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George Orwell Biography

Eric Arthur Blair (George Orwell) was born in Motihari, Bengal (India) in 1903, where his father worked for the Civil Service. Orwell was educated at Eton, and served in Burma in the Indian Imperial Police (1922–7), but rejected the political injustice of imperialism (recounted in the novel Burmese Days, 1934) to live a life of poverty in the East End of London and in Paris, which became the subject for his book Down and Out in Paris and London (1933). Similarly researched experiences led to the writing of A Clergyman's Daughter (1935), Keep the Aspidistra Flying (1936), The Road to Wigan Pier (1937), Homage to Catalonia (1938) and The Lion and the Unicorn (1941). His experience of fighting for the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War intensified his political commitment to the Left. During World War II, he was a war correspondent for the BBC and the Observer, and served as literary editor of Tribune. His intellectual honesty motivated his biting satire of Communist ideology in Animal Farm (1945) - a masterpiece which was equalled by his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), a pessimistic satire about the threat of totalitarianism and the mechanistic society of the future. Orwell suffered from tuberculosis and was in and out of hospital from 1947 until his death in 1950 at the age of forty-six.

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