"On the whole, human beings want to be good, but not too good and not quite all the time" George Orwell.
George Orwell was born Eric Arthur Blair on 25 June 1903 in India. Like many of the children of the British army and colonial civil service, he was educated at boarding school in England, in his case at Eton, after which he joined the Indian Imperial Police in Burma, then a British colony. He resigned in 1927 with the aim of becoming a writer and moved to Paris in 1928, publishing his first book, Down and Out in Paris and London, five years later which recorded his years working menial jobs to support himself as a writer. Shortly after this, he took the name George Orwell, publishing Burmese Days in 1934.
An anarchist in the late 1920s, by the mid 1930s he considered himself a socialist. In 1936 he was commissioned to write an account of poverty among unemployed miners in northern England, which was published as The Road to Wigan Pier (1937). In 1936 he traveled to Spain with the intent of fighting for the Republicans against Franco's Nationalists, but he fled in fear of his life in the face of Soviet-backed communists who were suppressing revolutionary socialist dissenters - this experience turned him into a lifelong anti-Stalinist.
Between 1941 and 1943, he worked in the BBC's propaganda department, before becoming literary editor of the Tribune, a weekly left-wing magazine.
1945 saw the publication of Animal Farm; Nineteen Eighty-Four was published four years later. Although the former is a political fable based on Stalin's betrayal of the Russian Revolution and the latter is set in an imaginary totalitarian future, Emma Larkin's Finding George Orwell in Burma records that the people of modern-day Burma say that Orwell did not write just one book about their country, but three: Burmese Days, Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four.
He died of tuberculosis in January 1950 at the age of 47.
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