163 Facts About George Orwell


Eric Arthur Blair, better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English novelist, essayist, journalist, and critic.


George Orwell's work is characterised by lucid prose, social criticism, opposition to totalitarianism, and support of democratic socialism.


George Orwell is known for the allegorical novella Animal Farm and the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.


George Orwell lived from occasional pieces of journalism, and worked as a teacher or bookseller whilst living in London.


George Orwell was wounded fighting in the Spanish Civil War, leading to his first period of ill health on return to England.


George Orwell's grandfather, Thomas Richard Arthur Blair, was an Anglican clergyman.


George Orwell's father was Richard Walmesley Blair, who worked as a Sub-Deputy Opium Agent in the Opium Department of the Indian Civil Service, overseeing the production and storage of opium for sale to China.


George Orwell's mother wanted him to have a public school education, but his family could not afford the fees.


George Orwell said that he might write a book in the style of H G Wells's A Modern Utopia.


George Orwell came second to Connolly in the Harrow History Prize, had his work praised by the school's external examiner, and earned scholarships to Wellington and Eton.


George Orwell chose to stay at St Cyprian's until December 1916, in case a place at Eton became available.


George Orwell passed the entrance exam, coming seventh out of the 26 candidates who exceeded the pass mark.


George Orwell was appointed an Assistant District Superintendent on 29 November 1922, with effect from 27 November and at the pay of Rs.


George Orwell noted his "sense of utter fairness in minutest details".


George Orwell recalled that "I was stuck between my hatred of the empire I served and my rage against the evil-spirited little beasts who tried to make my job impossible".


George Orwell spent much of his time alone, reading or pursuing non-pukka activities, such as attending the churches of the Karen ethnic group.


George Orwell drew on his experiences in the Burma police for the novel Burmese Days and the essays "A Hanging" and "Shooting an Elephant".


George Orwell visited his old tutor Gow at Cambridge for advice on becoming a writer.


George Orwell lived in the rue du Pot de Fer, a working class district in the 5th arrondissement.


George Orwell began to write novels, including an early version of Burmese Days, but nothing else survives from that period.


George Orwell fell seriously ill in February 1929 and was taken to the Hopital Cochin in the 14th arrondissement, a free hospital where medical students were trained.


George Orwell chose not to identify the hospital, and indeed was deliberately misleading about its location.


George Orwell became acquainted with many local people, including Brenda Salkeld, the clergyman's daughter who worked as a gym-teacher at St Felix Girls' School in the town.


George Orwell renewed friendships with older friends, such as Dennis Collings, whose girlfriend Eleanor Jacques was to play a part in his life.


George Orwell then became tutor to three young brothers, one of whom, Richard Peters, later became a distinguished academic.


George Orwell often stayed at the homes of Ruth Pitter and Richard Rees, where he could "change" for his sporadic tramping expeditions.


George Orwell was spending time with Eleanor Jacques, but her attachment to Dennis Collings remained an obstacle to his hopes of a more serious relationship.


George Orwell returned to teaching at Hayes and prepared for the publication of his book, now known as Down and Out in Paris and London.


George Orwell wished to publish under a different name to avoid any embarrassment to his family over his time as a "tramp".


George Orwell acquired a motorcycle and took trips through the surrounding countryside.


George Orwell was taken to a cottage hospital in Uxbridge, where for a time his life was believed to be in danger.


George Orwell was disappointed when Gollancz turned down Burmese Days, mainly on the grounds of potential suits for libel, but Harper were prepared to publish it in the United States.


George Orwell was sharing the job with Jon Kimche, who lived with the Westropes.


George Orwell was writing for the Adelphi and preparing A Clergyman's Daughter and Burmese Days for publication.


George Orwell remained until the end of January 1936, when he stopped working at Booklovers' Corner.


George Orwell had written to Hilton seeking lodging and asking for recommendations on his route.


On 31 January 1936, George Orwell set out by public transport and on foot, reaching Manchester via Coventry, Stafford, the Potteries and Macclesfield.


George Orwell needed somewhere he could concentrate on writing his book, and help was provided by Aunt Nellie, who was living at Wallington, Hertfordshire in a very small 16th-century cottage called the "Stores".


George Orwell took over the tenancy and moved in on 2 April 1936.


George Orwell tested the possibility of reopening the Stores as a village shop.


Gollancz feared the second half would offend readers and added a disculpatory preface to the book while George Orwell was in Spain.


Shortly afterwards, the political crisis began in Spain and George Orwell followed developments there closely.


Not wishing to commit himself until he had seen the situation in situ, George Orwell instead used his Independent Labour Party contacts to get a letter of introduction to John McNair in Barcelona.


George Orwell set out for Spain on about 23 December 1936, dining with Henry Miller in Paris on the way.


George Orwell was at first exasperated by this "kaleidoscope" of political parties and trade unions, "with their tiresome names".


The ILP was linked to the POUM so George Orwell joined the POUM.


George Orwell had to spend some days in hospital with a poisoned hand and had most of his possessions stolen by the staff.


George Orwell returned to the front and saw some action in a night attack on the Nationalist trenches where he chased an enemy soldier with a bayonet and bombed an enemy rifle position.


George Orwell spent much of the time on a roof, with a stack of novels, but encountered Jon Kimche from his Hampstead days during the stay.


George Orwell expressed surprise that they should still want him, because according to the Communist press he was a fascist.


Unable to speak, and with blood pouring from his mouth, George Orwell was carried on a stretcher to Sietamo, loaded on an ambulance and after a bumpy journey via Barbastro arrived at the hospital in Lleida.


George Orwell recovered sufficiently to get up and on 27 May 1937 was sent on to Tarragona and two days later to a POUM sanatorium in the suburbs of Barcelona.


George Orwell received electrotherapy treatment and was declared medically unfit for service.


The trial of the leaders of the POUM and of George Orwell took place in Barcelona in October and November 1938.


George Orwell returned to England in June 1937, and stayed at the O'Shaughnessy home at Greenwich.


George Orwell found his views on the Spanish Civil War out of favour.


George Orwell returned to Wallington, which he found in disarray after his absence.


George Orwell acquired goats, a cockerel he called Henry Ford and a poodle puppy he called Marx; and settled down to animal husbandry and writing Homage to Catalonia.


George Orwell was admitted to Preston Hall Sanatorium at Aylesford, Kent, a British Legion hospital for ex-servicemen to which his brother-in-law Laurence O'Shaughnessy was attached.


Connolly brought with him Stephen Spender, a cause of some embarrassment as George Orwell had referred to Spender as a "pansy friend" some time earlier.


The novelist L H Myers secretly funded a trip to French Morocco for half a year for Orwell to avoid the English winter and recover his health.


George Orwell spent time in Wallington and Southwold working on a Dickens essay and it was in June 1939 that George Orwell's father, Richard Blair, died.


George Orwell submitted his name to the Central Register for war work, but nothing transpired.


George Orwell returned to Wallington, and in late 1939 he wrote material for his first collection of essays, Inside the Whale.


George Orwell shared Tom Wintringham's socialist vision for the Home Guard as a revolutionary People's Militia.


Sergeant George Orwell managed to recruit Fredric Warburg to his unit.


George Orwell applied unsuccessfully for a job at the Air Ministry.


George Orwell took part in a few radio broadcasts for the Eastern Service of the BBC.


George Orwell supervised cultural broadcasts to India to counter propaganda from Nazi Germany designed to undermine imperial links.


At the BBC, George Orwell introduced Voice, a literary programme for his Indian broadcasts, and by now was leading an active social life with literary friends, particularly on the political left.


In March 1943, George Orwell's mother died, and around the same time he told Moore he was starting work on a new book, which turned out to be Animal Farm.


In September 1943, George Orwell resigned from the BBC post that he had occupied for two years.


George Orwell's resignation followed a report confirming his fears that few Indians listened to the broadcasts, but he was keen to concentrate on writing Animal Farm.


In November 1943, George Orwell was appointed literary editor at Tribune, where his assistant was his old friend Jon Kimche.


George Orwell was on staff until early 1945, writing over 80 book reviews and on 3 December 1943 started his regular personal column, "As I Please", usually addressing three or four subjects in each.


George Orwell was still writing reviews for other magazines, including Partisan Review, Horizon, and the New York Nation and becoming a respected pundit among left-wing circles but a close friend of people on the right such as Powell, Astor and Malcolm Muggeridge.


George Orwell had to scrabble around in the rubble for his collection of books, which he had finally managed to transfer from Wallington, carting them away in a wheelbarrow.


George Orwell had been looking for the opportunity throughout the war, but his failed medical reports prevented him from being allowed anywhere near action.


George Orwell went first to liberated Paris and then to Germany and Austria, to such cities as Cologne and Stuttgart.


George Orwell had not given Orwell much notice about this operation because of worries about the cost and because she expected to make a speedy recovery.


George Orwell returned home for a while and then went back to Europe.


George Orwell returned finally to London to cover the 1945 general election at the beginning of July.


George Orwell employed a housekeeper, Susan Watson, to look after his adopted son at the Islington flat, which visitors now described as "bleak".


In late 1945 and early 1946 George Orwell made several hopeless and unwelcome marriage proposals to younger women, including Celia Kirwan ; Ann Popham who happened to live in the same block of flats; and Sonia Brownell, one of Connolly's coterie at the Horizon office.


George Orwell suffered a tubercular haemorrhage in February 1946 but disguised his illness.


In 1945 or early 1946, while still living at Canonbury Square, George Orwell wrote an article on "British Cookery", complete with recipes, commissioned by the British Council.


George Orwell returned to London in late 1946 and picked up his literary journalism again.


The firm advised George Orwell to establish a company to own his copyright and to receive his royalties and set up a "service agreement" so that he could draw a salary.


Tuberculosis was diagnosed and the request for permission to import streptomycin to treat George Orwell went as far as Aneurin Bevan, then Minister of Health.


David Astor helped with supply and payment and George Orwell began his course of streptomycin on 19 or 20 February 1948.


Unluckily for George Orwell, streptomycin could not be continued, as he developed toxic epidermal necrolysis, a rare side effect of streptomycin.


George Orwell was writing to many of his friends, including Jacintha Buddicom, who had "rediscovered" him, and in March 1949, was visited by Celia Kirwan.


Kirwan had just started working for a Foreign Office unit, the Information Research Department, set up by the Labour government to publish anti-communist propaganda, and George Orwell gave her a list of people he considered to be unsuitable as IRD authors because of their pro-communist leanings.


George Orwell then received penicillin, with doctors knowing fully well it was ineffective against tuberculosis.


George Orwell's health continued to decline after the diagnosis of tuberculosis in December 1947.


In September 1949, George Orwell invited his accountant Harrison to visit him in hospital, and Harrison claimed that George Orwell then asked him to become director of GOP Ltd and to manage the company, but there was no independent witness.


George Orwell's wedding took place in the hospital room on 13 October 1949, with David Astor as best man.


George Orwell was in decline and was visited by an assortment of visitors including Muggeridge, Connolly, Lucian Freud, Stephen Spender, Evelyn Waugh, Paul Potts, Anthony Powell, and his Eton tutor Anthony Gow.


George Orwell had requested to be buried in accordance with the Anglican rite in the graveyard of the closest church to wherever he happened to die.


David Astor lived in Sutton Courtenay, Berkshire, and arranged for George Orwell to be interred in the churchyard of All Saints' there.


George Orwell's gravestone bears the epitaph: "Here lies Eric Arthur Blair, born June 25th 1903, died January 21st 1950"; no mention is made on the gravestone of his more famous pen name.


George Orwell's adopted son, Richard Horatio Blair, was brought up by George Orwell's sister, Avril Dunn, his legal guardian, and her husband, Bill Dunn.


George Orwell was considered to have a strong case, but was becoming increasingly ill and eventually was persuaded to settle out of court on 2 November 1980.


George Orwell was an admirer of Arthur Koestler and became a close friend during the three years that Koestler and his wife Mamain spent at the cottage of Bwlch Ocyn, a secluded farmhouse that belonged to Clough Williams-Ellis, in the Vale of Ffestiniog.


George Orwell reviewed Koestler's Darkness at Noon for the New Statesman in 1941, saying:.


George Orwell's reviews are well known and have had an influence on literary criticism.


George Orwell wrote in the conclusion to his 1940 essay on Charles Dickens,.


George Orwell is laughing, with a touch of anger in his laughter, but no triumph, no malignity.


George Orwell considered this Shaw's best play and the most likely to remain socially relevant, because of its theme that war is not, generally speaking, a glorious romantic adventure.


George Orwell accused The Ministry of Information of exaggerating Wodehouse's actions for propaganda purposes.


In 1946, the British Council commissioned George Orwell to write an essay on British food as part of a drive to promote British relations abroad.


George Orwell included a recipe for marmalade, a popular British spread on bread.


Ben Wattenberg stated: "George Orwell's writing pierced intellectual hypocrisy wherever he found it".


George Orwell's work has taken a prominent place in the school literature curriculum in England, with Animal Farm a regular examination topic at the end of secondary education, and Nineteen Eighty-Four a topic for subsequent examinations below university level.


George Orwell worked as a journalist at The Observer for seven years, and its editor David Astor gave a copy of this celebrated essay to every new recruit.


In Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell described a totalitarian government that controlled thought by controlling language, making certain ideas literally unthinkable.


George Orwell may have been the first to use the term "cold war" to refer to the state of tension between powers in the Western Bloc and the Eastern Bloc that followed World War II in his essay, "You and the Atom Bomb", published in Tribune on 19 October 1945.


George Orwell quoted his sister Avril that "he was essentially an aloof, undemonstrative person" and said herself of his friendship with the Buddicoms: "I do not think he needed any other friends beyond the schoolfriend he occasionally and appreciatively referred to as 'CC'".


Jacintha Buddicom repudiated George Orwell's schoolboy misery described in the essay, stating that "he was a specially happy child".


Connolly remarked of him as a schoolboy, "The remarkable thing about George Orwell was that alone among the boys he was an intellectual and not a parrot for he thought for himself".


George Orwell was one of those boys who thought for himself.


George Orwell enjoyed fishing and shooting rabbits, and conducting experiments as in cooking a hedgehog or shooting down a jackdaw from the Eton roof to dissect it.


George Orwell liked women and had many girlfriends I think in Burma.


George Orwell had a girl in Southwold and another girl in London.


George Orwell was rather a womaniser, yet he was afraid he wasn't attractive.


When George Orwell was in the sanatorium in Kent, his wife's friend Lydia Jackson visited.


George Orwell had an affair with his secretary at Tribune which caused Eileen much distress, and others have been mooted.


George Orwell proposed marriage to four women, including Celia Kirwan, and eventually Sonia Brownell accepted.


George Orwell had met her when she was assistant to Cyril Connolly, at Horizon literary magazine.


George Orwell was noted for very close and enduring friendships with a few friends, but these were generally people with a similar background or with a similar level of literary ability.


George Orwell just did not have much in common with people who did not share his intellectual interests.


One biography of George Orwell accused him of having had an authoritarian streak.


When sharing a flat with George Orwell, Heppenstall came home late one night in an advanced stage of loud inebriation.


When he complained, George Orwell hit him across the legs with a shooting stick and Heppenstall then had to defend himself with a chair.


George Orwell's nephew recalled Uncle Eric laughing louder than anyone in the cinema at a Charlie Chaplin film.


Some, like Michael Ayrton, called him "Gloomy George Orwell", but others developed the idea that he was an "English secular saint".


George Orwell advocated a patriotic defence of a British way of life that could not be trusted to intellectuals or, by implication, the state:.


George Orwell appreciated English beer, taken regularly and moderately, despised drinkers of lager, and wrote about an imagined, ideal British pub in his 1946 Evening Standard article, "The Moon Under Water".


George Orwell preferred traditional English dishes, such as roast beef, and kippers.


George Orwell's attire in the Spanish Civil War, along with his size-12 boots, was a source of amusement.


David Astor described him as looking like a prep school master, while according to the Special Branch dossier, George Orwell's tendency to dress "in Bohemian fashion" revealed that the author was "a Communist".


George Orwell was an atheist who identified himself with the humanist outlook on life.


George Orwell was extremely well-read in Biblical literature and could quote lengthy passages from the Book of Common Prayer from memory.


George Orwell's writing was often explicitly critical of religion, and Christianity in particular.


George Orwell liked to provoke arguments by challenging the status quo, but he was a traditionalist with a love of old English values.


In 1928, George Orwell began his career as a professional writer in Paris at a journal owned by the French Communist Henri Barbusse.


George Orwell's first article, "La Censure en Angleterre", was an attempt to account for the "extraordinary and illogical" moral censorship of plays and novels then practised in Britain.


George Orwell's first published article in his home country, "A Farthing Newspaper", was a critique of the new French daily the Ami du Peuple.


George Orwell pointed out that its proprietor Francois Coty owned the right-wing dailies Le Figaro and Le Gaulois, which the Ami du Peuple was supposedly competing against.


George Orwell suggested that cheap newspapers were no more than a vehicle for advertising and anti-leftist propaganda, and predicted the world might soon see free newspapers which would drive legitimate dailies out of business.


George Orwell was a proponent of a federal socialist Europe, a position outlined in his 1947 essay "Toward European Unity", which first appeared in Partisan Review.


George Orwell left the ILP because of its opposition to the war and adopted a political position of "revolutionary patriotism".


George Orwell is the martyr, the victim, Prometheus chained to the rock, the self-sacrificing hero who fights single-handed against impossible odds.


George Orwell argued that it would be useful to discover why anti-Semites could "swallow such absurdities on one particular subject while remaining sane on others".


George Orwell joined the staff of Tribune magazine as literary editor, and from then until his death, was a left-wing Labour-supporting democratic socialist.


The dossier, published by The National Archives, states that, according to one investigator, George Orwell had "advanced Communist views and several of his Indian friends say that they have often seen him at Communist meetings".


George Orwell was openly against homosexuality, at a time when such prejudice was common.


George Orwell's will requested that no biography of him be written, and his widow, Sonia Brownell, repelled every attempt by those who tried to persuade her to let them write about him.


George Orwell did appoint Malcolm Muggeridge as official biographer, but later biographers have seen this as deliberate spoiling as Muggeridge eventually gave up the work.


Shelden speculated that George Orwell possessed an obsessive belief in his failure and inadequacy.


Peter Davison's publication of the Complete Works of George Orwell, completed in 2000, made most of the Orwell Archive accessible to the public.


Jeffrey Meyers, a prolific American biographer, was first to take advantage of this and published a book in 2001 that investigated the darker side of George Orwell and questioned his saintly image.


Why George Orwell Matters was published by Christopher Hitchens in 2002.