Homage to Catalonia guided tour in Barcelona
We discuss George Orwell on our main Spanish Civil War tour but if you’re interested in a more detailed vision, we also do a specific tour of the English writer’s experiences in Barcelona. This is only available as a private tour and costs 250 flat for 3 and a half hours. It also functions as a walking museum, with a number of related objects. We’d stop somewhere for a coffee while continuing the story. To book email email@example.com
George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia is almost certainly the most widely read account of the Spanish Civil War in English. It is a brilliantly written memoir of his experiences, accompanied, sentence after sentence, by acute personal observations and sharp if sometimes flawed political analysis. We discuss his arrival in revolutionary Barcelona and on to fighting with the POUM militia on the Aragón front. Then we”ll bring the story back to Barcelona and discuss his role in the leftist infighting known in English as the May Days and how he later escaped from the Stalinist-influenced police. Returning to Britain, we’ll talk about the book’s publishing history and impact, and how Orwell’s time in Catalonia and Aragón greatly shaped his future writing. We’ll end by considering how much of his political analysis of the conflict stands up to today’s historical understanding.
Tours with the Orwell society with Orwell’s son Richard Blair and Quentin Kopp
I have done several tours with Richard and Quentin in Aragón, sons of Orwell and his commander Georges Kopp. Photo to the left: in the restored POUM position of the Ruta Orwell in the Sierra de Alcubierre. It was damned hot.
The Orwell Society field trip to Barcelona and the trenches (2022)
Publishing Homage to Catalonia
First edition of Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell. Orwell had great difficulties in publishing Homage to Catalonia, his experiences of the Civil War in Aragón and the revolution in Barcelona. His old publisher Victor Gollancz rejected it, in part under pressure from the Communist Party. It was finally published after months of rejections in late 1938 by the small outfit of Secker & Warburg. The first edition was a commercial flop and the 1500 copies did not sell out until 1951, a year after Orwell’s death. Image kindly provided by Professor Pelai Pagès i Blanch, specialist in the POUM at Barcelona University. The book forms part of his personal collection.
George Orwell Day in Barcelona
We are also co-founders and organisers of the annual Barcelona Orwell Day (2013-2023).
Reading and media for Homage to Catalonia
- Homage to Catalonia (Wikipedia)
- Looking back on the Spanish War essay by George Orwell (1943)
- As I please by George Orwell. Column published in Tribune (15 September 1944)
- My guidebook Forgotten Places: Barcelona and the Spanish Civil War is available in print and on Kindle. It includes about 20 pages on Orwell (out of total of 400 pages)
- Lights and shadows in George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia. (2017, PDF) Paul Preston’s ferocious critique of Homage to Catalonia
- With the POUM International volunteers on the Aragon Front ( 2018, PDF) By Andy Durgan. Excellent article
- George Orwell’s Commander in Spain: The Enigma of Georges Kopp by Marc Wildemeersch (2013)
- Eileen: The Making of George Orwell by Sylvia Topp (2020)– book review in The New Statesman
- The Ministry of Truth: A Biography of George Orwell’s 1984 -book review in The Guardian
- David Crook. The man who spied on Orwell in Barcelona (Wikipedia)
- VIDEO: George Orwell BBC Arena Part 3 Homage to Catalonia (YouTube). Made in 1983
- AUDIO: BBC Radio 4 – Bookclub, George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia
- Tour in Spanish George Orwell en Aragón. Routes in Spanish by Aragonese Orwell expert Victor Pardo.
- Centro de Interpretación de la Guerra Civil en Aragón. In the village of Robres.
- TOUR George Orwell’s London by Diarmaid Ward . http://orwellslondontour.webs.com/