Savoring a book for weeks, months, and sometimes years inspires a natural curiosity about the person behind the words. Several scribes have reached cult celebrity status with voracious audiences, but others remain an enigma — their voices and image seldom captured, often due to lapses in technological advancement. After spotting a rare video featuring Nineteen Eighty-Four author George Orwell on Open Culture, we realized how many writers have evaded their close-up — by choice and by fate. Watch the rare footage of famous authors that we found after the break. The videos offer an intimate glimpse of literature’s most amazing minds.
The elusive Nineteen Eighty-Four author was captured here marching across a field at Eton College where he was enrolled under his birth name, Eric Arthur Blair. While at Eton in 1917, the writer studied French with English scribe Aldous Huxley and saw his writing career guided by poetry scholar A. S. F. Gow. Catch a peek of 18-year-old Orwell around the 50-second mark in the above video (fourth from the left).