In 'Politics and the English Language' Orwell puts the case for political writers to use plain English. The rest of this hard-hitting and wide-ranging volume of essays perfectly illustrates what he had in mind. 'England Your England', written during the Blitz, was described by Arthur Koestler as 'one of the most moving and yet incisive portraits of the English character'. 'Inside the Whale' uses the work of Henry Miller as a peg for a sharp survey of a whole generation of writers in English, while the other essays on language and literature consider Gulliver's Travels, Tolstoy and King Lear, boys' weeklies and freedom of speech. Two more personal and political pieces describe life 'down the mine' and shooting an elephant in Burma - a touching and beautifully concise critique of colonialism. All remain intensely stimulating, enriched by Orwell's unique combination of first-hand observation, decency, compassion and supreme clarity of expression.