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Eric Arthur Blair (George Orwell) was born in 1903 in India, where his father worked for the Civil Service. The family moved to England in 1907 and in 1917 Orwell entered Eton, where he contributed regularly to the various college magazines. From 1922 to 1927 he served with the Indian Imperial Police in Burma, an experience that inspired his first novel, Burmese Days (1934). Several years of poverty followed. He lived in Paris for two years before returning to England, where he worked successively as a private tutor, schoolteacher and bookshop assistant, and contributed reviews and articles to a number of periodicals. Down and Out in Paris and London was published in 1933. In 1936 he was commissioned by Victor Gollancz to visit areas of mass unemployment in Lancashire and Yorkshire, and The Road to Wigan Pier (1937) is a powerful description of the poverty he saw there. At the end of 1936 Orwell went to Spain to fight for the Republicans and was wounded. Homage to Catalonia is his account of the civil war. He was admitted to a sanatorium in 1938 and from then on was never fully fit. He spent six months in Morocco and there wrote Coming Up for Air. During the Second World War he served in the Home Guard and worked for the BBC Eastern Service from 1941 to 1943. As literary editor of the Tribune he contributed a regular page of political and literary commentary, and he also wrote for the Observer and later for the Manchester Evening News. His unique political allegory, Animal Farm was published in 1945, and it was this novel, together with Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), which brought him world-wide fame.
George Orwell died in London in January 1950. A few days before, Desmond MacCarthy had sent him a message of greeting in which he wrote: ‘You have made an indelible mark on English literature . . . you are among the few memorable writers of your generation.’
Nineteen Eighty-Four is a dystopian novel by the English writer George Orwell, published in 1948. The story, which focuses on the life of Winston Smith, was Orwell's vision of a totalitarian state which has absolute control over every action and thought of its people through propaganda, secrecy, constant surveillance, and harsh punishment
When the downtrodden animals of Manor Farm overthrow their master Mr Jones and take over the farm themselves, they imagine it is the beginning of a life of freedom and equality. But gradually a cunning, ruthless elite among them, masterminded by the pigs Napoleon and Snowball, starts to take control. Soon the other animals discover that they are not all as equal as they thought, and find themselves hopelessly ensnared as one form of tyranny is replaced with another.
Winston Smith works for the Ministry of Truth in London, chief city of Airstrip One. Big Brother stares out from every poster, the Thought Police uncover every act of betrayal. When Winston finds love with Julia, he discovers that life does not have to be dull and deadening, and awakens to new possibilities. Despite the police helicopters that hover and circle overhead, Winston and Julia begin to question the Party; they are drawn towards conspiracy. Yet Big Brother will not tolerate dissent - even in the mind. For those with original thoughts they invented Room 101. Nineteen Eight-Four is George Orwell's terrifying vision of a totalitarian future in which everything and everyone is slave to a tyrannical regime.
January 2012 Guest Editor Simon Lelic selects Nineteen Eighty-Four... Not exactly an original pick, I realise, and some (irrationally, in my mind) would dispute its literary merits. On the other hand, it has proved almost Shakespearean in its impact on the English psyche – and certainly on mine. I read it first for GCSE English, and I still have the copy I should probably have returned to my teacher at the end of the school year. Which makes me worry now that perhaps I have deprived someone else of the pleasure. I’m including it here as penance, but also because I couldn’t not. The Lovereading view... Chosen by the public through a survey to coincide with the 10th birthday celebrations of World Book Day 2007, this title is one of ‘the ten books the nation can’t live without’. Have you read them all? Below are links to each title and position on the list. 1. Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen 2. The Lord of the Rings JRR Tolkien 3. Jane Eyre Charlotte Brontë 4. Harry Potter JK Rowling 5. To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee 6. The Bible 7. Wuthering Heights Emily Brontë 8. Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell 9. His Dark Materials Philip Pullman10. Great Expectations Charles Dickens
George Orwell's novel about the perils of totalitarian rule remains relevant more than 60 years after its 1949 publication. 1984 paints the bleak picture of a society in which all information is controlled by the government, also known as Big Brother, and notions of individuality become increasingly compromised. Literature professor Harold Bloom introduces this volume of critical excerpts about this timely title. This new edition also features an annotated bibliography and an index for quick reference.
The first ever graphic novel version of Animal Farm Animal Farm is the story of what happens when the downtrodden animals of Manor Farm overthrow their master, and how their revolution goes horribly wrong. Now George Orwell's dark, timeless fable has been turned into a graphic novel for the very first time, illustrated in full colour by the renowned Brazilian artist Odyr to bring us a whole new work of art.
'Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past' Hidden away in the Record Department of the sprawling Ministry of Truth, Winston Smith skilfully rewrites the past to suit the needs of the Party. Yet he inwardly rebels against the totalitarian world he lives in, which demands absolute obedience and controls him through the all-seeing telescreens and the watchful eye of Big Brother, symbolic head of the Party. In his longing for truth and liberty, Smith begins a secret love affair with a fellow-worker Julia, but soon discovers the true price of freedom is betrayal. George Orwell's dystopian masterpiece, Nineteen Eighty-Four is perhaps the most pervasively influential book of the twentieth century.
With an introduction by Kamila Shamsie `Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.' GEORGE ORWELL is one of the world's most famous writers and social commentators. Through his writing he exposed the unjust sufferings of the poor and unemployed, warned against totalitarianism and defended freedom of speech. This selection, from both his novels and non-fiction, charts his prescient and clear-eyed thinking on the subject of FREEDOM. It ranges from pieces on individual liberty, society and technology, to political liberty, revolution and the importance of free speech. Orwell's ambition to create a fairer and more egalitarian society is essential inspiration as we strive for freedom and equality in today's world. 'If liberty means anything at all it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.'
Animal Farm is regarded in the literary field as one of the most famous satirical allegories of Soviet totalitarianism. Orwell based the book on events up to and during Joseph Stalins regime. Orwell, a democratic socialist, and a member of the Independent Labour Party for many years, was a critic of Stalin, and was suspicious of Moscow-directed Stalinism after his experiences in the Spanish Civil War.The plot is an allegory in which the pigs in a farm play the role of the Bolshevik revolutionaries and overthrow and oust the human owners of the farm, setting it up as a commune in which, at first, all animals are equal. The other characters have their parallels in the real world, but care should be taken with these comparisons as they do not always match history exactly and often simply represent generalised concepts.The novel was chosen by TIME Magazine as one of the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to the present.ABOUT THE AUTHOR:Eric Arthur Blair, better known by his pen name George Orwell (19031950), was an English author and journalist. His work is marked by keen intelligence and wit, a profound awareness of social injustice, an intense opposition to totalitarianism, a passion for clarity in language, and a belief in democratic socialism.In addition to his literary career Orwell served as a police officer with the Indian Imperial Police in Burma from 1922-1927 and fought with the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War from 1936-1937. He was severely wounded when he was shot through his throat. Orwell and his wife were accused of Rabid Trotskyism and tried in absentia in Barcelona, along with other leaders of the POUM, in 1938. However by then they had escaped from Spain and returned to England. Between 1941 and 1943, Orwell worked on propaganda for the BBC. In 1943, he became literary editor of the Tribune, a weekly left-wing magazine. He was a prolific polemical journalist, article writer, literary critic, reviewer, poet and writer of fiction, and considered perhaps the twentieth centurys best chronicler of English culture. Orwell is best known for the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (published in 1949) and the satirical novella Animal Farm (1945)they have together sold more copies than any two books by any other twentieth-century author. His 1938 book Homage to Catalonia, an account of his experiences as a volunteer on the Republican side during the Spanish Civil War, together with numerous essays on politics, literature, language, and culture, are widely acclaimed. In 2008, The Times ranked him second on a list of The 50 greatest British writers since 1945.
1984, published in 1949, is a dystopian and satirical novel. It revolves around Winston Smith, who lives in a nation called Oceania, in a province called Airstrip One, which represents present-day England. This state is controlled by the Party, headed by a mysterious leader who is addressed as Emmanuel Goldstein, also known as the Big Brother. The Party watches every single move that Smith and other citizens make.The nation's language and history is forcefully changed for the benefit of the Party. A new language, Newspeak, is being compulsively implemented to ensure works that have anything to do with political rebellion are omitted. In Oceania, even rebellious thoughts are illegal and are said to be the worst of all crimes. The people are suppressed and any form of individuality is not tolerated, including love and sex.Smith works as a low-ranking member of the Party who alters historical records. He hates the Party and thus buys an illegal diary in which he pens down his thoughts. He meets Julia, a coworker, who seems to been romantically inclined towards him. He however doubts that she is a Party spy who will get him imprisoned for his ';thoughtcrimes'. Her love turns out to be true and they have a covert affair. Smith's hatred for the Party grows day by day and he is convinced that a powerful Party official O'Brien is actually trying to overthrow the present government with the help of a secret group named the Brotherhood. As the story goes on, readers learn the twists and turns that life in Oceania has in store for Smith. He faces terror, betrayal, freedom, and a broken spirit.1984 is the author's haunting vision of the future. The book has been adapted into television programmes, films, radio broadcasts and plays. In 2003, the book was number 8 on BBC's survey The Big Read. It was 6th and 13th on the reader's and editor's list of Modern Library 100 Best Novels, respectively. In 2005, it was added to the 100 Best English Language Novel from 1923 to 2005 by TIME magazine.ABOUT THE AUTHOR:Eric Arthur Blair, better known by his pen name George Orwell (19031950), was an English author and journalist. His work is marked by keen intelligence and wit, a profound awareness of social injustice, an intense opposition to totalitarianism, a passion for clarity in language, and a belief in democratic socialism.In addition to his literary career Orwell served as a police officer with the Indian Imperial Police in Burma from 1922-1927 and fought with the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War from 1936-1937. He was severely wounded when he was shot through his throat. Orwell and his wife were accused of Rabid Trotskyism and tried in absentia in Barcelona, along with other leaders of the POUM, in 1938. However by then they had escaped from Spain and returned to England. Between 1941 and 1943, Orwell worked on propaganda for the BBC. In 1943, he became literary editor of the Tribune, a weekly left-wing magazine. He was a prolific polemical journalist, article writer, literary critic, reviewer, poet and writer of fiction, and considered perhaps the twentieth centurys best chronicler of English culture. Orwell is best known for the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (published in 1949) and the satirical novella Animal Farm (1945)they have together sold more copies than any two books by any other twentieth-century author. His 1938 book Homage to Catalonia, an account of his experiences as a volunteer on the Republican side during the Spanish Civil War, together with numerous essays on politics, literature, language, and culture, are widely acclaimed. In 2008, The Times ranked him second on a list of The 50 greatest British writers since 1945.
Volume 3 of The Complete Works of George Orwell No one has ever been as severe as George Orwell himself as to the merits of A Clergyman's Daughter. He didn't want this, his second novel, reprinted and he had, he once said, `made a muck of it'. Orwell's disenchantment may in part stem from the way the book was - to use his favourite word for this process - `garbled' during its passage from the typescript to print. Thus A Clergyman's Daughter became for him a deformed child: others also `made a muck of it'. Although it is generally agreed that Orwell did not effectively reconcile the sections of this novel, the development of the narrative was greatly hindered by the effects of censorship. This arose from the publisher's understandable fears at the time that the book as submitted would lead to actions for libel, defamation and obscenity. In consequence, many pages were `toned down' (again, Orwell's words), what was specific was made vague and unlocalised, and Dorothy's crucial loss of memory left unexplained. The discovery of details of cuts and changes required - most important of which is Mr Warburton's attempt to rape Dorothy - make it possible to assess A Clergyman's Daughter afresh. Some passages can be restored precisely; whole areas of change can be identified though not restored. As a result, Dorothy's `little odyssey', her loss of faith and her subsequent resigned acceptance of her lot, can at last be read with a far clearer understanding of what Orwell intended. No one who reads A Clergyman's Daughter can ever regard the plight of those who exist homeless and adrift in a great city in the same way again, especially in the bitter cold of winter. Here Orwell is unforgettable: nowhere else does he write with quite such poignancy.
Volume 7 of The Complete Works of George Orwell Coming Up for Air looks back from the sprawl of thirties housing estates, new arterial roads and the domination of the motor car, to an idealised golden England, largely rural and unmechanised when, in the nostalgia of childhood, it was `summer. . . always summer'. It looks forward to the destruction wrought by air-raids (though written in 1938-1939, war is expected in 1941) leading to `The world we're going down into, the kind of hate-world, slogan-world. . the rubber truncheons. . the posters with enormous faces' that will be Nineteen Eighty-Four. Yet, despite its sense of loss and its grim foreboding, Coming Up for Air is a very funny book, with a rich sense of the incongruity of life and people, and it is illuminated by Orwell's wry, sardonic wit in which there is not a little self-parody.
Volume 5 of The Complete Works of George Orwell Victor Gollancz personally commissioned Orwell to write about the distressed north of England in January 1936. After Orwell handed in his typescript a little before Christmas Day 1936, he immediately left to fight in Spain. Shortly afterwards the book was selected for publication by the Left Book Club. This meant a print run of 47,340 copies instead of 2,150, so bringing Orwell to a much wider audience. The first part of Orwell's account, Gollancz wrote in Left News in April 1937, `has done, perhaps in a greater degree than any previous book, what the [Left Book] Club is meant to do - it has provoked thought and discussion of the keenest kind'. All copies of the original Left Book Club and first public editions of The Road to Wigan Pier were sold. This edition reproduces the illustrations selected for that first edition, corrects the text and prints Victor Gollancz's Foreword as an Appendix. (See Volume Ten for Orwell's Wigan Pier Diary and the research materials he wrote and collected in order to write The Road to Wigan Pier.)
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