Eric Arthur Blair (1903-1950), better known by his pen-name, George Orwell, was born in India, where his father worked for the Civil Service. An author and journalist, Orwell was one of the most prominent and influential figures in twentieth-century literature. His unique political allegory Animal Farm was published in 1945, and it was this novel, together with the dystopia of Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), which brought him world-wide fame. His novels and non-fiction include Burmese Days, Down and Out in Paris and London, The Road to Wigan Pier and Homage to Catalonia. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Orwell, who was prone to illness, had his career and his life cut short when he died of tuberculosis on January 21, 1950. Orwell’s friend, David Astor, saw to it that he was buried in a small county churchyard. Orwell is buried under his birth name. He left a strong literary and political legacy, being one of those artists who influenced not only the literary universe, but also the real world in which he lived. As he wrote in " Politics and the English Language ": "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." This statement also illustrates the pessimism for which Orwell was known. Like some other disillusioned people of his generation, Orwell believed that totalitarian governments would inevitably take over the West.