Son of an English administrator stationed in India (in the "Opium Department"), Orwell (born Eric Blair) returned to Henley-on-Thames in England with his mother when he was 2. He eventually attended Eton, becoming a somewhat rebellious boy who questioned his family's middle-class values. From 1921 to 1927, he served with the Indian Imperial Police in Burma, a job he loathed, and after he resigned he devoted himself to learning to write, first in England, then in Paris, where he began to publish articles on social issues under the pen name of George Orwell. All his life, Orwell was aware of and outraged by poverty and unemployment and the inequities of the oppressive English class system. Impoverished himself, he worked in the kitchen of a Paris hotel, out of which came his memoir, DOWN AND OUT IN PARIS AND LONDON. He wrote several novels during this period--the first to be published was A CLERGYMAN'S DAUGHTER in 1935--as well as his classic study of Yorkshire coal miners, THE ROAD TO WIGAN PIER (1937). (Later in life, Orwell commented, "Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic Socialism...") Orwell fought with the antifascists in the Spanish Civil War, detailing his experiences in HOMAGE TO CATALONIA (1938), and during World War II he wrote for the BBC. He is credited with coining the expression "cold war." Orwell's scathing political satire, ANIMAL FARM, was published after the war, in 1945. His first wife also died that year, and he and his son moved to the island of Jura off the Scottish coast, where Orwell wrote his most famous and influential novel, 1984, which was published in 1949. He remarried shortly after, but in 1950 he died of the tuberculosis that had long plagued him.
From the Publisher
An easy-to-read retelling of the classic tale of a kindly but poor shoemaker who gets unexpected help with his work.