In the autumn of 1922 a young man sailed from Birkenhead to Rangoon.  He was nineteen years old and about to join the Indian Imperial Police.  His name was Eric Blair.

Twelve years later Harper Brothers in New York published a novel called Burmese Days.  No one in England had been keen to publish the novel. Its author was a little known man called George Orwell

In the years that followed Burmese Days turned out to have many publishers and many readers.  In this course we shall consider how Eric Blair’s five years of colonial service lent itself to the creation of George Orwell and why Burmese Days, which had such an unpromising beginning, is of perhaps more interest to us than it was to the reader of 1934.

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