Ward's Book of Days.

Pages of interesting anniversaries.

What happened on this day in history.

JANUARY 21st  

On this day in history in 1950 died George Orwell.

Orwell was a writer who wrote through his own experience. His novel Burmese Days exposes the inefficiency and brutality of The Indian Imperial Police in which he spent his early days.  Appalled by the injustice of British rule in the Far East, Orwell resigned and lived as an outcast in France and in the Kent hop-fields from where he acquired the material for Down and Out in Paris and London.

 Orwell moved on to live in a mining community in the North, during the Depression and recounted his experiences in The Road To Wigan Pier. This novel was Orwell’s first socialist work. He used his experience of the suffering of the mining families to appeal for social change.

 Orwell’s later employment as a bookseller’s assistant gave him the material for Keep the Aspidistra Flying, a satirical novel lampooning the Middle Class and it’s pretentious conventions.

 During the Spanish Civil War, Orwell fought on the Republican side and wrote Homage To Calalonia out of his experience. He was injured in the conflict and was unable to serve in the fight against Fascism in the Second World War. At this time, reports of Stalin’s tyranny in the Soviet Union led to Orwell’s disillusionment with Socialism. 

It was then that Orwell started to write from his imagination. Animal Farm satirised the Russian Revolution and the record of the Soviet state.

Nineteen Eighty-Four, written in 1948, predicted the totalitarian state that Britain would become if subjected to Socialism. Many of his neologisms ‘newspeak’, ‘big brother’ ‘doublethink’ became bywords for political manipulation.   

Orwell’s name was not if fact George Orwell! In order to work undercover as an opponent of the class system, he took the name of the river Orwell as pseudonym.  His real name was Eric Blair. 

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