About the Author
1903 - 1950
Eric Arthur Blair (pseudonym: George Orwell) was an English novelist, essayist, political writer and journalist. During his life he was most known for his essays, columns and reviews in newspapers and magazines. However, after his life he is most known for his novels, particularly Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four.
Orwell was born in Motihari, India, where his father was stationed as a civil servant. His mother brought him and his sister to settle in Henley-on-Thames in England at the age of one. He was often ill as a child, battling bronchitis or the flu. However, he started writing at the age of four and published his first poem in the local newspaper at the age of eleven.
He attended boarding schools for most of his life. After completing school, Orwell joined the India Imperial Police Force. He was on post in Burma for five years. Later, Orwell returned to England to pursue his writing career. He published Burmese Days, a novel with a dark look on British colonialism in Burma.
Orwell joined a group fighting General Francisco Franco in the Spanish Civil War in 1936. However, he was shot in the throat and arm and returned to England. His battle with sickness took a turn when he was diagnosed with tuberculosis in 1938.
During this time, Orwell supported himself with writing essays and reviews. In 1945 Orwell published Animal Farm, one of his most successful novels. Nineteen Eighty-Four followed in 1949, a year before his death. George Orwell died in 1950 of tuberculosis.
Literary Inspirations and Influences
Orwell's novels heavily feature political themes such as anti-fascism, anti-Stalinism, democratic socialism and totalitarianism. Nineteen Eighty-Four has been compared to Aldous Huxley's A Brave New World and Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 as a powerful dystopian novel. Nineteen Eighty-Four is read around the world in schools as a part of the curriculum. Both Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm have been produced into popular films.