Famous Beginnings

When Twitter came up with the concept of ‘Vine’ videos, the world seemed to realise that its attention span had shrunk to 6 seconds. Writing in The Telegraph, Hannah Furness responds to the claim that literature must similarly “grab readers by the throat”, selecting the finest examples of novels whose opening lines do just that.…

George Orwell on what Animal Farm is really about

How to interpret Animal Farm has long divided critics, but Peter Davidson’s newly published George Orwell: Life in Letters includes a letter that directly addresses this issue. Orwell’s friend Dwight Macdonald asked him for the final word on the topic, and Orwell responded by writing: Of course I intended it primarily as a satire on…