George Orwell /
Eric Arthur Blair
(1903 - 1950) -
essayist and critic.
His famous works are
the dystopian novel
(1949) and the novell
Animal Farm (1945) Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949)
Orwell has invented such popular words as cold war, Big Brother,
thought police, Room 101, doublethink, and thought crime.
Becoming a writer
Eric Arthur Blair was
born on 25 June 1903 in
In 1927 he decided to
become a writer.
In 1928, he moved to
Paris. He described his
first years there in his
book, 'Down and Out in
His first novel was
Down and Out in Paris
He was an anarchist in the late
1920s, but by the 1930s he had
become a socialist.
In 1936, Orwell travelled to Spain to
fight for the Republicans against
Franco's Nationalists where he
became an anti-Stalinist.
In an autobiographical piece Twentieth Century Authors(1940),
"The writers I care about most and never grow tired of are:
Shakespeare, Swift, Fielding, Dickens, Charles Reade, Flaubert
and, among modern writers, James Joyce, T. S. Eliot and D. H.
Lawrence. But I believe the modern writer who has influenced me
most is Somerset Maugham, whom I admire immensely for his
power of telling a story straightforwardly and without frills.“
Between 1941 and
1943, Orwell worked for
BBC. In 1943, he
became literary editor of
the Tribune, a weekly
Orwell was a heavy smoker.
21 January 1950 Eric Arthur
Blair died of tuberculosis
Orwell’s six rules for writers
In his essay ‘Politics and the English Language’ (1946), Orwell
provides six rules for writers:
• Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you
are used to seeing in print.
• Never use a long word where a short one will do.
• If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
• Never use the passive where you can use the active.
• Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you
can think of an everyday English equivalent.
• Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright
Orwell was married to Eileen O'Shaughnessy until her death in
1945. Before Eileen’s death the couple had adopted a son, who
they named Richard Horatio Blair.
Near the end of his life, Orwell married Sonia Brownell.
Eileen O'Shaughnessy Sonia BrownellOrwell and his son Richard