils.

Figures have revealed the streets in Norfolk and Waveney which have access to both the fastest and the slowest broadband speeds, after a report has shown that more than a quarter of UK homes do not have fast enough broadband to cope with a family’s typical internet needs.

16:14

A photographer who has secured the front cover of a re-release of Stephen King’s ‘Dreamcatcher’ has used art to overcome her mental health struggles.

13:54

An incident which saw a dog chasing a deer through a nature reserve has sparked a warning to ‘irresponsible’ pet owners.

Most Read

16:00

An ex-teacher has been jailed for 10 years after engaging in sexual activity with two female pupils.

Read more
Ipswich Crown Court
13:54

An incident which saw a dog chasing a deer through a nature reserve has sparked a warning to ‘irresponsible’ pet owners.

Read more
Waveney District Council

A primary school which was put in special measures last year has been praised for its progress by Ofsted inspectors.

Read more
11:51

A doctors surgery has become the first in the Waveney area to prescribe parkrun to patients.

Read more
Lowestoft
Yesterday, 12:45

Witnesses are being sought after a man was verbally assaulted in Lowestoft.

Read more
Lowestoft Police

Winter Wonderland

cover

Click here to view
the Autumn
Supplement

View

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 3°C

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Lowestoft Journal
e-edition today

Subscribe

Newsletter Sign Up

Lowestoft Journal weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy