He’s included an exhaustive chronology of Orwell’s abbreviated life, an introduction to every section, numerous letters by those closest to Orwell, and biographical sketches of all the individuals named.
In January of 1940 he wrote this to his publisher, Victor Gollancz: What worries me at present is the uncertainty as to whether the ordinary people in countries like England grasp the difference between democracy and despotism well enough to want to defend their liberties.
One can’t tell until they see themselves menaced in some quite unmistakeable manner.
This is the real warning of : the danger comes not from our suppressors but from our ovine willingness to be suppressed.
Every Orwell scholar owes a tremendous debt to Peter Davison, the editor not just of this new volume, but also a 20-volume “a Boswellian tribute.” This new edition of Orwell’s letters is imperative for anyone who wishes to earn a larger understanding of the twentieth century’s most potent essayist.