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The British author George Orwell pen name of Eric Arthur Blair b Motihari India June 25 1903 d London Jan 21 1950 achieved prominence in the late 1940s as the author of two brilliant satires attacking totalitarianism Familiarity with the novels documentaries essays and criticism he wrote during the 1930s and later has since established him as one of the most important and influential voices of the century Orwells parents were members of the Indian Civil Service and after an education at Eton College in England Orwell joined 1922 the Indian Imperial Police in Burma an experience that later found expression in the novel Burmese Days 1934 His first book Down and Out in Paris and London 1933 was a nonfictional account--moving and comic at the same time--of several years of self-imposed poverty he had experienced after leaving Burma He published three other novels in the 1930s A Clergymans Daughter 1935 Keep the Aspidistra Flying 1936 and Coming Up for Air 1939 His major works of the period were two documentaries The Road to Wigan Pier 1937 a detailed sympathetic and yet objective study of the lives of nearly impoverished miners in the Lancashire town of Wigan and Homage to Catalonia 1938 which recounts his experiences fighting for the Loyalists in the Spanish Civil War Orwell was wounded and when the Communists attempted to eliminate their allies on the far left fought against them and was forced to flee for his life Orwells two best-known books reflect his lifelong distrust of autocratic government whether of the left or right Animal Farm 1945 a modern beast-fable attacking Stalinism and Nineteen Eighty-Four 1949 a dystopian novel setting forth his fears of an intrusively bureaucratized state of the future The pair of novels brought him his first fame and almost his only remuneration as a writer His wartime work for the BBC published in the collections George Orwell The Lost Writings and The War Commentaries gave him a
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