A slave to her selfish, impecunious and ill-tempered father, Dorothy’s life is drab, unrewarding and correct, until an ‘incident’ with a elderly free thinker and loss of memory drives her onto the streets of London. Her progress to the hop-fields of Kent and to the grimness of a fourth rate private school gave Orwell an opportunity to effect one of his earliest pieces of social reportage as with devastating accuracy he depicts the hypocrisy, poverty and spiritual starvation which accompany Dorothy on her odyssey through the England of the 1930s.