Is It Glamorous?

David Simpson

  • Absent Minds: Intellectuals in Britain by Stefan Collini
    Oxford, 544 pp, £16.99, July 2005, ISBN 0 19 929105 5

George Orwell is commonly invoked as the ideal role model for the intellectual: feisty, independent, outspoken and contrarian, active in the public sphere, and famous. So it’s a surprise to learn that the combined circulation of the three periodicals in which most of his essays appeared was only about half that of the publication you are now reading. On the other hand, A.J.P. Taylor wrote some 1500 book reviews in the course of his career, many of which appeared in the Sunday Express, which in the late 1950s had a circulation of four million and paid him up to £100 a time – a very considerable sum.

You are not logged in