George Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair – 1903 to 1950) the novelist, essayist and political writer lived at 27 B Canonbury Square, Islington in 1945.
His best known works are the novels Animal Farm (1945) and Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), both inspired by the Cold War era and dealing with themes of citizen abuse by overbearing government. Animal Farm famously declared ‘All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.’ In Nineteen Eighty-Four, Orwell coined the phrase ‘Big Brother is Watching You.’
Orwell gave us many other quotes, such as ‘At age 50, every man has the face he deserves’ and, on a more political note ‘Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.’
His earlier writings are a combination of travel writing and social commentary. The Road to Wigan Pier (1937) is a sociological study of working class life in the harsh pre-World War II living conditions in the industrialised north of England. The material for the book came from Orwell’s real experiences while living among the poeple of these bleak heartlands. Other major works include Homage to Catalonia (1938) and Down and Out in Paris and London (1933), a largely autobiographical account of subsisting in Paris, surviving on such jobs as washing dishes in a Parisienne bistro, followed by London.