Although it is generally agreed that Orwell did not effectively reconcile the sections of this novel, the development of the narrative was greatly hindered by the effects of censorship. This arose from the publisher's understandable fears at the time that the book as submitted would lead to actions for libel, defamation and obscenity. In consequence, many pages were 'toned down' (again, Orwell's words), what was specific was made vague and unlocalised, and Dorothy's crucial loss of memory left unexplained. The discovery of details of cuts and changes required - most important of which is Mr. Warburton's attempt to rape Dorothy - make it possible to assess A Clergyman's Daughter afresh. Some passages can be restored precisely; whole areas of change can be identified though not restored. As a result, Dorothy's 'little odyssey', her loss of faith and her subsequent resighned acceptance of her lot, can at last be read with afar clearer understanding of what Orwell intended. No one who reads A Clergyman's Daughter can ever regard the plight of those who exist, homeless and adrift, in a great city in the same way again, especially in the bitter cold of winter. Here Orwell is unforgettable: nowhere else does he write with quite such poignancy.
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