George Orwell’s The Road to Wigan Pier was published by Victor Gollancz on 8 March 1937, but the journey to Wigan which produced it was made in early 1936. In addition to a great deal of research, the book was based on Orwell’s diaries, which begin in Coventry on 31st January 1936 and end in Mapplewell, near Barnsley, on 25th March 1936.

The Orwell Prize is delighted to be ‘post-blogging’ Orwell’s Wigan Pier diaries, with each entry being posted 75 years to the day since it was written. Follow Orwell’s progress in real-time as he confronts the poverty and deprivation of industrial England, a critical episode in his development as a journalist, social commentator and political writer.

This project follows the success of Webby-nominated blog of Orwell’s diaries from 1938 to 1942, which has also inspired our post-blog of Orwell’s 1931 hop-picking diary.

The material published on this blog remains under copyright and is reproduced by kind permission of the Orwell Estate (at A. M. Heath) and Penguin Books. We are very grateful to Bill Hamilton and A. M. Heath, who hold the rights to Orwell’s literary estate for their permission, and also to Penguin and Harvill Secker, who publish Orwell, for their support. Thank you to Peter Davison, Gordon Bowker and D. J. Taylor for their advice, expertise and permission to use their work, and to Richard Blair (Orwell’s son) for his support.

Finally, many thanks to David Lyons for the transcriptions.

For further information, please contact Gavin Freeguard, deputy director of the Orwell Prize and editor of the project.


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