Wednesday 12th October 1938: George Orwell writes to Jack Common who was looking after his cottage:
‘I hope the hens have begun laying. Some of them have by this time, I expect, at any rate they ought to.
We’ve bought the hens for our house, which we’re moving into on Saturday. The hens in this country are miserable little things like the Indian ones, about the size of bantams, and what is regarded as a good laying hen, i.e. it lays once a fortnight, costs less than a shilling. They ought to cost about 6 pence, but at this time of year the price goes up because after Yom Kippur every Jew, of whom there are 13,000 in this town, eats the whole fowl to recompense him for the strain of fasting 12 hours.’
I think I would be very happy to be offered a British chicken!
In writing this I have discovered something new (to me) about George Orwell – he was actually named Eric Arthur Blair!