A series celebrating the life of works of George Orwell opened at the weekend with a dramatization of Animal Farm. Over the next two weeks you can listen to dramatisations and readings of 1984, Burmese Days, Homage to Catalonia, Down and Out in Paris and London and – last but very much not least – his essays and journalism.
I read both Animal Farm and 1984 for the first time before I was old enough to get a great deal out of them, but my most memorable early encounter with Orwell was definitely The Road to Wigan Pier, which I read, in an old Left Book Club edition, at my grandparents’ house when I was about 13. My uncle (for some reason I remember that he was reading The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists at the time) warned me that only the first half was worth reading, but I didn’t find that to be the case. Strangely – although it made a great impact on me – I don’t think I’ve ever reread Wigan Pier.
What memories do others have of reading Orwell – and what most tempts you in the BBC Orwell season?