The Road to Wigan Pier
The Road to Wigan Pier is a book in two parts: the first half is Orwell’s description of working-class life in industrial communities of the north of England, the second examines his own political views.
Part of the Macmillan Collector’s Library; a series of stunning, clothbound, pocket-sized classics with gold foiled edges and ribbon markers. These beautiful books make perfect gifts or a treat for any book lover. This edition is introduced by Amelia Gentleman.
The Road to Wigan Pier is an insightful and powerful account of lives lived in poverty and deprivation in a time of low wages and meagre government support. Orwell describes dismal housing (including the lodging house where he stays), harsh working conditions and the devastating effects of unemployment. And he also vividly describes the courage and dignity of the people he meets. In the second half of the book, Orwell examines his own political and social affiliations with an impressive ability to provoke and to question. He defends middle-class values whilst critiquing the failures of his own class, he advocates socialism whilst criticizing the socialist movement in England.
With absolute confidence, after several false starts, the mature George Orwell takes charge of this idiosyncratic account of working-class life from his first page.
Robert McCrum, '100 best nonfiction books of all time', Guardian