Wednesday, September 17, 2014

What Wred's Reading: A Clergyman's Daughter

George Orwell is best known for 1984, Animal Farm, and some classic essays, but I've enjoyed reading his lesser-known works as well.  I'm closing in on the end of his oeuvre, so I'm finally getting to A Clergyman's Daughter.  I probably have taken so long to get to this one because the title makes it sound like a boring 19th Century novel.

It's not.  Like most of Orwell's work, it's quite good.  I'm more than halfway through and enjoying the read.  So far, the book has been divided into three sections.  The first just details the main character's life, that of a clergyman's daughter.

Then things get weird.

The second part finds her having lost her memory and ended up in London, where she migrates to picking hops on a farm.  The third part is written like a play and just involves the protagonist trying to survive while being homeless in London.

As usual, Orwell's sympathy with the poor comes through.  He, like many of us, seems baffled how a society could just have people waste time on the streets barely surviving.  Though he published this novel in the 1930s, it could be very easily updated to the presentday in the USA.

The only sad thing about finishing this book will be that I have almost no new Orwell to read now, and I've never been the type to read an author's letters and whatnot, except for scholarship purposes, so I'm probably done with George. But if you have never read any besides the famous Orwell works, then you should know that the less well-known works are also worth a read, though it is obvious why some of his work is more celebrated than the other work.

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