Eric Arthur Blair was the birth name of the writer with the pen name George Orwell. Blair was born in Bengal, India in 1903 and died in 1950. His family was "Lower-Upper-Middle-Class" and he attended Eton on scholarship. This earned him the scorn of monied members, who were fond of reminding him that he was a financial parasite. He joined the Indian Imperial Police instead of going to university, and later wrote about the experience in Burmese Days, an indictment of imperialism.

In 1937 he fought in Spain against the Fascists, and saw the ugly face of Stalinism. The war, and his experiences with imperialism, convinced him that England needed socialism to combat the tendancies of Totalitarianism.

He chose the pen name George Orwell after concern that his writing (e.g. Down and Out in Paris and London) would embarass his family's name. His most famous book, 1984, was written in 1948, two years before his death from tuberculosis in 1950.

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