HarperCollins is proud to present its incredible range of best-loved, essential classics. As a young man struggling to find his voice as a writer, George Orwell left the comfort of home to live in the impoverished working districts of Paris and London. He would document both the chaos and boredom of destitution, the eccentric cast of characters he encountered, and the near-constant pains of hunger and discomfort. Exposing the grim reality of a life marred by poverty, Down and Out in Paris and London, part memoir, part social commentary, would become George Orwell''s first published work.
HarperCollins is proud to present its incredible range of best-loved, essential classics. If there is one man to whom I do feel myself inferior, it is a coalminer. In the mid-1930s, George Orwell was given an assignment from his publisher - to write a book about unemployment and social conditions in the economically depressed north of England. Revolutionary for its time, The Road to Wigan Pier documents Orwell''s stint in towns likes Barnsley, Sheffield and Wigan in 1936, where he met and observed working-class people living in the bleak industrial heartlands of Yorkshire and Lancashire. Orwell graphically and emphatically describes the hardships of ordinary people living in cramped slum housing, working in dangerous mines and growing hungry through malnutrition and social injustice. It is an honest, gripping and humane study that also looks at socialism as a solution to the problems facing working-class northerners - something many readers at the time were uncomfortable discussing. The Road to Wigan Pier cemented ideas that would be found in Orwell''s later works, and remains a powerful portrait of poverty, injustice and class divisions in Britain to this day.