The Orwell books which I read more than once were Homage to Catalonia and Down and Out in Paris and London. From the Paris section I took on board the belief that plongeur was an heroic métier: I think it helped shape me as an infrastructure guy rather than a centre-forward. I've just finished Orwell's Nose a pathological biography by John Sutherland, which The Beloved snagged for me from Wexford County Library Service.
The conceit is that Orwell was hyperosmic - reeling from the smells of the lower classes [the poor bugger was a scholarship boy at Eton] - the drains, the boiled cabbage, the oxters - while being patriarchally indifferent to his own contributions to the personal odourscape. Sutherland also indicts him for writing brutal lightly fictionalised portraits of people who went out of their way to support him: his parents, his younger sister, his teachers and most of his literary patrons. We also learn that Orwell was partial to outdoor bonking. The women of his circle applied NSIT not safe in taxis to Arthur Koestler; Orwell was more NSIH not safe in heathland.Mrs John Le Carré, she deserves co-authorship on much of Orwell's most productive and influential work
Eileen died of neglected cancer, aged 40 in 1945. George died of neglected lungs aged 46 in 1950.