George Orwell's second wife was portrayed by many of her husband's biographers as a manipulative gold-digger who would stop at nothing to keep control of his legacy. But the truth about Sonia Orwell - the model for Julia in 'Nineteen Eighty-Four' - was altogether different.
Beautiful, intelligent and fiercely idealistic, she lived at the heart of London's literary and artistic scene before her marriage to Orwell changed her life for ever. Burdened with the almost impossible task of protecting Orwell's estate, Sonia's loyalty to her late husband brought her nothing but poverty and despair.
In 'The Girl From The Fiction Department', Hilary Spurling, one of our most-acclaimed biographers, reveals the full truth of Sonia Orwell's tragic and courageous life.