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Orwell, feeling intellectually isolated in his parents’ home town of Southwold on the Suffolk coast, had longed to return to London. His aunt, Nellie Limouzin, persuaded her friends Francis and Myfanwy Westhope to provide him with lodgings over their shop in exchange for part-time help.

The Westhopes introduced Orwell to the form of socialism that shaped his future political views, but he did not share their passion for Esperanto as the language of the impending proletarian revolution.

Views on the control of language held by the more radical supporters of Esperanto, it has been suggested, possibly led in time to the idea for ‘Newspeak’ in Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Slightly bumped and rubbed, the Bonhams copy of Keep the Aspidistra Flying lacked a dust jacket, but its association value was clearly demonstrated.