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A Clergyman’s Daughter (Paperback)

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A Clergyman’s Daughter By George Orwell Cover Image
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Staff Reviews

The subject of George Orwell’s 1935 novel A Clergyman's Daughter is Dorothy Hare, the self-effacing, dutiful daughter of a tyrannical, humorless rector in Suffolk, England, dragged down by her sense of duty to others and her constant, wearying self-denial (Dorothy denies herself so much that eventually her self evaporates and she is temporarily left without any identity at all.) The central theme of the novel might be stated in three words-- ‘not enough money’-- and the way that a lack of money erodes morality just as surely as an excess of it does. Orwell himself did not think highly of A Clergyman's Daughter and asked his executors not to allow it to be reprinted, but I  think he sells himself short here; casting a modern eye on A Clergyman's Daughter we see Orwell developing as a writer—his bitingly comic, dryly humorous prose, his structurally experimental, modernist style, and his sharp sense of social comedy result in a novel that is funny and satirical, challenging the social conventions and sense of respectability of the time, with pointed observations on homelessness, poverty, education and religious belief. The novel can be read as an extended meditation on the nature of life and losing one’s faith, and the certain lack of redemption at the novel’s end reflects the limited avenues available to women at the time for finding self-fulfillment and purpose in life. Ed loved and highly recommends!

— Ed


Dorothy, the heroine of this novel, performs good works, cultivates good thoughts, and pricks her arm with a pin when a bad thought arises. She then has a series of unexpected and degrading adventures after becoming a victim of amnesia. Though she regains her life as a clergyman’s daughter, she has lost her faith.

About the Author

GEORGE ORWELL (1903–1950) was born in India and served with the Imperial Police in Burma before joining the Republican Army in the Spanish Civil War. Orwell was the author of six novels, including 1984 and Animal Farm, as well as numerous essays and nonfiction works.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780156180658
ISBN-10: 0156180650
Publisher: Mariner Books
Publication Date:
Pages: 324
Language: English
Series: Harvest Book
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