Thursday, 21 January 2010

On this day...

English author Eric Blair, better known by pseudonym George Orwell, died in 1950, at the age of 46. Born in India, where his father work in the Opium Department of the Indian Civil Service, he moved to England with his mother when he was one year old. There, inspired by his childhood friend Jacintha Buddicom, he began to write poetry, telling her that he would write a book similiar in style to that of H.G.Wells' 'A Modern Utopia'. Orwell obtained a scholarship to Eton and thrived on his studies there, yet without the sufficient funds for university, he was forced to choose a new career path; the Indian Imperial Police. After a posting in Burma, Orwell decided to become a full time writer and returned home. So started of period of his life during which he explored both England and abroad, using his experiences of poverty to influence his works, much like one of his literary heroes, Jack London. Serving as part of the Home Guard during World War Two, Orwell's works became of an increasingly political and socialist nature. The latter perhaps epitomised by his description of Dickens as, 'a nineteenth-century liberal...a type hated with equal hatred by all the smelly little orthodoxies which are now contending for our souls'. Orwell's best known works include 'Animal Farm' and the influential 'Nineteen Eighty-Four'.

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