English novelist, essayist, and critic George Orwell.

George Orwell

(1903 - 1950)

George Orwell took a post with the Imperial Police in Burma in 1922—an experience that informed various essays and his novel Burmese Days—and resigned five years later. In 1937 he went to report on the civil war in Spain, where he joined the Republican militia, rose to the rank of second lieutenant, and sustained a serious wound. Three years before publishing Nineteen Eighty-Four in 1949, Orwell observed that “political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible.”

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Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules, and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence; in other words it is war minus the shooting.

—George Orwell, 1945

Language ought to be the joint creation of poets and manual workers.

—George Orwell, 1944


After receiving a copy of Nineteen Eighty-Four in 1949, Aldous Huxley wrote to George Orwell, “I need not tell you, yet once more, how fine and how profoundly important the book is. May I speak instead of the thing with which the book deals—the ultimate revolution?” By this he meant “the revolution which lies beyond politics and economics, and which aims at total subversion of the individual’s psychology and physiology.” Thirty-two years earlier, Huxley had taught French to Orwell at Eton College.

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