By Gordon Bowker
(Abacus (UK), Paperback, 9780349115511, 495pp.)
Publication Date: April 2004
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Gordon Bowker's biography includes material which brings the writer's life into unfamiliar focus. Bowker writes revealingly about Orwell's family background, the lasting influence of Eton on his work and character, his superstitious streak and youthful flirtation with black magic, and his chaotic and reckless sex life, which included at least one homoerotic relationship. It highlights the strange circumstances of his first marriage and provides evidence of his experiences in Spain and their nightmarish consequences. It also offers a fresh look at his peculiar deathbed marriage to a woman 15 years his junior.