Animal Farm

By George Orwell


George Orwell was born Eric Arthur Blair in Bengal in 1903. His best know works are: The Road to Wigan Pier, Burmese Days and Down and Out in Paris and London (semi-autobiographical journalistic works dealing with Orwell's fascination with the working classes); Animal Farm and 1984 - dystopian novels criticising totalitarianism and specifically Stalinist Russia; and The Death of the English Murder: a collection of essays. Orwell attended public school in England and became fascinated with the British class system. He was taught by Aldous Huxley at Eton, and was hugely influenced by the great man - as can be seen by the many parallels between 1984 and Brave New World. After school, he decided to mingle with the working classes, donning tattered clothes and living rough on the streets in Paris and London. The account of this in Down and Out in Paris and London is not entirely truthful. Scholars have revealed that Orwell had a rich aunt whom he could call on to support him in times of real need. Nevertheless the book is a marvellous read. Orwell was a socialist, but not a Communist, unlike many of his peers. Animal Farm and 1984 were composed as a reaction against what he saw as the betrayal of socialism by Communism. Orwell wrote 1984 whilst suffering from tuberculosis. He died from the disease in 1950.