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George Orwell

In 1903, George Orwell was born Eric Arthur Blair in Motihari, Bengal. The son of an agent in the Indian Civil Service, Blair moved to England in 1911 to begin his education. With a lackluster academic performance, he graduated from the famed public school Eton at the age of 18.

Rather than pursue his education further, Blair spent five years as an officer of the Indian Imperial Police. When he returned home on leave in 1927, Blair abruptly resigned from his position. He spent the next few years living and working among the poorer classes in both Paris and London. He published a nonfiction account of his time in the cities, "Down and Out in Paris and London," in 1933 under the name George Orwell.

In 1936, Blair opened a village shop in Wallington, Herfortdshire and married Eileen O'Shaughnessy. At the end of the year, he traveled to Barcelona, Spain to fight against the Franco regime in the Spanish Civil War. He joined the revolutionary POUM and was sent to the front in Aragon, where he was wounded in the throat. Blair returned to Barcelona, disillusioned with the way the socialist movement was progressing. He soon escaped to France with his wife.




Blair contracted tuberculosis in 1938. In 1941, he joined the British Broadcasting Corporation and served in the Home Guard (a civilian body for local defense) during WWII. He worked as a reporter and later settled on the island of Jura, off the coast of Scotland. It was there that he composed his most famous novel, "1984," a novel predicting an increasingly bureaucratized totalitarian system that would govern civilization. It was published in 1949.

Blair died on January 21, 1950 as the result of a tubercular hemorrhage.

Orwell on the Web

  • Political Writings of George Orwell
    Dedicated to the political works of an intensely political individual.

  • Charles' George Orwell Links
    Offers links to copious resources.

  • George Orwell 1903-1950
    Offers tons of information on the author and his works, including links, essays, discussion groups and a photo gallery.

  • The Chestnut Tree Cafe
    Dedicated to Orwell with biographical information, essays and a FAQ.




   --- Aidan Leonard

 
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