George Orwell

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George Orwell

A biography ofGeorge Orwell

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."-George Orwell, 1984

George Orwell (real name Eric Arthur Blair) was a British author and writing critic. His literature often addressed topics such as social injustice, totalitarianism in government systems, and politics in general. Orwell is considered one of the most influential writers of the English language from the 20th century.

Childhood, Family, and Personal LifeGeorge Orwell was born on June 25, 1903 in Motihari, a city in British India. His father was Richard Walmesley Blair and his mother was Ida Mabel Blair. Orwell was the middle child out of three; his sister Marjorie was five years older than him and his sister Avril was five years younger. He later moved to England with his family.Orwell married twice in his lifetime, though he never had any children (he did have an adopted child). He married his first wife, Eileen O'Shaughnessy, in 1935, but she died ten years later. He was married again in 1949 to Sonia Brownell.In 1947, Orwell was hospitalized with tuberculosis. He eventually died in 1950 (aged 46) from a ruptured artery in the lung.

Education and PovertyGeorge Orwell attended Eton College near Windsor, Berkshire in England. He was interested in writing, but the poverty that he faced after leaving college hindered him in beginning his writing career.

Timeline of Novels1933: Down and Out in Paris and London1934: Burmese Days1935: A Clergyman's Daughter1937: The Road to Wigan Pier1938: Homage to Catalonia1939: Coming Up for Air1940: Inside the Whale1941: The Lion and the Unicorn1945: Animal Farm1949: Nineteen Eighty-Four

Orwell in 1943Click image to view full video biography

Reprinted cover of Animal Farm (published 1945)

Writing Themes and Political ViewsMuch of Orwell's writing is based on his own viewpoints on politics (example Animal Farm). Orwell himself was a socialist who opposed the ideas of tyranny and dictatorship. In his novels, he often "criticized" the actions taken by other countries who did not share the same beliefs as him (especially the USSR and their communist system).Orwell was a strong advocate of his own political views, and wanted to convey what he thought was the truth about politics in his time.

Reprinted cover of 1984 (published 1949)


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