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George Orwell

Eric Arthur Blair was born on 25 June, 1903. Better known for his pen name George Orwell (chosen rather patriotically by combining St. George and the River Orwell), the author of Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm was an opinionated and outspoken democrat whose brilliantly written work remains contemporary and relevant today.

Although he died at the age of just 46 from tuberculosis, George Orwell lived a very eventful life - he was a teacher and lived in Burma working as a member of the British Imperial Police Force before fighting in the Spanish Civil War where he was wounded by a sniper and had to flee for his life. An avid follower of politics, he wanted to fight in World War II but was not allowed due to his injuries. He subsequently worked as a war correspondent during this time. George Orwell wrote six novels and three non-fiction books in his lifetime.



George Orwell Books

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    George Orwell's chilling fable of Soviet Russia's brutal dictatorship, "Animal Farm" brings to life in lucid, uncomplicated language the disastrous project of Russian Communism. This "Penguin Modern Classics" edition includes an introduction by Malcolm Bradbury. 'All animals are equal - but some are more equal than others'. When the downtrodden animals of Manor Farm overthrow their master Mr Jones and take over the farm themselves, they imagine it is the beginning of a life of freedom and equality. But gradually a cunning, ruthless elite among them, masterminded by the pigs Napoleon and Snowball, starts to take control. Soon the other animals discover that they are not all as equal as they thought, and find themselves hopelessly ensnared as one form of tyranny is replaced with another. 'It is the history of a revolution that went wrong - and of the excellent excuses that were forthcoming at every step for the perversion of the original doctrine,' wrote Orwell for the first edition of "Animal Farm" in 1945. Orwell wrote the novel at the end of 1943, but it almost remained unpublished; its savage attack on Stalin, at that time Britain's ally, led to the book being refused by publisher after publisher. Orwell's simple, tragic fable has since become a world-famous classic. 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. All his novels and non-fiction, including "Burmese Days" (1934), "Down and Out in Paris and London" (1933), "The Road to Wigan Pier" (1937) and "Homage to Catalonia" (1938) are published in "Penguin Modern Classics". If you enjoyed "Animal Farm", you might like Orwell's "Nineteen Eighty-Four", also available in "Penguin Modern Classics". "It is the book for everyone and Everyman, its brightness undimmed after fifty years". (Ruth Rendell, "Daily Telegraph" Books of the Century).
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    A famous novel that covers many questions that are still relevant today, it is easy to see why George Orwell's 1984 has been applauded and acclaimed by so many. Winston Smith works for the Ministry of Truth in London, where Big Brother stares out from every poster and the Thought Police uncover every act of betrayal. When he finds love with Julia, he discovers life does not have to be dull and mundane, and opens up to new possibilities. Despite the police helicopters that hover and circle overhead, Winston and Julia begin to question the Party and are drawn towards conspiracy theories. But Big Brother will not tolerate dissent, even in the mind. A terrifying vision of a totalitarian future in which everything and everyone is slave to a tyrannical regime. This is a classic story that just has to be read!

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    Mr Jones of Manor Farm is so lazy and drunken that one day he forgets to feed his livestock. The ensuing rebellion under the leadership of the pigs Napoleon and Wellington leads to the animals taking over the farm. Vowing to eliminate the terrible inequities of the farmyard, the renamed Animal Farm is organised to benefit all who walk on four legs. But as time passes, the ideals of the rebellion are corrupted, then forgotten. And something new and unexpected emerges. Telling the story of a revolution that went wrong, Animal Farm is George Orwell's brilliant satire on the corrupting influence of power.

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    2015 is the 70th anniversary of Animal Farm. To commemorate this important anniversary, Penguin Classics is republishing the classic illustrated Animal Farm by Joy Batchelor and John Halas. When the downtrodden animals of Manor Farm overthrow their master Mr Jones and take over the farm themselves, they imagine it is the beginning of a life of freedom and equality. But gradually a cunning, ruthless elite among them, masterminded by the pigs Napoleon and Snowball, starts to take control. Soon the other animals discover that they are not all as equal as they thought, and find themselves hopelessly ensnared as one form of tyranny is replaced with another. Orwell's chilling 'fairy story' is a timeless and devastating satire of idealism betrayed by power and corruption.
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    BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU ...1984 is the year in which it happens. The world is divided into three superstates. In Oceania, the Party's power is absolute. Every action, word, gesture and thought is monitored under the watchful eye of Big Brother and the Thought Police. In the Ministry of Truth, the Party's department for propaganda, Winston Smith's job is to edit the past. Over time, the impulse to escape the machine and live independently takes hold of him and he embarks on a secret and forbidden love affair. As he writes the words 'DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER', his personal rebellion begins ...
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    George Orwell's best-known novels, Animal Farm, describing a revolution that goes horribly wrong, and Nineteen Eighty-Four, portraying a world where human freedom has been crushed, are two of the most famous, well-quoted and influential political satires ever written. The other novels in this volume also tell stories of people at odds with repressive institutions: the corrupt imperialism of Burmese Days, disaffection with materialistic society in Keep the Aspidistra Flying, the perils of modern suburban living in Coming Up for Air and surviving on the streets in A Clergyman's Daughter. All the novels brought together here display Orwell's humour, his understanding of human nature and his great compassion.
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    "Politics and the English Language" is widely considered Orwell's most important essay on style. Style, for Orwell, was never simply a question of aesthetics; it was always inextricably linked to politics and to truth. 'All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia. When the general atmosphere is bad, language must suffer.' Language is a political issue, and slovenly use of language and cliches make it easier for those in power to deliberately use misleading language to hide unpleasant political facts. Bad English, he believed, was a vehicle for oppressive ideology, and it is no accident that "Politics and the English Language" was written after the close of World War II.
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    "Winston Smith rewrites history for the Ministry of Truth, but when he's handed a note that says simply 'I love you' by a woman he hardly knows, he decides to risk everything in a search for the real truth. In a world where cheap entertainment keeps the proles ignorant but content, where a war without end is always fought and the government is always watching, can Winston possibly hold onto what he feels inside? Or will he renounce everything, accept the Party's reality and learn to love Big Brother?"
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    Hidden away in the Record Department of the sprawling Ministry of Truth, Winston Smith skilfully rewrites the past to suit the needs of the Party. Yet he inwardly rebels against the totalitarian world he lives in, which demands absolute obedience and controls him through the all-seeing telescreens and the watchful eye of Big Brother, symbolic head of the Party. In his longing for truth and liberty, Smith begins a secret love affair with a fellow-worker Julia, but soon discovers the true price of freedom is betrayal.
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    A searing account of George Orwell's observations of working-class life in the bleak industrial heartlands of Yorkshire and Lancashire in the 1930s, "The Road to Wigan Pier" is a brilliant and bitter polemic that has lost none of its political impact over time. His graphically unforgettable descriptions of social injustice, cramped slum housing, dangerous mining conditions, squalor, hunger and growing unemployment are written with unblinking honesty, fury and great humanity. It crystallized the ideas that would be found in Orwell's later works and novels, and remains a powerful portrait of poverty, injustice and class divisions in Britain.
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    George Orwell's dystopian masterpiece, "Nineteen Eighty-Four" is perhaps the most pervasively influential book of the twentieth century, published with an introduction by Ben Pimlott in "Penguin Modern Classics". 'Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past'. Hidden away in the Record Department of the sprawling Ministry of Truth, Winston Smith skilfully rewrites the past to suit the needs of the Party. Yet he inwardly rebels against the totalitarian world he lives in, which demands absolute obedience and controls him through the all-seeing telescreens and the watchful eye of "Big Brother", symbolic head of the Party. In his longing for truth and liberty, Smith begins a secret love affair with a fellow-worker Julia, but soon discovers the true price of freedom is betrayal. 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. All his novels and non-fiction, including "Burmese Days" (1934), "Down and Out in Paris and London" (1933), "The Road to Wigan Pier" (1937) and "Homage to Catalonia" (1938) are published in "Penguin Modern Classics". If you enjoyed "Nineteen Eighty-Four", you might like Orwell's "Animal Farm", also available in "Penguin Modern Classics". "His final masterpiece ...enthralling and indispensible for understanding modern history". (Timothy Garton-Ash, "New York Review of Books"). "The book of the twentieth century ...haunts us with an ever-darker relevance". ("Independent").
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    George Orwell's vivid memoir of his time living among the desperately poor and destitute, "Down and Out in Paris and London" is a moving tour of the underworld of society from the author of "1984", published with an introduction by Dervla Murphy in "Penguin Modern Classics". 'You have talked so often of going to the dogs - and well, here are the dogs, and you have reached them.' Written when Orwell was a struggling writer in his twenties, it documents his 'first contact with poverty'. Here, he painstakingly documents a world of unrelenting drudgery and squalor - sleeping in bug-infested hostels and doss houses of last resort, working as a dishwasher in Paris' vile 'Hotel X', surviving on scraps and cigarette butts, living alongside tramps, a star-gazing pavement artist and a starving Russian ex-army captain. Exposing a shocking, previously-hidden world to his readers, Orwell gave a human face to the statistics of poverty for the first time - and in doing so, found his voice as a writer. 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. All his novels and non-fiction, including "Burmese Days" (1934), "Down and Out in Paris and London" (1933), "The Road to Wigan Pier" (1937) and "Homage to Catalonia" (1938) are published in "Penguin Modern Classics". If you enjoyed "Down and Out in Paris and London", you might like "Homage to Catalonia", also available in "Penguin Modern Classics". "Orwell was the great moral force of his age". ("Spectator"). "The white-hot reaction of a sensitive, observant, compassionate young man to poverty". (Dervla Murphy).
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    'England is a family in which the young are generally thwarted and most of the power is in the hands of irresponsible uncles and bedridden aunts. Still, it is a family.' 'England Your England' is one of the most compelling and insightful portraits of the nation ever written. Shot through with Orwell's deeply felt sense of patriotism and love for his homeland, the essay is at the same time unfailingly clear-eyed about the nation's failings: entrenched social inequality, a dishonest press and a class system that only works for those at the top. Written during the Second World War, as the bombs were falling on England, the essay today speaks to the nation's current moment of crisis just as urgently as it did in Orwell's own time. It is a crucial read for anyone who wants to understand who we are, and where we've come from.
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    Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves - and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives - and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization, and helped make us who we are. Whether puncturing the lies of politicians, wittily dissecting the English character or telling unpalatable truths about war, Orwell's timeless, uncompromising essays are more relevant, entertaining and essential than ever in today's era of spin.
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    The definitive book of the 20th century is re-examined in this radical new staging by Headlong, the 'country's most exciting touring company' (Telegraph), who brought us Romeo & Juliet in 2012, directed by Robert Icke. April, 1984. 13:00. Comrade 6079, Winston Smith, thinks a thought, starts a diary, and falls in love. But Big Brother is watching him - and the door to Room 101 can swing open in the blink of an eye. This major new production explores the world inside Winston Smith's head, as well as the world without, and catches the euphoria and bliss buried deep underneath the cold face of Big Brother. In an age of mass surveillance, 'total' policing and GPS tracking, Nineteen Eighty-Four is as relevant now as it ever has been. A new adaptation created by Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan
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    George Orwell's 1945 satire on the perils of Stalinism has proved magnificently long-lived as a parable about totalitarianism anywhere - and has given the world at least one immortal phrase: Everyone is equal, but some are more equal than others. This new dramatisation sticks very closely to the book and retains both its affection for the animals and the incisiveness of its message. Northern Stage Theatre Company are taking it on a year-long tour of England, Scotland, Wales - and Romania. The book contains a helpful set of production notes intended for schools and other groups wishing to stage this version of Animal Farm.
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    'All animals are equal. But some animals are more equal than others.' Animal Farm - the history of a revolution that went wrong - is George Orwell's brilliant satire on the corrupting influence of power. Mr Jones of Manor Farm is so lazy and drunken that one day he forgets to feed his livestock. The ensuing rebellion under the leadership of the pigs Napoleon and Snowball leads to the animals taking over the farm. Vowing to eliminate the terrible inequities of the farmyard, the renamed Animal Farm is organised to benefit all who walk on four legs. But as time passes, the ideals of the rebellion are corrupted, then forgotten. And something new and unexpected emerges...Tamsin Greig, Nicky Henson and Toby Jones star in this new drama, part of BBC Radio 4's The Real George Orwell season - a Radio 4 journey that explores the disjuncture between the man who was Eric Blair and the writer who was George Orwell.
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    With a searing account of George Orwell's observations of working-class life in the bleak industrial heartlands of Yorkshire and Lancashire in the 1930s, the Road to Wigan Pier is a brilliant and bitter polemic that has lost none of its political impact over time. His graphically unforgettable descriptions of social injustice, cramped slum housing, dangerous mining conditions, squalor, hunger and growing unemployment are written with unblinking honesty, fury and great humanity. It crystallized the ideas that would be found in Orwell's later works and novels, and remains a powerful portrait of poverty, injustice and class divisions in Britain. Published with an introduction by Richard Hoggart in Penguin Modern Classics. "It is easy to see why the book created and still creates so sharp an impact...exceptional immediacy, freshness and vigour, opinionated and bold...Above all, it is a study of poverty and, behind that, of the strength of class-divisions." (Richard Hoggart).
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    'Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic Socialism as I understand it'. Thus wrote Orwell following his experiences as a militiaman in the Spanish Civil War, chronicled in "Homage to Catalonia". Here he brings to bear all the force of his humanity, passion and clarity, describing with bitter intensity the bright hopes and cynical betrayals of that chaotic episode: the revolutionary euphoria of Barcelona, the courage of ordinary Spanish men and women he fought alongside, the terror and confusion of the front, his near-fatal bullet wound and the vicious treachery of his supposed allies. 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. All his novels and non-fiction, including "Burmese Days" (1934), "Down and Out in Paris and London" (1933), "The Road to Wigan Pier" (1937) and "Homage to Catalonia" (1938) are published in "Penguin Modern Classics". If you enjoyed "Homage to Catalonia", you might like Orwell's "The Road to Wigan Pier", also available in "Penguin Modern Classics". "An unrivalled picture of the rumours, suspicions and treachery of the civil war". (Anthony Beevor, author of "D-Day"). "A war story that is both brutally honest and lyrically beautiful". (Michael Shelden, "Daily Telegraph", Books of the Century).
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    "Animal Farm" is one of the most famous warnings ever written. Orwell's immortal satire - 'against Stalin' as he wrote to his French translator - can be read on many levels. With its piercing clarity and deceptively simple style it is no surprise that this novel is required reading for schoolchildren and politicians alike. This fable of the steadfast horses Boxer and Clover, the opportunistic pigs Snowball and Napoleon, and the deafening choir of sheep remains an unparalleled masterpiece. One reviewer wrote 'In a hundred years' time perhaps "Animal Farm" ...may simply be a fairy story: today it is a fairy story with a good deal of point.' Over sixty years on in the age of spin, it is more relevant than ever. Rejected by such eminent publishing figures as Victor Gollancz, Jonathan Cape and T.S. Eliot, "Animal Farm" was published to great acclaim by Martin Secker and Warburg on 17 August 1945 in an edition of 4500 copies. In the centenary year of Martin Secker, Ltd., Harvill Secker is proud to publish this special edition with a brand-new introduction by Christopher Hitchens.
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    Based on his experiences as a policeman in Burma, George Orwell's first novel presents a devastating picture of British colonial rule. It describes corruption and imperial bigotry in a society where, 'after all, natives were natives - interesting, no doubt, but finally...an inferior people'. When Flory, a white timber merchant, befriends Indian Dr Veraswami, he defies this orthodoxy. The doctor is in danger: U Po Kyin, a corrupt magistrate, is plotting his downfall. The only thing that can save him is membership of the all-white Club, and Flory can help. Flory's life is changed further by the arrival of beautiful Elizabeth Lackersteen from Paris, who offers an escape from loneliness and the 'lie' of colonial life.
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    'Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic Socialism as I understand it'. Thus wrote Orwell following his experiences as a militiaman in the Spanish Civil War, chronicled in "Homage to Catalonia". Here he brings to bear all the force of his humanity, passion and clarity, describing with bitter intensity the bright hopes and cynical betrayals of that chaotic episode.
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    'The general uncertainty as to what is really happening makes it easier to cling to lunatic beliefs'Biting and timeless reflections on patriotism, prejudice and power, from the man who wrote about his nation better than anyone. Penguin Modern: fifty new books celebrating the pioneering spirit of the iconic Penguin Modern Classics series, with each one offering a concentrated hit of its contemporary, international flavour. Here are authors ranging from Kathy Acker to James Baldwin, Truman Capote to Stanislaw Lem and George Orwell to Shirley Jackson; essays radical and inspiring; poems moving and disturbing; stories surreal and fabulous; taking us from the deep South to modern Japan, New York's underground scene to the farthest reaches of outer space.
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    Gordon Comstock loathes dull, middle-class respectability and worship of money. He gives up a 'good job' in advertising to work part-time in a bookshop, giving him more time to write. But he slides instead into a self-induced poverty that destroys his creativity and his spirit. Only Rosemary, ever-faithful Rosemary, has the strength to challenge his commitment to his chosen way of life. Through the character of Gordon Comstock, Orwell reveals his own disaffection with the society he once himself renounced. Enlivened with vivid autobiographical detail, George Orwell's Keep the Aspidistra Flying is a tragically witty account of the struggle to escape from a materialistic existence, with an introduction by Peter Davison in Penguin Modern Classics.