Bibliographic information:
ISBN: 9781804471173
Paperback • 64pp • £5
110 mm x 178 mm
23 October 2024
Territory: World English (excluding US)

Decline of the English Murder

And Raffles and Miss Blandish

George Orwell



Publication date: 23 October 2024

ISBN: 9781804471173




Your pipe is drawing sweetly, the sofa cushions are soft underneath you, the fire is well alight, the air is warm and stagnant. In these blissful circumstances, what is it that you want to read about? Naturally, about a murder.

George Orwell set out ‘to make political writing into an art’, and to a wide extent this aim shaped the future of English literature – his descriptions of authoritarian regimes helped to form a new vocabulary that is fundamental to understanding totalitarianism. While 1984 and Animal Farm are amongst the most popular classic novels in the English language, this new series of Orwell’s essays seeks to bring a wider selection of his writing on politics and literature to a new readership.

In Decline of the English Murder, the tenth in the Orwell’s Essays series, Orwell considers the sorts of murders are portrayed in the media, and why exactly people like to read about them. Expounding on his findings in the accompanying essay, titled in full The Ethics of the Detective Story from Raffles to Miss Blandish, Orwell broadens his focus to ‘true crime’ and realism in fictional murders – a genre that thrives to this day.

George Orwell

Born Eric Arthur Blair (1903–1950), George Orwell was an English journalist, writer and critic. Orwell devoted his life to working against extremism, and in his description of how authoritarian regimes pervade our thoughts, he gave us a new vocabulary to understand totalitarianism. He is best remembered today for his innumerable essays, his novels – in particular Animal Farm and 1984 – and his longer non-fiction, especially The Road to Wigan Pier and Down Out in Paris and London.