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George Orwell
- Favourite Briton.


Born on 25th of June 1903
Died in London
Died on 21st of January 1950

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George Orwell was born on 25th June 1903 and died 21st January 1950. He was an English writer, author and journalist, most notable for his novels, 'Animal Farm' and 'Nineteen Eighty-Four'. He was born Eric Arthur Blair in Eastern India, the son of Richard Walmesley Blair, a British colonial civil servant, and his wife Ida. He had 2 sisters, and when Orwell was 1 year old, his mother took him and his sisters to settle in Henley-on-Thames and later Shiplake, in England. He was educated at St Cyprian's School, Eastbourne where he managed to win a scholarship to Wellington College and Eton College. After he left school he joined the Indian Imperial Police in the former British colony of Burma. He resigned after contracting Dengue fever in 1927 and decided to return to England and become a writer. He settled at the family home in Southwold, Suffolk before moving to London where he went about researching the lives of the poorer social classes, sometimes dressing like a tramp and living rough. In 1928 he moved to Paris where lack of success as a writer forced him into a series of menial jobs, as described in his first book of reportage, 'Down and Out in Paris and London'. He then returned to England and lived with his family in Southwold for the next 5 years, writing articles and carrying on his various research trips. He taught at a boys' school in Hayes, West London before 'Down and Out in Paris and London' was published in 1933, under his chosen pen-name, George Orwell. Another brief teaching job followed, with a stint convalescing in Southwold following pneumonia, before he moved to Hampstead in London where he worked part-time in a bookshop owned by friends of his aunt's. In March 1935 his novel, 'A Clergyman's Daughter' was published, based on his teaching jobs and life in Southwold. This was followed in July by the publication in the UK of his novel, 'Burmese Days', based on his Burmese police experiences, previously only published in the USA in 1934 for fear of libel actions. In the 1930s Orwell considered himself a socialist. He was commissioned to write an account of poverty among unemployed miners in northern England in 1936, which resulted in the publication of the narrative documentary, 'The Road to Wigan Pier'. By this time he was living in Wallington, Hertfordshire and in June 1936 he married Eileen O'Shaughnessy. Later in 1936 Orwell travelled to Spain to fight for the Republicans against Franco's Nationalists. He was badly injured and in the end was forced to flee from the Soviet-backed communists who were suppressing the revolutionary Workers Party of Marxist Unification, on whose side Orwell was fighting. His experiences during the Spanish Civil War gave rise to another narrative documentary in his book, 'Homage to Catalonia'. In 1940 Orwell and his wife moved to Marylebone in London and between 1941 and 1943, Orwell worked on propaganda for the BBC and became literary editor of The Tribune, a weekly left-wing magazine. He was by now a prolific journalist, writing articles, reviews and books. In 1945 Orwell's 'Animal Farm' was published. A political fable set in a farmyard but based on Stalin's betrayal of the Russian Revolution, it brought Orwell his first taste of fame and fortune. Following the 'Animal Farm' publication, Orwell was asked to become The Observer's war correspondent, reporting on the liberation of France and the early occupation of Germany. Orwell and his wife adopted a baby boy in 1944, but his wife sadly died in 1945. Following this he lived on the Island of Jura in Scotland and wrote journalistic articles as well as starting his best known work, 'Nineteen Eighty-Four'. This was published in 1949 and made a deep impression on society, having now entered the lexicon with phrases such as 'Big Brother is watching you' and 'newspeak' and 'doublethink'. Orwell remarried in October 1949, but his health had been gradually deteriorating by this point. He died of TB just one year after 'Nineteen Eighty-Four' was published, and wished to be buried in the graveyard of the closest church to wherever he happened to die. However, the graveyards in central London were all full, so his widow asked his friends if any of them could find a suitable churchyard. Orwell's friend David Astor lived in Sutton Courtenay in Oxfordshire, and negotiated with the vicar for Orwell to be buried there. His gravestone bares the simple epitaph: "Here lies Eric Arthur Blair, born 25 June 1903, died 21 January 1950".

Links:
http://www.k-1.com/Orwell/ Fan site
internal link Wigan Pier
internal link Buried Here

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First Non-Stop Transatlantic Jet Flight - 1950, Launch of ITV - 1955, 10 Soldiers killed by IRA bomb attack in Deal - 1989
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