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George Orwell

George Orwell (1903-1950), nee Eric Arthur Blair, won a scholarship to Eton then served in the Imperial Police in Burma from 1922-27, where his experiences of colonialism stayed with him for life. His first book, Down and Out in Paris and London (1933), described his experiences in both cities of living on the poverty line. In The Road to Wigan Pier (1937) he wrote about the unemployed in the North of England, but before it was published he left for Spain and fought for the Republicans in the Civil War, as described in his Homage to Catalonia (1938). He had by then also written three realistic novels, but it was the allegorical Animal Farm in 1945 that won him widespread acclaim, which was redoubled with the publication in 1949, just before his death the following year, of his most famous novel, 1984.

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