8‑Year-Old George Orwell Sends a Cute Picture and Error-Filled Letter To His Mother, 1911

orwell drawing

It’s hard to imag­ine a time when George Orwell did­n’t exer­cise mas­ter­ful con­trol over the Eng­lish lan­guage. But if you go far enough back, you’ll find proof that every writer starts some­where. We all begin as mor­tals.

In Decem­ber 2, 1911, an 8‑year-old Eric Blair (the birth name of Orwell), wrote a let­ter to his moth­er, Ida, detail­ing his day-to-day affairs at St. Cypri­an’s School, a board­ing school in South­ern Eng­land. The let­ter is sweet for many rea­sons, not least because of the pho­net­ic spelling/misspellings that run through the note. The original/uncorrected text appears below. It’s one of many let­ters gath­ered on GeorgeOrwellNovels.com, and it’s also the very first let­ter pub­lished in a new vol­ume this week, George Orwell: A Life in Let­ters. The endear­ing let­ter was appar­ent­ly sent with a cute pic­ture enclosed. You can see it right above.

My dear Moth­er, I hope you are alright,

It was Mrs: Wilkes birth­day yes­ter­day, we had aufel fun after tea and played games all over the house. We all went for a walk to Beachy-Head.

I am third in Arith­mat­ick.
‘Its’ very dull today, and dosent look as if its going to be very warm. Thank you for your let­ter.

It is get­ting very near the end of the term, there are only eigh­teen days more. On Sat­ur­day evening we have dnc­ing, and I am going to say a piece of poet­ry, some of the boys sing.

Give my love to Father and Avril. Is Togo alright, We had the Oxford and Cam­bridge Match­es yes­ter­day. Cam­bridge won in the first and third, and the sec­ond did not have a Match. I am very glad Colonel Hall6 has giv­en me some stamps, he said he wold last year but I thought he had for­goten. Its a beast­ly wet day today all rain and cold.

I am very sor­ry to hear we had those beast­ly freaks of smelly white mice back.
I hope these arnt smelly one. if they arnt I shall like them.

From your love­ing son,
E. A. Blair.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Down­load George Orwell’s Ani­mal Farm and 1984 as Free Audio Books

The Only Known Footage of George Orwell (Cir­ca 1921)

George Orwell Explains How to Make a Prop­er Cup of Tea

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