Eric Arthur Blair (George Orwell) was born in 1903 in India, where his father was a civil servant. After studying at Eton, he served with the Indian Imperial Police in Burma for several years, and this inspired his first novel, Burmese Days. After two years in Paris, he returned to England to work as a teacher and then in a bookshop. In 1936 he travelled to Spain to fight for the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War, where he was badly wounded. During the Second World War he worked for the BBC. A prolific journalist and essayist, Orwell wrote some of the most influential books in English literature, including the dystopian Nineteen Eighty-Four and his political allegory Animal Farm. He died from tuberculosis in 1950.
Homage to Catalonia belongs in any list of important books on the Spanish civil war -- Paul Preston * Observer * [Homage to Catalonia] has become, in the years and for generations that have followed, a landmark text of the 20th century and an indispensable read . . . Few stories of conflict manage to stir together such a moving admixture of horror, grace, brutality and, yes, even humor. * NPR * With his commitment to honesty in the face of lies and treachery; with his moral and intellectual integrity in the face of cynicism and euphemism; and with his willingness to face down bullies of all stripes, Orwell bequeaths to us in his writings the tools we could well do with ourselves. * Mancunian * Orwell's report is as exciting as it is meditative. With his quiet exactitude the midnight skirmishes, the political issues, and the utter futility of war come clearly into focus. * Kirkus Reviews *