Eric Arthur Blair, better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English novelist, essayist and critic, whose work is marked by lucid prose, awareness of social injustice, opposition to totalitarianism, outspoken support of democratic socialism. Orwell wrote literary criticism, poetry and polemical journalism, he is best known for the allegorical novella Animal Farm and the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. His non-fiction works, including The Road to Wigan Pier, documenting his experience of working class life in the north of England, Homage to Catalonia, an account of his experiences on the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War, are acclaimed, as are his essays on politics, literature and culture. In 2008, The Times ranked him second on a list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945". Orwell's work continues to influence popular and political culture and the term "Orwellian"—descriptive of totalitarian or authoritarian social practices—has entered the language together with many of his neologisms, including "Big Brother", "Thought Police", "Hate week", "Room 101", "memory hole", "newspeak", "doublethink", "proles", "unperson" and "thoughtcrime".
Eric Arthur Blair was born on 25 June 1903 in Motihari, British India. His great-grandfather, Charles Blair, was a wealthy country gentleman in Dorset who married Lady Mary Fane, daughter of the Earl of Westmorland, had income as an absentee landlord of plantations in Jamaica, his grandfather, Thomas Richard Arthur Blair, was a clergyman. Although the gentility passed down the generations, the prosperity did not, his father, Richard Walmesley Blair, worked in the Opium Department of the Indian Civil Service. His mother, Ida Mabel Blair, grew up in Moulmein, where her French father was involved in speculative ventures. Eric had two sisters: Marjorie, five years older; when Eric was one year old, his mother his sisters to England. His birthplace and ancestral house in Motihari has been declared a protected monument of historical importance. In 1904 Ida Blair settled with her children at Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire. Eric was brought up in the company of his mother and sisters, apart from a brief visit in mid-1907, the family did not see their husband or father, Richard Blair, until 1912.
His mother's diary from 1905 describes a lively round of artistic interests. Before the First World War, the family moved to Shiplake, Oxfordshire where Eric became friendly with the Buddicom family their daughter Jacintha; when they first met, he was standing on his head in a field. On being asked why, he said, "You are noticed more if you stand on your head than if you are right way up." Jacintha and Eric read and wrote poetry, dreamed of becoming famous writers. He said. During this period, he enjoyed shooting and birdwatching with Jacintha's brother and sister. Aged five, Eric was sent as a day-boy to a convent school in Henley-on-Thames, which Marjorie attended, it was a Roman Catholic convent run by French Ursuline nuns, exiled from France after religious education was banned in 1903. His mother wanted him to have a public school education, but his family could not afford the fees, he needed to earn a scholarship. Ida Blair's brother Charles Limouzin recommended St Cyprian's School, East Sussex.
Limouzin, a proficient golfer, knew of the school and its headmaster through the Royal Eastbourne Golf Club, where he won several competitions in 1903 and 1904. The headmaster undertook to help Blair to win a scholarship, made a private financial arrangement that allowed Blair's parents to pay only half the normal fees. In September 1911, Eric arrived at St Cyprian's, he boarded at the school for the next five years. During this period, while working for the Ministry of Pensions, his mother lived at 23 Cromwell Crescent, Earls Court, he knew nothing of the reduced fees, although he "soon recognised that he was from a poorer home". Blair hated the school and many years wrote an essay "Such, Such Were the Joys", published posthumously, based on his time there. At St Cyprian's, Blair first met Cyril Connolly. Many years as the editor of Horizon, Connolly published several of Orwell's essays. While at St Cyprian's, Blair wrote two poems that were published in the Henley and South Oxfordshire Standard.
He came second to Connolly in the Harrow History Prize, had his work praised by the school's external examiner, earned scholarships to Wellington and Eton. But inclusion on the Eton scholarship roll did not guarantee a place, none was available for Blair, he chose to stay at St Cyprian's until December 1916. In January, Blair took up the place at Wellington. In May 1917 a place became available as a King's Scholar at Eton. At this time the family lived at Notting Hill Gate. Blair remained at Eton until December 1921, when he left midway between his 19th birthday. Wellington was "beastly", Orwell told his childhood friend Jacintha Buddicom, but he said he was "interested and happy" at Eton, his principal tutor was A. S. F. Gow, Fellow of Trinity College, who gave him advice in his career. Blair was taught French by Aldous Huxley. Steven Runciman, at Eton with Blair, noted that he and his contemporaries appreciated Huxley's linguistic flair. Cyril Connolly followed Blair to Eton, but because they were in separate years
Italo Calvino was an Italian journalist and writer of short stories and novels. His best known works include the Our Ancestors trilogy, the Cosmicomics collection of short stories, the novels Invisible Cities and If on a winter's night a traveler. Admired in Britain and the United States, he was the most-translated contemporary Italian writer at the time of his death. Italo Calvino was born in Santiago de las Vegas, a suburb of Havana, Cuba, in 1923, his father, was a tropical agronomist and botanist who taught agriculture and floriculture. Born 47 years earlier in Sanremo, Mario Calvino had emigrated to Mexico in 1909 where he took up an important position with the Ministry of Agriculture. In an autobiographical essay, Italo Calvino explained that his father "had been in his youth an anarchist, a follower of Kropotkin and a Socialist Reformist". In 1917, Mario left for Cuba to conduct scientific experiments, after living through the Mexican Revolution. Calvino's mother, Giuliana Luigia Evelina "Eva" Mameli, was a university professor.
A native of Sassari in Sardinia and 11 years younger than her husband, she married while still a junior lecturer at Pavia University. Born into a secular family, Eva was a pacifist educated in the "religion of civic duty and science". Eva gave Calvino his unusual first name to remind him of his Italian heritage, although since he wound up growing up in Italy after all, Calvino thought his name sounded "belligerently nationalist". Calvino described his parents as being "very different in personality from one another", suggesting deeper tensions behind a comfortable, albeit strict, middle-class upbringing devoid of conflict; as an adolescent, he found it hard relating to poverty and the working-class, was "ill at ease" with his parents' openness to the laborers who filed into his father's study on Saturdays to receive their weekly paycheck. In 1925, less than two years after Calvino's birth, the family returned to Italy and settled permanently in Sanremo on the Ligurian coast. Calvino's brother Floriano, who became a distinguished geologist, was born in 1927.
The family divided their time between the Villa Meridiana, an experimental floriculture station which served as their home, Mario's ancestral land at San Giovanni Battista. On this small working farm set in the hills behind Sanremo, Mario pioneered in the cultivation of exotic fruits such as avocado and grapefruit obtaining an entry in the Dizionario biografico degli italiani for his achievements; the vast forests and luxuriant fauna omnipresent in Calvino's early fiction such as The Baron in the Trees derives from this "legacy". In an interview, Calvino stated that "San Remo continues to pop out in my books, in the most diverse pieces of writing." He and Floriano would climb the tree-rich estate and perch for hours on the branches reading their favorite adventure stories. Less salubrious aspects of this "paternal legacy" are described in The Road to San Giovanni, Calvino's memoir of his father in which he exposes their inability to communicate: "Talking to each other was difficult. Both verbose by nature, possessed of an ocean of words, in each other's presence we became mute, would walk in silence side by side along the road to San Giovanni."
A fan of Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book as a child, Calvino felt that his early interest in stories made him the "black sheep" of a family that held literature in less esteem than the sciences. Fascinated by American movies and cartoons, he was attracted to drawing and theatre. On a darker note, Calvino recalled that his earliest memory was of a Marxist professor, brutally assaulted by Benito Mussolini's Blackshirts: "I remember that we were at dinner when the old professor came in with his face beaten up and bleeding, his bowtie all torn, asking for help."Other legacies include the parents' beliefs in Freemasonry, Republicanism with elements of Anarchism and Marxism. Austere freethinkers with an intense hatred of the ruling National Fascist Party and Mario refused to give their sons any education in the Catholic Faith or any other religion. Italo attended the English nursery school St George's College, followed by a Protestant elementary private school run by Waldensians, his secondary schooling, with a classical lyceum curriculum, was completed at the state-run Liceo Gian Domenico Cassini where, at his parents' request, he was exempted from religion classes but asked to justify his anti-conformism to teachers and fellow pupils.
In his mature years, Calvino described the experience as having made him "tolerant of others' opinions in the field of religion, remembering how irksome it was to hear myself mocked because I did not follow the majority's beliefs". In 1938, Eugenio Scalfari, who went on to found the weekly magazine L'Espresso and La Repubblica, a major Italian newspaper, came from Civitavecchia to join the same class though a year younger, they shared the same desk; the two teenagers formed a lasting friendship, Calvino attributing his political awakening to their university discussions. Seated together "on a huge flat stone in the middle of a stream near our land", he and Scalfari founded the MUL. Eva managed to delay her son's enrolment in the Party's armed scouts, the Balilla Moschettieri, arranged that he be excused, as a non-Catholic, from performing devotional acts in Church, but on, as a compulsory member, he could not avoid the assemblies and parades of the Avanguardisti, was forced to participate in the Italian invasion of the French Riviera in June 1940.
In 1941, Calvino enrolled at the University of Turin, choosing th
The Times is a British daily national newspaper based in London. It began in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register, adopting its current name on 1 January 1788; the Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers, since 1981 a subsidiary of News UK, itself wholly owned by News Corp. The Times and The Sunday Times do not share editorial staff, were founded independently, have only had common ownership since 1967. In 1959, the historian of journalism Allan Nevins analysed the importance of The Times in shaping the views of events of London's elite: For much more than a century The Times has been an integral and important part of the political structure of Great Britain, its news and its editorial comment have in general been coordinated, have at most times been handled with an earnest sense of responsibility. While the paper has admitted some trivia to its columns, its whole emphasis has been on important public affairs treated with an eye to the best interests of Britain.
To guide this treatment, the editors have for long periods been in close touch with 10 Downing Street. The Times is the first newspaper to have borne that name, lending it to numerous other papers around the world, such as The Times of India and The New York Times. In countries where these other titles are popular, the newspaper is referred to as The London Times or The Times of London, although the newspaper is of national scope and distribution; the Times is the originator of the used Times Roman typeface developed by Stanley Morison of The Times in collaboration with the Monotype Corporation for its legibility in low-tech printing. In November 2006 The Times began printing headlines in Times Modern; the Times was printed in broadsheet format for 219 years, but switched to compact size in 2004 in an attempt to appeal more to younger readers and commuters using public transport. The Sunday Times remains a broadsheet; the Times had an average daily circulation of 417,298 in January 2019. An American edition of The Times has been published since 6 June 2006.
It has been used by scholars and researchers because of its widespread availability in libraries and its detailed index. A complete historical file of the digitised paper, up to 2010, is online from Gale Cengage Learning; the Times was founded by publisher John Walter on 1 January 1785 as The Daily Universal Register, with Walter in the role of editor. Walter had lost his job by the end of 1784 after the insurance company where he worked went bankrupt due to losses from a Jamaican hurricane. Unemployed, Walter began a new business venture. Henry Johnson had invented the logography, a new typography, reputedly faster and more precise. Walter bought the logography's patent and with it opened a printing house to produce a daily advertising sheet; the first publication of the newspaper The Daily Universal Register in Great Britain was 1 January 1785. Unhappy because the word Universal was omitted from the name, Walter changed the title after 940 editions on 1 January 1788 to The Times. In 1803, Walter handed editorship to his son of the same name.
In spite of Walter Sr's sixteen-month stay in Newgate Prison for libel printed in The Times, his pioneering efforts to obtain Continental news from France, helped build the paper's reputation among policy makers and financiers. The Times used contributions from significant figures in the fields of politics, science and the arts to build its reputation. For much of its early life, the profits of The Times were large and the competition minimal, so it could pay far better than its rivals for information or writers. Beginning in 1814, the paper was printed on the new steam-driven cylinder press developed by Friedrich Koenig. In 1815, The Times had a circulation of 5,000. Thomas Barnes was appointed general editor in 1817. In the same year, the paper's printer James Lawson and passed the business onto his son John Joseph Lawson. Under the editorship of Barnes and his successor in 1841, John Thadeus Delane, the influence of The Times rose to great heights in politics and amongst the City of London.
Peter Fraser and Edward Sterling were two noted journalists, gained for The Times the pompous/satirical nickname'The Thunderer'. The increased circulation and influence of the paper was based in part to its early adoption of the steam-driven rotary printing press. Distribution via steam trains to growing concentrations of urban populations helped ensure the profitability of the paper and its growing influence; the Times was the first newspaper to send war correspondents to cover particular conflicts. W. H. Russell, the paper's correspondent with the army in the Crimean War, was immensely influential with his dispatches back to England. In other events of the nineteenth century, The Times opposed the repeal of the Corn Laws until the number of demonstrations convinced the editorial board otherwise, only reluctantly supported aid to victims of the Irish Potato Famine, it enthusiastically supported the Great Reform Bill of 1832, which reduced corruption and increased the electorate from 400,000 people to 800,000 people.
During the American Civil War, The Times represented the view of the wealthy classes, favouring the secessionists, but it was not a supporter of slavery. The third John Walter, the founder's grandson, succeeded his father in 1847; the paper continued as more or less independent, but from t
Keep the Aspidistra Flying
Keep the Aspidistra Flying, first published in 1936, is a critical novel by George Orwell. It is set in 1930s London; the main theme is Gordon Comstock's romantic ambition to defy worship of the money-god and status, the dismal life that results. Orwell wrote the book in 1934 and 1935 when he was living at various locations near Hampstead in London, drew on his experiences in these and the preceding few years. At the beginning of 1928 he lived in lodgings in Portobello Road from where he started his tramping expeditions, sleeping rough and roaming in the poorer parts of London. At this time he wrote a fragment of a play in which the protagonist Stone needs money for his child's life-saving operation. Stone would prefer to prostitute his wife rather than prostitute his artistic integrity by writing advertising copy. Orwell's early publications appeared in The Adelphi, a left-wing literary journal edited by Sir Richard Rees, a wealthy and idealistic baronet who made Orwell one of his protégés; the character of Ravelston the wealthy publisher in Keep the Aspidistra Flying has much in common with Rees.
Ravelston is acutely self-conscious of his upper-class status and defensive about his unearned income. Comstock speculates that Ravelston receives nearly two thousand pounds a year after tax—a comfortable sum in those days—and Rees, in a volume of autobiography published in 1963 wrote: "... I have never had the spending of much less than £1,000 a year of unearned income, sometimes more... Before the war, this was wealth for an unmarried man. Many of my socialist and intellectual friends were paupers compared to me..." In quoting this, Orwell's biographer Michael Shelden commented "One of these'paupers'—at least in 1935—was Orwell, lucky if he made £200 that year... He appreciated Rees's editorial support at the Adelphi and sincerely enjoyed having him as a friend, but he could not have avoided feeling some degree of resentment toward a man who had no real job but who enjoyed an income four or five times greater than his."In 1932 Orwell took a job as a teacher in a small school in West London.
From there he would take journeys into the country at places like Burnham Beeches. There are allusions to Burnham Beeches and walks in the country in Orwell's correspondence at this time with Brenda Salkeld and Eleanor Jacques. In October 1934, after nine months at his home in Southwold, Orwell's aunt Nellie Limouzin found him a job as a part-time assistant in Booklovers' Corner, a second-hand bookshop in Hampstead run by Francis and Myfanwy Westrope; the Westropes, who were friends of Nellie in the Esperanto movement, had an easy-going outlook and provided him with comfortable accommodation at Warwick Mansions, Pond Street. He was job sharing with Jon Kimche who lived with the Westropes. Orwell worked at the shop in the afternoons, having the mornings free to write and the evenings to socialise, he was at Booklovers' Corner for fifteen months. His essay "Bookshop Memories", published in November 1936, recalled aspects of his time at the bookshop, in Keep the Aspidistra Flying, "he described it, or revenged himself upon it, with acerbity and wit and spleen."
In their study of Orwell the writers Stansky & Abrahams remarked upon the improvement on the "stumbling attempts at female portraiture in his first two novels: the stereotyped Elizabeth Lackersteen in Burmese Days and the hapless Dorothy in A Clergyman's Daughter" and contended that, in contrast, "Rosemary is a credible female portrait." Through his work in the bookshop Orwell was in a position to become acquainted with women, "first as a clerk as a friend... and with whom, if circumstances were favourable, he might embark upon a'relationship'... This for Orwell the author and Blair the man, was the chief reward of working at Booklovers' Corner." In particular, Orwell met Sally Jerome, at this time working for an advertising agency, Kay Ekevall, who ran a small typing and secretarial service which did work for Adelphi magazine. By the end of February 1935 he had moved into a flat in Parliament Hill, it was through a joint party with his landlady here that Orwell met his future wife Eileen O'Shaughnessy.
In August Orwell moved into a flat in Kentish Town, which he shared with Michael Sayers and Rayner Heppenstall. Over this period he was working on Keep the Aspidistra Flying and had two novels, Burmese Days and A Clergyman's Daughter, published. At the beginning of 1936 Orwell was dealing with pre-publication issues for Keep the Aspidistra Flying while on his tour in the North of England collecting material for The Road to Wigan Pier; the novel was published by Victor Gollancz Ltd on 20 April 1936. The aspidistra is a hardy, long-living plant, used as a house plant in England, which can grow to an impressive unwieldy size, it was popular in the Victorian era, in large part because it could tolerate not only weak sunlight but the poor indoor air quality that resulted from the use of oil lamps and coal gas lamps. They had fallen out of favour following the advent of electric lighting, their use had been so widespread among the middle class that they had become a music hall joke appearing in songs such as "Biggest Aspidistra in the World," of which Gracie Fields made a recording.
In the titular phrase, Orwell uses the aspidistra, a symbol of the stuffiness of middle-class society, in conjunction with the locution "to keep the flag flying." The title can thus be interpreted as a sarcastic exhortation in the sense of "Hooray for the middle class!" In subsequent adaptions and translations, the original title has been altered.
Adeline Virginia Woolf was an English writer, considered one of the most important modernist 20th-century authors and a pioneer in the use of stream of consciousness as a narrative device. Woolf was born into an affluent household in South Kensington, the seventh child in a blended family of eight, her mother, Julia Prinsep Jackson, celebrated as a Pre-Raphaelite artist's model, had three children from her first marriage, while Woolf's father, Leslie Stephen, a notable man of letters, had one previous daughter. The Stephens produced another four children, including the modernist painter Vanessa Bell. While the boys in the family received college educations, the girls were home-schooled in English classics and Victorian literature. An important influence in Virginia Woolf's early life was the summer home the family used in St Ives, where she first saw the Godrevy Lighthouse, to become iconic in her novel To the Lighthouse. Woolf's childhood came to an abrupt end in 1895 with the death of her mother and her first mental breakdown, followed two years by the death of her stepsister and surrogate mother, Stella Duckworth.
From 1897 to 1901, she attended the Ladies' Department of King's College London, where she studied classics and history and came into contact with early reformers of women's higher education and the women's rights movement. Other important influences were her Cambridge-educated brothers and unfettered access to her father's vast library. Encouraged by her father, Woolf began writing professionally in 1900, her father's death in 1905 caused another mental breakdown for Woolf. Following his death, the Stephen family moved from Kensington to the more bohemian Bloomsbury, where they adopted a free-spirited lifestyle, it was in Bloomsbury where, in conjunction with the brothers' intellectual friends, the Stephens formed the artistic and literary Bloomsbury Group. Following her 1912 marriage to Leonard Woolf, the couple founded the Hogarth Press in 1917, which published much of her work; the couple rented a home in Sussex and moved there permanently in 1940. Throughout her life, Woolf was troubled by bouts of mental illness.
She was institutionalized attempted suicide at least twice. Her illness is considered to have been bipolar disorder, for which there was no effective intervention during her lifetime. At age 59, Woolf committed suicide in 1941 by putting rocks in her coat pockets and drowning herself in the River Ouse. During the interwar period, Woolf was an important part of London's artistic society. In 1915 she published her first novel, The Voyage Out, through her half-brother's publishing house, Gerald Duckworth and Company, her best-known works include the novels Mrs Dalloway, To the Orlando. She is known for her essays, including A Room of One's Own, in which she wrote the much-quoted dictum, "A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction." Woolf became one of the central subjects of the 1970s movement of feminist criticism and her works have since garnered much attention and widespread commentary for "inspiring feminism." Her works have been translated into more than 50 languages.
A large body of literature is dedicated to her life and work, she has been the subject of plays and films. Woolf is commemorated today by statues, societies dedicated to her work and a building at the University of London. Virginia Woolf was born Adeline Virginia Stephen on 25 January 1882 at 22 Hyde Park Gate in South Kensington, London to Julia and Leslie Stephen, historian, essayist and mountaineer. Julia Jackson was born in 1846 in Calcutta, British India to Dr. John Jackson and Maria "Mia" Theodosia Pattle, from two Anglo-Indian families. John Jackson FRCS was the third son of George Jackson and Mary Howard of Bengal, a physician who spent 25 years with the Bengal Medical Service and East India Company and a professor at the fledgling Calcutta Medical College. While John Jackson was an invisible presence, the Pattle family were famous beauties, moved in the upper circles of Bengali society; the seven Pattle sisters married into important families. Julia Margaret Cameron was a celebrated photographer, while Virginia married Earl Somers, their daughter, Julia Jackson's cousin, was Lady Henry Somerset, the temperance leader.
Julia moved to England with her mother at the age of two and spent much of her early life with another of her mother's sister, Sarah Monckton Pattle. Sarah and her husband Henry Thoby Prinsep, conducted an artistic and literary salon at Little Holland House where she came into contact with a number of Pre-Raphaelite painters such as Edward Burne-Jones, for whom she modelled. Julia was the youngest of three sisters and Adeline Virginia Stephen was named after her mother's eldest sister Adeline Maria Jackson and her mother's aunt Virginia Pattle; because of the tragedy of her aunt Adeline's death the previous year, the family never used Virginia's first name. The Jacksons were a well educated and artistic proconsular middle-class family. In 1867, Julia Jackson married Herbert Duckworth, a barrister, but within three years was left a widow with three infant children, she was devastated and entered a prolonged period of mourning, abandoning her faith and turning to nursing and philanthropy. Julia and Herbert Duckworth had three children.
News Corporation or News Corp may refer to: News Corporation, an American multinational mass media corporation operated and owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch 21st Century Fox, the legal successor to the original News Corporation Fox Corporation, the legal successor to 21st Century Fox News Corp, a new company spun off from the original News Corporation News Corp Australia, the Australian subsidiary of News Corp News UK, the British subsidiary of News Corp List of assets owned by News Corp List of assets owned by 21st Century Fox