US-born poet T.S. Eliot refused to publish British novelist George Orwell’s Animal Farm because of its “Trotskyite” and unconvincing viewpoint, according to a newly-released letter.
Eliot, working at British publishers Faber and Faber, sent a rejection letter to the young Orwell in 1944 dismissing the book, which went on to become a classic of modern English literature.
Animal Farm — which is generally seen as an allegory on Stalinist communism in Russia — was only published the following year, after the end of World War II.
Orwell’s usual publisher Gollancz had refused to publish it, so the young writer tried his luck with Faber and Faber. But Eliot was not impressed, saying Orwell’s view “which I take to be generally Trotskyite, is not convincing.”
Orwell’s famous novel tells the story of a group of animals who take over a farm, and at first believe themselves free of their oppressors. But gradually the pigs take over in a new tyranny, led by head pig Napoleon.