The social and political climate of modern years has seen a resurgence in reference to the ideas and thoughts that were crafted into words by the English author, Eric Arthur Blair, popularly known as George Orwell. Works like Animal Farm and 1984 have become a mainstay in social conversations about fake news, rising nationalism and technological trends.
Although George Orwell spent just forty-six years on earth, his works, which now read like prophecies, have continued to shape generations and coined words from his books have become established words of the English Language, such as Thought Police and Newspeak. Considering the fact there has been an uptick in the usage of his works, here is everything you need to know about the man himself, George Orwell.
George Orwell’s Life – Biography
George Orwell was born Eric Arthur Blair on the 25th of June, 1903 in Motihar, Bihar, British India. Although his ancestry featured wealthy personalities, it was not the experience of George Orwell who grew up in a middle-class family.
He was born to father, Richard Walmesley Blair, and mother, Ida Mabel Blair. He was one of three children born to his parents, with two older sisters named Avril and Marjorie. George Orwell did not spend a lot of time in British India before his mother relocated him and his siblings back to England where he attended St. Cyprian’s School and Eton College and there, he was taught French by another renowned writer, Aldous Huxley.
Following the end of his time at Eton College, he joined the Imperial Police, starting a protracted period of serving in a militarized group, including serving in the Spanish Civil War.
Between his time working for the Imperial Police and the Civil War, George Orwell worked as a teacher, teaching in schools like The Hawthorns High School and Frays College. He also began his career as a writer and started writing and publishing some of his iconic essays.
When he was alive, George Orwell, through his works and outspoken character, was known for speaking out against fascism and he was an advocate of democratic socialism.
As a journalist, he worked for media outlets like Monde, G.K’s Weekly, New Adelphi, and a few more others.
In his personal life, he was married twice. The first time to Eileen O’Shaughnessy between 1936 until her death in 1945. They adopted a child, Richard Horatio.
Following his first wife’s death, George Orwell remarried to Sonia Brownell. They were only married for three months before his eventual death.
Books and Movies
Over the course of his career as a writer, George Orwell wrote nine books. Six of them were fiction, while the other three were nonfiction detailed accounts of his life and experiences.
His non-fiction books are Homage to Catalonia, which was released in 1938, The Road to Wigan Pier which was released in 1937 and Down and Out in Paris and London, released in 1933.
While the nonfiction books were popular and received significant attention, it was his fictional works that brought him fame and made him an icon of literature. His first book in this regard was Burmese Days, released in 1934 while his second was A Clergyman’s Daughter. He released two more books, Coming Up for Air and Keep the Aspidistra Flying before he released his last two books, which become the defining works of his writing career – Animal Farm, which was released in 1945 and Nineteen Eighty-Four, which was released in 1949, a year before his death.
His works, especially Animal Farm and 1984 have been adapted into various forms of media, especially movies. His novel, Animal Farm has been adapted into two movies, both titled Animal Farm. They were released in 1954 and 1999.
Nineteen Eighty-Four, however, has received more adaptation from stage plays to movies like a British show, Nineteen Eight-Four, and a movie of the same name that was released in 1984. Other movie adaptations include Me and the Big Guy, 1984 and 1984 (a TV show).
Prior to his death, George Orwell had been diagnosed with tuberculosis in December 1947, at a time when it was a very deadly sickness. Two years after, he was hospitalized at the University College Hospital where he got married to his wife, Sonia Brownell.
On the 21st of January, 1950, in the morning, he suffered a burst artery in his lungs and died. Following instructions he had laid out for his eventual passing, he was buried at All Saints’ Church in Sutton Courtenay, Oxfordshire with a simple epitaph that only read his real name – Eric Artur Blair. He died at the age of 46.