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English Literature

George Orwell 1903-1950

An Example of Orwell's Poetry:

Ironic Poem About Prostitution

When I was young and had no sense

In far-off Mandalay

I lost my heart to a Burmese girl

As lovely as the day

Her skin was gold, her hair was jet,

I said, "for twenty silver pieces,

Maiden, sleep with me'

She looked at me, so pure, so sad

The loveliest thing alive,

And in a lisping, virgin voice,

Stood out for twenty-five.


To read George Orwell's work on 'Politics and the English Language' click here


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

"Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past"

"Not to expose your true feelings to an adult seems to be instinctive from the age of seven or eight onwards"

"All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others" ANIMAL FARM

"Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness"

"A humanitarian is always a hypocrite"

"No one can look back on his schooldays nd say with truth that they were altogether unhappy"

"The ordinary man is passive, against major events ... he simply lies down and lets things happen to him"

"The quickest way to end a war is to lose it"

To read George Orwell's work on how to make a nice cup of tea click here!


GEORGE ORWELL was the pen name of the English author, Eric Arthur Blair. Orwell was educated in England at Eton College. After service with the Indian Imperial Police in Burma from 1922 to 1927, he returned to Europe to become a writer. He lived for several years in poverty. His earliest experiences resulted in the book, Down and Out in Paris and London.

   By 1936, Orwell had joined the Republican forces in the Spanish Civil War. Orwell was critical of Communism but basically considered himself a Socialist. He was wounded in the fighting. Late in the war, Orwell fought the Communists and eventually had to flee Spain for his life. Orwell documented many of his experiences during the Spanish Civil War in his Homage to Catalonia.

   Orwell's various experiences with totalitarian political regimes had a direct impact on his prose. Orwell's best-known books reflect his opposition to totalitarianism: Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four.

   During the Second World War, Orwell wrote a weekly radio political commentary, designed to counter German and Japanese propaganda in India. His wartime work for the BBC gave him a solid taste of bureaucratic hypocrisy. Many believe that this experience provided the inspiration for his invention of "newspeak," the truth-denying language of Big Brother's rule in his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.

   Throughout his lifetime, he continually questioned all "official" or "accepted" versions of history. 

   Orwell died in London at the early age of forty-seven of a neglected lung ailment. He left behind a substantial body of work and a reputation for greatness.


Most popular books:

Burmese Days (1934)

Keep the Aspidistra Flying (1936)

Down and Out in Paris and London (1937)

Animal Farm (1945)

Nineteen Eighty Four (1949)