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Jacintha Buddicom (1901–1994)

Author of Eric and Us: Remembrance of George Orwell

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Jacintha Buddicom was born Plymouth, and raised at Shiplake in Oxfordshire. She had a younger brother, Prosper, and a sister, Guinever. She attended secondary school in Oxford, where she became a friend and teenage sweetheart of her neighbor Eric Blair, who grew up to take the pen name George Orwell. The friends lost touch after he went to work in Burma, but she kept their letters. In 1927, Jacintha had a baby daughter whom she gave up for adoption. She then began a 30-year affair with a British aristocrat. It was not until 1950 that Jacintha realized that the famous writer George Orwell was actually her long-lost friend; they planned to meet, but he died shortly afterwards. Jacintha Buddicom wrote a book of poetry published in the USA, and the collection Cat Poems, which was published in the UK in 1972. Two years later, she wrote Eric & Us, A Remembrance of George Orwell, a memoir. She designed two houses, and two motor-caravans, for which she won prizes. She was an avid astrologer and mapped horoscopes for many famous people, including The Beatles. After her death in 1994, her cousin Dione Venables, her literary executor, did research in the family papers, and in 2006 published an updated version of Eric & Us, including previously unknown material about the relationship between Buddicom and Blair.
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