The first volume of this collection of George Orwell’s essays, diaries, and letters covers the period from 1920-1940. During this time, Orwell published seven of his nine books and began to develop the political opinions that would later become so important in his work, but he was still relatively unknown.
In his letters, he did not mince words about some things he really, really disliked. These included:
On the other hand, he generally felt positively about the following:
Tropic of Cancer
This collection was edited by Orwell’s widow, Sonia, and Ian Angus. His widow reportedly obstructed many of those who wanted to write his biography. She felt that his work, which was often autobiographical, should stand for itself. She wanted this collection to “read like a novel.” I wouldn’t go that far, but the selection of letters and essays is good, and going back and forth between them does work fairly well. They did cut all the racy parts out of the letters, presumably to avoid embarrassing people involved who may have still been living in 1968 when this was first published.