|Series:||Popular Penguins Ser.|
As he lay dying, George Orwell summoned his publisher Fred Warburg to his bedside. No longer capable of holding a pen, the writer dictated a message to the public about the world of his new novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four. 'Don?t let it happen,? he concluded. 'It depends on you.?In an age of inescapable surveillance, fake news, alternative facts, would-be Big Brothers and endless low-level wars, Orwell?s warning still speaks to us today, and with greater force than ever before.Republished with a new introduction by Dennis Glover, author of The Last Man in Europe, Orwell?s prophetic masterpiece is truly a story for our times. Orwell?s courage and his refusal to be silenced inspire hope that, ultimately, the spirit of humanity will win through.
Eric Arthur Blair (George Orwell) was born in 1903 in India, where his father worked for the Civil Service. The family moved to England in 1907 and in 1917 Orwell entered Eton, where he contributed regularly to the various college magazines. From 1922 to 1927 he served with the Indian Imperial Police in Burma, an experience that inspired his first novel Burmese Days (1934). Several years of poverty followed. He lived in Paris for two years before returning to England, where he worked successively as a private tutor, schoolteacher and bookshop assistant, and contributed reviews and articles to a number of periodicals. Down and Out in Paris and London was published in 1933. In 1936 he was commissioned by Victor Gollancz to visit areas of mass unemployment in Lancashire and Yorkshire, and The Road to Wigan Pier (1937) is a powerful description of the poverty he saw there. At the end of 1936 Orwell went to Spain to fight for the Republicans and was wounded. Homage to Catalonia is his account of the civil war. He was admitted to a sanatorium in 1938 and from then on was never fully fit. He spent six months in Morocco and there wrote Coming Up for Air. During the Second World War he served in the Home Guard and worked for the BBC Eastern Service from 1941 to 1943. As literary editor of Tribune he contributed a regular page of political and literary commentary, and he also wrote for the Observer and later for the Manchester Evening News. His unique political allegory, Animal Farm, was published in 1945, and it was this novel, together with Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), which brought him world-wide fame. George Orwell died in London in January 1950. A few days before, Desmond MacCarthy had sent him a message of greeting in which he wrote: 'You have made an indelible mark on English literature . . . you are among the few memorable writers of your generation.'