The Road to Wigan Pier

Reviews, recommendations, books to avoid. What have you been reading?
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Reviews, recommendations, books to avoid. What have you been reading?

The Road to Wigan Pier

Postby Pondero » September 20th, 2016, 6:55 pm

Well, I am disgusted , not with the description of the poverty in the book, but, by George Orwell himself. He lambastes everyone who disagrees with him. He could not be harder on people and waxes eloquent about the supposed virtues of the coal miner.
His answer to all this degrading poverty (circa 1937 in England and Wales) is Socialism. Socialism is never analysed or gone into in any deep manner. It is accepted that anyone with half a brain would see the advantage of it. Such is not the truth.Socialism to George Orwell, is abolition of poverty and justice and liberty to all. Nothing deeper than that, and all of which can be found in Catholicism. He never read Rerum Novarum by Pope Leo X111. Orwell's main enemy is Fascism. and that is not properly defined. I think he was an idiot for going to fight on the Republican side in Spain in 1936 or thereabouts. Now, what harm had thousands of nuns and priests done to Spain that justified their murder early on in the Spanish Civil War.?
He should have gone to Russia to see first hand the results of Communism before the Second World War broke out - maybe he would have learned something.

And now, before the inevitable disagreement that this opinion will have generated among a few, I am going to take back the book, right now to the library.
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Re: The Road to Wigan Pier

Postby Pondero » October 16th, 2016, 11:14 am

I am reading a book called "The Genius of Britain" at the moment by Robert Uhlig which I find fascinating. It is true that for such a small island Britain has packed more of a punch in the past than other nations in its quest of Science.Britain should not be known only for its start of the Industrial Revolution. I am only on page 21 at present, but I will finish reading this book.

I can't say the same about the other book I got from the library.That one is entitled "They know everything about you" how data -collecting agencies are destroying democracy" I find the style of writing the author Robert Sheer indulges in, virtually unreadable.That book will be returned shortly. EDIT
My. Son and daughter are interested in it, and if you open it in the middle and not st the front it is more readable. I will keep it and try again to read it.
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Re: The Road to Wigan Pier

Postby Theophilus » October 16th, 2016, 11:42 pm

Pondero wrote:Well, I am disgusted , not with the description of the poverty in the book, but, by George Orwell himself. He lambastes everyone who disagrees with him. He could not be harder on people and waxes eloquent about the supposed virtues of the coal miner.
His answer to all this degrading poverty (circa 1937 in England and Wales) is Socialism. Socialism is never analysed or gone into in any deep manner. It is accepted that anyone with half a brain would see the advantage of it. Such is not the truth.Socialism to George Orwell, is abolition of poverty and justice and liberty to all. Nothing deeper than that, and all of which can be found in Catholicism. He never read Rerum Novarum by Pope Leo X111. Orwell's main enemy is Fascism. and that is not properly defined. I think he was an idiot for going to fight on the Republican side in Spain in 1936 or thereabouts. Now, what harm had thousands of nuns and priests done to Spain that justified their murder early on in the Spanish Civil War.?
He should have gone to Russia to see first hand the results of Communism before the Second World War broke out - maybe he would have learned something.

And now, before the inevitable disagreement that this opinion will have generated among a few, I am going to take back the book, right now to the library.


George Orwell did see first hand the results of Soviet communism before WWII, though not by visiting Russia but during the Spanish Civil War. There he saw how the Soviets tried to infiltrate the Republican side and bring all the "anti-Facist" side under their own control, effectively handing the war to Franco's side. Later on he was a critic of Soviet style communism and Stalinism, as can be seen in his novels Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four (where the main ideology in his dystopia is "IngSoc", i.e. English Socialism).
Last edited by Theophilus on October 17th, 2016, 12:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Road to Wigan Pier

Postby Lyn » October 17th, 2016, 12:16 am

Yes indeed. Pondy, there is much more to Orwell than meets your eye, he was very astute. 'The Road to Wigan Pier' is good English Lit, nothing wrong with it being controversial, decent literature invariably is.
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Re: The Road to Wigan Pier

Postby Theophilus » October 17th, 2016, 12:25 am

More accurately, the Road to Wigan Pier was investigative journalism as well as literature. As journalism it is good, because it describes a way of life not many others (if any) wrote about. The same is true of Down and Out in London and Paris where Orwell literally became a tramp to see the life of the homeless. I disagree with his adherance to socialism, but at least he was realistic about it and how it could lead to communism, which he certainly did not agree with; he was an atheist, so couldn't be expected to recognize Christianity as the solution to his ideals of fairness, equality and liberality. Political ideology, flawed though it is, was the only intellectual "home" he could find for his basically noble views.
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Re: The Road to Wigan Pier

Postby Lyn » October 17th, 2016, 12:47 am

That is a good assessment imnsho, Theo,
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Re: The Road to Wigan Pier

Postby Sprocket » October 17th, 2016, 7:08 am

It is indeed.
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Re: The Road to Wigan Pier

Postby Pondero » October 18th, 2016, 11:12 am

I have the authorised biography of Orwell by Michael Shelden on my bookshelf, which I have never read; perhaps that will cast more light on Orwell's character. I also have on my bookshelf Homage to Catalonia, a tale of the civil war in which he participated. I didn't notice any mention of Russian communist infiltration in the ranks of the Republican side when I read it. Also, I have read Shooting the Elephant, an essay he wrote while in india. And I have read Down and Out in London and Paris, and of course the more well known works such as Animal Farm and 1984. So I am very familiar with Orwell's works.
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Re: The Road to Wigan Pier

Postby Lyn » October 18th, 2016, 12:11 pm

Good for you.

I spent some time this morning with a lady called, "Judith". When I was young it was quite a popular name and recently I was actually thinking that we don't hear of it much nowaday though it is, imo, a lovely name. Names fade in an out of vogue of course. Anyway she told me that her mother named after Judith Paris, the character in the title of a book by Hugh Warpole, and her two brothers were also named after characters from that book. She said she had been to the place in Northumberland (I think), where 'Judith Paris' is set.

It sounded fascinating, must admit I have never read a book by Warpole. Has anyone else read that book and if so, what is it about? I will look it up but nice to have an opinion from someone on here if it is available, before I buy it to add to the pile :) .
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Re: The Road to Wigan Pier

Postby Sprocket » October 18th, 2016, 12:36 pm

Walpole, not Warpole. It's one of the 'Herries Chronicle' series of novels, which I've got but have not read. He was a descendant of Horace Walpole, the 18th Century politician, novelist and man of letters. He more or less invented the gothic novel sub-genre with 'The Castle of Otranto' (Horace, not Hugh).
Last edited by Sprocket on October 18th, 2016, 12:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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