Scientist claims it is likely that the illness that killed the novelist was contracted after he was wounded in the Spanish civil war

Scientific tests carried out on a letter sent by George Orwell shortly after his return from the Spanish civil war have suggested he may have caught the tuberculosis that killed him in a Spanish hospital.

The letter, written after the author came home from fighting against Franco’s fascist uprising in July 1937, was sent by Orwell to Sergey Dinamov, the editor of the Soviet journal Foreign Literature. It was tested by Gleb Zilberstein, a scientist who has previously identified traces of kidney disease on the manuscript of Mikhail Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita. Although it is well known that Orwell died from a haemorrhage caused by tuberculosis, it has not been clear where he caught it.

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