Aldous Huxley was born on 26th July 1894 near Godalming, Surrey. He began writing poetry and short stories in his early twenties, but it was his first novel, Crome Yellow (1921), which established his literary reputation. This was swiftly followed by Antic Hay (1923), Those Barren Leaves (1925) and Point Counter Point (1928) - bright, brilliant satires in which Huxley wittily but ruthlessly passed judgement on the shortcomings of contemporary society. The great novels of ideas, including his most famous work Brave New World (published in 1932 this warned against the dehumanising aspects of scientific and material 'progress') and the pacifist novel Eyeless in Gaza (1936) were accompanied by a series of wise and brilliant essays, collected in volume form under titles such as Music at Night (1931) and Ends and Means (1937). In 1937, at the height of his fame, Huxley left Europe to live in California, working for a time as a screenwriter in Hollywood. As the West braced itself for war, Huxley came increasingly to believe that the key to solving the world's problems lay in changing the individual through mystical enlightenment. The exploration of the inner life through mysticism and hallucinogenic drugs was to dominate his work for the rest of his life. His beliefs found expression in both fiction (Time Must Have a Stop, 1944 and Island, 1962) and non-fiction (The Perennial Philosophy, 1945, Grey Eminence, 1941 and the famous account of his first mescalin experience, The Doors of Perception, 1954. Huxley died in California on 22nd November 1963.
A brilliant tour de force, Brave New World may be read as a grave warning of the pitfalls that await uncontrolled scientific advance. Full of barbed wit and malice-spiked frankness. Provoking, stimulating, shocking and dazzling Observer Such ingenious wit, derisive logic and swiftness of expression, Huxley's resources of sardonic invention have never been more brilliantly displayed The Times A fantastical look at the world in the future which made me look differently at the present -- Katie Melua Observer Lucid and well-reasoned...one is captivated by Huxley's knowledge and his even more extraordinary intelligence Sunday Times