From 1936 to 1940, the newly-wed George Orwell lived in a small cottage inHertfordshire, writing, and tending his garden. When Rebecca Solnit visited the cottage, she discovered the descendants of the roses that he had planted many decades previously. These survivors, as well as the diaries he kept of his planting and growing, provide a springboard for a fresh look at Orwell’s motivations and drives -and the optimism that countered his dystopian vision – and open up a profound mediation on our relationship to plants, trees and the natural world.
Tracking Orwell’s impact on political thought over the last century, Solnit journeys toEngland and Russia, Mexico and Colombia, exploring the political and historical events that shaped Orwell’s life and her own. From a history of roses to discussions of climate change and insights into structural inequalities in contemporary society, Orwell’s Roses is a fresh reading of a towering figure of 20th century literary and political life, which finds optimism, solace and solutions to our 21st century world.