Biography: George Orwell

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

George Orwell
Photograph of the head and shoulders of a middle-aged man, with black hair and a slim moustache.

Orwell’s press card portrait, 1943.
Born Eric Arthur Blair
25 June 1903
MotihariBengal PresidencyBritish India
(present-day East ChamparanBiharIndia)
Died 21 January 1950 (aged 46)
University College Hospital, London, England
Resting place Sutton CourtenayOxfordshire, England
Pen name George Orwell
Occupation Novelist and essayist, journalist and literary critic
Alma mater Eton College
Genre Dystopiaroman à clefsatire
Subject Anti-fascismanti-Stalinism, and democratic socialismliterary criticismjournalism, and polemic
Notable works Animal Farm
Nineteen Eighty-Four
Homage to Catalonia
Down and Out in Paris and London
The Road to Wigan Pier
Years active 1928–1950
Eileen O’Shaughnessy
(m. 1936; died 1945)
Sonia Brownell (m. 1949)

Signature Eric Blair ("George Orwell")

Eric Arthur Blair (25 June 1903 – 21 January 1950),[1] better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English novelist and essayist, journalist and critic, whose work is characterised by lucid prose, awareness of social injustice, opposition to totalitarianism, and outspoken support of democratic socialism.[2][3][4]

As a writer, Orwell produced literary criticism and poetry, fiction and polemical journalism; and is best known for the allegorical novella Animal Farm (1945) and the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949). His non-fiction works, including The Road to Wigan Pier (1937), documenting his experience of working-class life in the north of England, and Homage to Catalonia (1938), an account of his experiences soldiering for the Republican faction of the Spanish Civil War(1936–1939), are as critically respected as his essays on politics and literature, language and culture. In 2008, The Timesranked George Orwell second among “The 50 greatest British writers, since 1945”.[5]

Orwell’s work remains influential in popular culture and in political culture, and the adjective “Orwellian” — describing totalitarian and authoritarian social practices — is part of the English language, like many of his neologisms, such as “Big Brother“, “Thought Police“, and “Hate week“, “Room 101“, the “memory hole“, and “Newspeak“, “doublethink” and “proles“, “unperson” and “thoughtcrime“.[6][7]

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