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The Following is an Excerpt from this Book

George Orwell was born on 25 June 1903 in Motihari in Bihar (then, British India). His great-grandfather, Charles Blair, was a rich country fellow of England and had an income as a landlord of plantations in Jamaica. His grandfather, Thomas Blair, was a clergyman. Eric Blair (Orwell) identified his background as the lower-upper-middle class. His father, Richard Blair, was employed in the Indian Civil Service Department. Orwell’s academic success records say he ignored his academic studies, but during his tenure at Eton, he collaborated with Roger Mynors to create a College magazine, The Election Times that entered the development of other publications, College Days and Bubble and Squeak; and played in the Eton Wall Game. Without another scholarship, his parents could not afford to send him to a university, and they inferred from his bad results that he could not gain one.

Orwell had to pass an entrance exam for this. He left Eton in 1921 and traveled to join his parents Southwold, Suffolk, the town’s first of their four homes. Blair was enrolled in a master’s grade there named Craighurst and checked up on his Classics, English, and History. He passed the entrance test, ranked seventh out of the 26 candidates, which surpassed the pass mark deadline. Blair then frequently contributed to Adelphi, with A Hanging published in August 1931. His explorations of deprivation lasted from August to September 1931, and as the narrator of A Clergyman’s Daughter, he adopted the East End custom of living in the Kent hop fields. There he had maintained a journal of his observations. He then lived in the kip of Tooley Road, but couldn’t bear it for long, and moved to Windsor Road with financial support from his parents, where he remained until Christmas. Eric Blair’s Hop Picking appeared in the October 1931 column of New Statesman, whose editorial staff included his close friend Cyril Connolly. Mabel Fierz associated him with Leonard Moore, who had become his literary agent.

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George Orwell’s work is characterized by concise writing, sharp social criticism, and resistance to totalitarianism, and explicit support for democracy. For much of his lifetime, Orwell was best known for his writing, in essays, articles, columns in magazines and newspapers and his journalism: Down and Out in Paris and London (trying to portray a time of deprivation in these cities), The Road to Wigan Pier (defining the living standards of the poor in northern England, and class separation in general), and Homage to Catalonia. Orwell was the greatest English essayist after Hazlitt, maybe after Dr. Johnson.

Modern audiences are introduced to Orwell more frequently as a novelist, especially through his incredibly popular titles Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four. The former is often thought to represent degradation after the Russian Revolution and the rise of Stalinism in the Soviet Union; the latter, life under authoritarian rule. Aldous Huxley also contrasts Nineteen Eighty-Four with Brave New World; both are influential dystopian narratives warning of a future society in which the state machine retains full control over social life. In 1984, the Prometheus Award was conferred on Nineteen Eighty-Four and Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 for their contributions to dystopian literature. He had it again in 2011 for Animal Farm.

Coming Up for Air, his final novel before World War II, is the most English type of his creations; war signals interact with descriptions of the protagonist George Bowling’s idyllic Thames-side Edwardian childhood. The novel is negative; the best of Old England has been destroyed by industrialism and imperialism and there have been significant modern external threats. His protagonist George Bowling, in homely words, postulates Franz Borkenau, Orwell, Ignazio Silone, and Koestler’s bureaucratic hypotheses: Old Hitler’s something else. So is Joe Stalin. They aren’t like these old days guys who crucified men and hacked off their hands, and so on, just for the fun of it . They are something entirely new; something that was never heard of before.

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In a 1940 autobiographical essay submitted by Orwell to the editors of the Twentieth Century Writers, he wrote that the authors he cared most for and never grew sick of were Shakespeare, Fielding, Swift, Charles Reade, Flaubert, Dickens, and, amongst contemporary authors, T. S. Eliot, D. H. Lawrence, and James Joyce. However, he believed that the modern writer who inspired him the most was Somerset Maugham, whom he greatly admired. Orwell otherwise highly praised Jack London’s works, particularly his book, The Road. Orwell’s study of deprivation in The Road to Wigan Pier parallels closely that of Jack London’s The Men of the Abyss, in which the American author disguises himself as a disemployed sailor researching the lives of the poor in London. Orwell wrote in his essay Politics vs. Literature, An Analysis of Gulliver’s Travels (1946) where he stated that if he was to compile a list of six books that were to be saved while all the others were lost, he would include Gulliver’s Travels.

Orwell was an avid supporter of Arthur Koestler and during the three years that Koestler and his wife Mamain stayed at the cottage of Bwlch Ocyn, an isolated farmhouse belonging to Clough Williams-Ellis, in the Vale of Ffestiniog, he became a good friend. Orwell took a look at Koestler’s Darkness for the New Statesman at Noon in 1941, stating: this book was a brilliant piece of literature and it was probably most important as an analysis of Moscow’s confessions by someone with inside knowledge of totalitarian practices. What was alarming about these trials was not the fact that they took place—for these things are inevitable in a totalitarian community—but the eagerness of Western academics to defend them. He has had an equally conflicted stance towards G. K. Chesterton, whom he found to be an author of immense talent who had preferred to devote himself to Roman Catholic propaganda, and to Evelyn Waugh, who, he wrote, was as fine a writer as he could be though holding impossible opinions. In 1980, the English Heritage honored Orwell with a blue plaque at 50 Lawford Street, Kentish Town, London, whenever he could live for almost a year (1935-36).

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