About This Author

George Orwell

A photo showing the head and shoulders of a middle-aged man with black hair and a slim moustache.
Orwell's press card portrait, 1943

Born

Eric Arthur Blair25 June 1903 Motihari, Bengal Presidency, British India

Died

21 January 1950 University College Hospital, London, England

Resting place

Sutton Courtenay, Oxfordshire, England

Pen name

George Orwell

Occupation

Novelist, essayist, journalist, critic

Alma mater

Eton College

Genre

Dystopia,roman à clef, satire

Subject

Anti-fascism, anti-Stalinism, democratic socialism, literary criticism, news, polemic

Notable works

Animal Farm Nineteen Eighty-Four Homage to Catalonia Down and Out in Paris and London The Road to Wigan Pier

Years active

1928–1950

Spouse

Eileen O'Shaughnessy ( m.   1936 ; died  1945 )
Sonia Brownell ( m.   1949 )

Signature

Eric Blair

Eric Arthur Blair , better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English novelist, essayist, journalist and critic, whose work is marked by lucid prose, awareness of social injustice, opposition to totalitarianism, and outspoken support of democratic socialism.

Orwell wrote literary criticism, poetry, fiction and polemical journalism. He is best known for the allegorical novella Animal Farm and the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four . His non-fiction works, including The Road to Wigan Pier , documenting his experience of working class life in the north of England, and Homage to Catalonia , an account of his experiences on the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War, are widely acclaimed, as are his essays on politics, literature, language and culture. In 2008, The Times ranked him second on a list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945".

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Discover George Orwell Quotes and Sayings

Every generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it. - George Orwell

Every generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.

George Orwell

intelligence
In our age there is no such thing as 'keeping out of politics.' All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia. - George Orwell

In our age there is no such thing as 'keeping out of politics.' All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.

George Orwell

age politics
Not to expose your true feelings to an adult seems to be instinctive from the age of seven or eight onwards. - George Orwell

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

George Orwell

age
The best books... are those that tell you what you know already. - George Orwell

The best books... are those that tell you what you know already.

George Orwell

best
Part of the reason for the ugliness of adults, in a child's eyes, is that the child is usually looking upwards, and few faces are at their best when seen from below. - George Orwell

Part of the reason for the ugliness of adults, in a child's eyes, is that the child is usually looking upwards, and few faces are at their best when seen from below.

George Orwell

best
I doubt whether classical education ever has been or can be successfully carried out without corporal punishment. - George Orwell

I doubt whether classical education ever has been or can be successfully carried out without corporal punishment.

George Orwell

education
No advance in wealth, no softening of manners, no reform or revolution has ever brought human equality a millimeter nearer. - George Orwell

No advance in wealth, no softening of manners, no reform or revolution has ever brought human equality a millimeter nearer.

George Orwell

equality
A family with the wrong members in control that, perhaps, is as near as one can come to describing England in a phrase. - George Orwell

A family with the wrong members in control that, perhaps, is as near as one can come to describing England in a phrase.

George Orwell

family
It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it; consequently, the defenders of every kind of regime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using the word if it were tied down to any one meaning. - George Orwell

It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it; consequently, the defenders of every kind of regime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using the word if it were tied down to any one meaning.

George Orwell

fear
We may find in the long run that tinned food is a deadlier weapon than the machine-gun. - George Orwell

We may find in the long run that tinned food is a deadlier weapon than the machine-gun.

George Orwell

food
Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear. - George Orwell

Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.

George Orwell

freedom
War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. - George Orwell

War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.

George Orwell

freedom peace strength war
Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows. - George Orwell

Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.

George Orwell

freedom
Whatever is funny is subversive, every joke is ultimately a custard pie... a dirty joke is a sort of mental rebellion. - George Orwell

Whatever is funny is subversive, every joke is ultimately a custard pie... a dirty joke is a sort of mental rebellion.

George Orwell

funny
Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past. - George Orwell

Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.

George Orwell

future
If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever. - George Orwell

If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever.

George Orwell

future imagination