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"The Crystal Spirit" is a revealing look at the great writer and political thinker George Orwell, whose visionary work gave us the great anti-utopias of twentieth-century literature. A close friend and colleague during the last decade of that remarkable writer's life, Woodcock was uniquely qualified to delve into the complex personal history of the man. Interwoven with Woodcock's own memories, the letters Orwell wrote to him and the published and unpublished recollections of other people who knew him, all against the political and literary background of Orwell's work, this groundbreaking intellectual biography is a general critique that brilliantly traces the evolution of an original writer in his most productive years. First published in 1966, it was awarded Canada's highest literary prize, the Governor General's Award for Literary Merit.