Nineteen Eighty-four 8

Nineteen Eighty-four
This companion to October 17 Part 1 & Part 2 is not an English Literature Study Guide for 1984. Instead it puts historical context to Orwell’s reasons for writing the novel. He got the title by reversing the year he finished it: 1948. Originally he called it The Last Man in Europe, but decided 1984 ...

October 17 Pt 2: Storming the Winter Palace 14

October 17 Pt 2: Storming the Winter Palace
  Read Part 1 October 17 In May 1917 when Trotsky arrived in Petersburg from New York, after spending a month interned by the British, he did not immediately join Lenin’s Bolsheviks. As a Marxist, Trotsky was suspicious of Lenin, who he rightly viewed as an ambitious radical intent on exploiting a popular mass movement ...

October 17 18

October 17
  In the 1720s Peter the Great sought to modernise Russia, but the aristocracy and his successors were traditionalists who believed God appointed them to rule. Due to its vast size, poor infrastructure and virtually subsistence agricultural economy, Russia essentially remained a medieval Byzantine kingdom under an absolutist Tsar and mortgaged nobility. By the early ...

Symposium 12

Symposium
These days a symposium sounds quite prestigious. It something scientists and academics attend to exchange cutting-edge ideas. So it might surprise you to know it come from the Ancient Greek for ‘Drinking Together’. Something probably not that far off the truth these days either: a load of bladdered physicists doing Stephen Hawking impressions… Cos he’s ...

Pure 18

Pure
  Leather manufacture was always a noisome business. Noisome as in smelly, not noisy: that was the slaughterhouse. Although with all those animals terrified by death and all the blood, I think slaughterhouses were pretty smelly too. When I was a kid there was a tannery on the side of the Leeds to Liverpool Canal. ...
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