George Orwell was the pen name ofEric Arthur Blair, who was born in India in 1903. He moved to England with hisfamily in 1907 and, after a few years, found himself at a Sussex boardingschool where he became well known for his academic brilliance. His intellectualabilities won him scholarships to two leading British schools, one of which-Eton- he attended between 1917 and 1921. He began writing for various collegemagazines, and so it was here that he had his first taste of being a publishedauthor.
(male)He decided against going toUniversity, and instead followed a family tradition, joining the Indian ImperialPolice Force in Burma in 1922. He worked in a number of country policestations, and could have progressed in his career, yet he wanted to follow hisambition to become a writer. What’s more, Orwell grew to hate the colonialismhe was a part of – in other words, the British taking over, ruling andexploiting India. You may know the song ‘Rule Britannia’, written during thisperiod of history, which hails Britain as ‘ruler of the waves’. It was justthese sort of imperialist ideas which Orwell disliked, and so in1927 heresigned from the Police and returned toEngland.
(female)Having spent a short time back inEngland, by 1928 Orwell was ready to move on again. He went to Paris with theintention of writing full time, but he was forced to take on a number oflow-paid jobs, such as dish-washing, inorder to make ends meet. He write about his experiences of poverty in his firstbook, Down and Out in Paris and London whichwas published in 1933, the year he adopted his pen name.
In 1934 he waspublished again; this time it was a novel which was based on his time in India,called Burmese Days which was a harshportrayal of British Colonialism.(male) Orwell had a number of books published in the1930s, and during this time he became increasingly interested in politics. In1937 he wrote his first book called TheRoad to Wigan Pier which recounted his experience of living amongstimpoverished miners in Northern England. By the time this book was beingpublished, Orwell had moved to Spain to report on the Spanish Civil War. Therehe joined a Republican militia group to fight against General Francisco Francoand was badly injured, being shot in the arm and the throat.
He was forced toleave when he realised that his life was in danger from Soviet-backedcommunists-an experience which left him firmly in an anti-Stalinist camp. (female)By the time World War Two arrived,Orwell had got a job working for the BBC producing news and programmes for anIndian audience. However, he was uncomfortable with being a part of Britain’swar propaganda machine and so in 1943, he left the BBC and became editor of aleft-wing, socialist magazine called TheTribune. At this time he was very well known as a journalist, yet he alsocontinued to write books. It was in 1945, with the publication of Animal Farm, that Orwell became trulyfamous.
His other very well-known novel, 1984,was published in 1949 when Orwell was in increasingly poor health and a yearlater he died of tuberculosis.