Down And Out In Paris And London

Episodes

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01The Real George Orwell20130128

Written when Orwell was a struggling writer in his twenties, this vivid memoir documents the author's first contact with poverty, initially working as a dishwasher in Paris and surviving on scraps from the kitchen, and later, on his return to London, living in doss houses and hostels among tramps and down and outs. In this groundbreaking book he gave a human face to the statistics of poverty for the first time and, in so doing, found his voice as a writer.

Read by Joseph Millson

Abridged and produced by Jane Marshall

A Jane Marshall production for BBC Radio 4.

02The Real George Orwell20130129

Living in Paris with no money to his name, Orwell needs a job. He turns to Boris, a Russian refugee with experience of the restaurant trade, and together they hit the streets of the French capital in search of employment. But they soon find that a lame old soldier and a young man with no experience are low on the list of desirable employees to the local patrons who are inundated with men in need of work.

Read by Joseph Millson

Abridged and produced by Jane Marshall

A Jane Marshall production for BBC Radio 4.

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Episode 3

Penniless in Paris, Orwell gets a job as a 'plongeur' - a slave's slave, washing dishes for fourteen hours a day in a stifling inferno of a cellar, deafened by oaths and the clanging of pots and pans. And he discovers a whole new world among the restaurant workers of the French capital.

Read by Joseph Millson

Abridged and produced by Jane Marshall

A Jane Marshall production for BBC Radio 4.

03The Real George Orwell20130130

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Episode 4

Orwell considers the hierarchy among the hard pressed restaurant workers of Paris, where he discovers that no one wears a moustache except the cooks.

And he notes the stark contrast in cleanliness from one side of the service door to the other, even in the most luxurious of hotels.

Read by Joseph Millson

Abridged and produced by Jane Marshall

A Jane Marshall production for BBC Radio 4.

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Episode 5

Working long hours as a plongeur in the restaurants of Paris, Orwell savours his time off, catching up on his sleep and spending his Sundays in the bistros of the Latin Quarter, where he gets to know its colourful mix of inhabitants.

Read by Joseph Millson

Abridged and produced by Jane Marshall

A Jane Marshall production for BBC Radio 4.

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Episode 6:

After several months slaving as a dishwasher in Paris, Orwell returns to England.

But when the job he was promised fails to materialise he finds himself down and out once more. And he sees London from a totally new perspective.

Read by Joseph Millson

Abridged and produced by Jane Marshall

A Jane Marshall production for BBC Radio 4.

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Back home in England, but down and out once more, Orwell makes the acquaintance of an Irish tramp who introduces him to days on the road and nights in various doss houses. And he learns what he needs to do to get a cup of tea.

Read by Joseph Millson

Abridged and produced by Jane Marshall

A Jane Marshall production for BBC Radio 4.

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Orwell befriends a tramp called Paddy and they seek shelter in a Salvation Army Hostel where Orwell is struck by the range of men who find themselves down and out - from the young clerk who is desperate and starving, to the elderly foreign gentlemen down on their luck.

Read by Joseph Millson

Abridged and produced by Jane Marshall

A Jane Marshall production for BBC Radio 4.

0920130207

Down and out in London, Orwell meets a couple of pavement artists and considers society's attitudes to those who are forced to beg. Then, forced by the system to move on to new accommodation, he takes to the road, leaving London for the leafy lanes of Lower Binfield.

Read by Joseph Millson

Abridged and produced by Jane Marshall

A Jane Marshall production for BBC Radio 4.

10 LAST20130208

Orwell discovers that it's not the lack of money or the hunger that dispirits him most, but the boredom that goes hand in hand with poverty. And he rails against a system which he feels forces a man to waste his energy pointlessly, when he could put it to better use.

Read by Joseph Millson

Abridged and produced by Jane Marshall

A Jane Marshall production for BBC Radio 4.