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                 He is one of Suffolk’s most famous sons, but what was George Orwell’s relationship
September 1934 in Southwold, George Orwell complains in a letter to a friend that “... the fair, or part of it, has come back and established itself on the
common just beyond the cinema, so that I have to work to the accompaniment of roundabout music that goes on till the small hours.”
How is it that this genteel Suffolk seaside town became a place that he both loved and loathed early on in his writing career?
After serving as a police officer in Burma, in 1927 Eric Blair (later to be known as George Orwell) returned to his parents’ home in Southwold determined to be a writer. At first, the course of his writing apprenticeship did not run smoothly; his initial attempts at fiction writing were abortive, with one friend describing him as “like a cow with a musket”, writing short stories which lacked the control and finesse of his later work. Nevertheless, he did succeed in
writing journalistic articles and reviews for small press publications in Paris and London at this stage, whilst also gathering material for his first published
work of literary reportage, Down and Out in Paris and London.
Orwell’s parents’ home in Southwold became his bolthole and writer’s retreat during this period of his life, which was made complicated by trips to London and Paris, tramping exploits, Kent hop- picking adventures, short-term employment as a teacher, and bouts of ill health. In the context of this provincial seaside town, he was regarded as an eccentric by local people, who looked down on his unemployed status and had no grasp of his vocation to be a writer. Letters from this period show the importance of his friendships with the doctor’s son, Dennis Collings, and with two women he pursued simultaneously: Brenda Salkeld, gym mistress at St Felix School, and her former pupil Eleanor Jaques.
The course of the hidden passion between Orwell and Eleanor (known to be the girlfriend of Dennis Collings at this time) can be tracked through the
  George Orwell on Walberswick beach
 Orwell and Southwold: An early chapter

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