George Orwell Nearly Died Halfway Through Writing ‘1984’
Posted on Dec 3, 2013
One of the most important books ever written almost never happened.
According to George Orwell’s son, the author and a good chunk of his family fell out of a boat and into the world’s third-biggest whirlpool near his home in Jura, Scotland. This was at a time when “1984” was only half written.
Of course Orwell survived the scare and completed the manuscript. While that may have made his a household name, writing and rewriting the book was so exhausting, it may have been the reason the author died only a year after its publication.
His son, Richard Blair, remembers via The Telegraph:
“I think that the real crippler was him having to rewrite the entire manuscript so that it could be published,” said Mr Blair. “He tried to get hold of a secretary and nobody would come up to Jura.
“So he had to sit down and type the entire manuscript. It was a complete shambles. Just pages and pages of typing, handwritten, crossed out, rewritten, and someone had to plough their way through that, so he had to do it himself. I think by the time he got to having done it, he kind of sat back and said, ‘Well that’s me – finished. Completely and utterly.’”
—Posted by Peter Z. Scheer
Axel Schwenke (CC-BY-SA)