George Orwell Timeline

The George Orwell timeline follows the life of Eric Blair, known worldwide by his pen name. The writer of such novels as Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four led a life devoted to political awareness and activism.

1903: Eric Blair is born in Bengal, India to Richard Blair, an agent for the Indian Civil Service, and Ida.
1904: Blair, his mother and older sister return to England, leaving his father behind.
1908: Blair attends an Anglican parish school.
1910: He is admitted to the prestigious school, St. Cyprian in Sussex.
1912: Richard Blair rejoins his family in England.
1917-1921: Eton College welcomes Blair as a student with a scholarship.
1922: Blair travels to Burma and works as a member of the Indian Imperial Police. He is first exposed to imperialism and these years influenced some of his earliest published writings.
1928: Blair moves to Paris, determined to work as a freelance writer, but has little success. A year poverty there fuels his inspiration for a later book, Down and Out in Paris and London.
1929:George Orwell emerges as Blair's pen name, and he returns to England. He works as a teacher, writer and store worker.
1936: He marries Eileen O'Shaughnessy. The Blairs move to Spain, where they work with the Nationalist revolution to fight Faschism. Blair is shot in the throat during this time.
1937: As the communists gained control, the Blairs escape Spain and return to England.
1939-1945: Blair contributes numerous Orwell essays to leading publications and works on several novels, including Animal Farm.
1944: The Blairs adopt a baby boy and name him Richard.
1945: Animal Farm, an anti-Stalin allegory, is published and achieves international success very quickly. Eileen undergoes surgery for a hysterectomy and dies of complications. Personal friend, David Astor, invites Blair to be the war correspondent for his Observer.
1946: Blair moves to an island in the Inner Hebrides called Jura. It is there that he works tirelessly on the novel 1984. He returns to London at the end of the year.
1947-1948: Blair moves back to Jura and battles his worsening health. He continues to write and finishes 1984.
1949: Blair's poor health requires him to move to a sanitorium for round-the-clock care.
1949: His most popular novel, 1984, is published and is an instant success. Blair marries Sonia Brownell in his hospital room.
1950: With lungs weakened by tuberculosis, Blair dies after a burst artery.

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