the ledge files
the ledge - nl - uk
George Orwell
Motihari 25 June 1903 - London 21 Jan. 1950 British novelist and essayist

full text search:

the ledge - flash version*


Eric Arthur Blair (George Orwell) was born in 1903 in India, where his father worked for the Civil Service. The family moved to England in 1907 and in 1917 Orwell entered Eton, where he contributed regularly to the various college magazines. From 1922 to 1927 he served with the Indian Imperial Police in Burma, an experience that inspired his first novel, Burmese Days (1934). Several years of poverty followed. He lived in Paris for two years before returning to England, where he worked successively as a private tutor, schoolteacher and bookshop assistant, and contributed reviews and articles to a number of periodicals. Down and Out in Paris and London was published in 1933.

In 1936, he was commissioned by Victor Gollancz to visit areas of mass unemployment in Lancashire and Yorkshire, and The Road to Wigan Pier (1937) is a powerful description of the poverty he saw there. At the end of 1936 Orwell went to Spain to fight for the Republicans and was wounded Homage
to Catalonia is his account of the civil war. He was admitted to a sanatorium in 1938 and from then on was never fully fit. He spent six months in Morocco and there wrote Coming Up for Air. During the Second World War he served in the Home Guard and worked for the BBC Eastern Service from 1941 to 1943. As literary editor of the Tribune he contributed a regular page of political and literary commentary, and he also wrote for the Observer and later for the Manchester Evening News. His unique political allegory, Animal Farm, was published in 1945, and it was this novel, together with Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), which brought him world-wide fame.

George Orwell died in London in January 1950. A few days before, Desmond MacCarthy had sent him a message of greeting in which he wrote: "You have made an indelible mark on English literature . . . you are among the few memorable writers of your generation." (from:

Bleak House
Charles Dickens, 1852-1853

Hard Times
Charles Dickens, 1854

Yevgeny Zamyatin, 1920
In a glass-enclosed city of absolute straight lines, nameless numbers, survivors of a devastating war, live out lives devoid of passion and creativity. Until D-503, a mathematician who dreams in numbers, makes a discovery: he has an individual soul.

James Joyce, 1922

H.G. Wells, 1905

Mrs Warren's Profession
George Bernard Shaw, 1898

Major Barbara
George Bernard Shaw, 1905

Darkness at Noon
Arthur Koestler, 1940

Gulliver's Travels
Jonathan Swift, 1726


Nineteen Eighty-Four
Newspeak, Doublethink, Big Brother, the Thought Police - the vocabulary of George Orwell' s classic political satire, Nineteen Eighty-Four, has passed into the English language, symbolising the horrors of totalitarianism.

Brave New World
Aldous Huxley, 1932

Michel Houellebecq, 1998

Fahrenheit 451
Ray Bradbury, 1953

The Handmaid's Tale
Margaret Atwood, 1985

The Unbearable Lightness of Being
Milan Kundera, 1984

The Eighth Day of the Week
Marek Hlasko, 1956

[Zoeken naar Eileen W.]
Leon de Winter, 1981

The Pickup
Nadine Gordimer, 2001

Reynard the Fox
Anonymous, 1275

Anthony Burgess, 1978

Voltaire, 1759

A Clergyman's Daughter
A loss of memory drives Dorothy, one of England's old maids, from her drab life as 'the rector's daughter' onto the streets of London, to the hop-gardens of Kent and the grimness of a fourth-rate private school.
Keep the Aspidistra Flying
London 1934. Gordon Comstock, copywriter for the The Queen of Sheba Toilet Requisites embarks on a new life as a poetry-writing bookseller with diastrous consequences.
Coming Up for Air
Years in insurance and marriage to the joyless Hilda have been no more than death in life to George Bowling. This and fear of another war take his mind back to the peace of his childhood in a small country town. But his return journey to Lower Binfield brings complete disillusionment.
The Road to Wigan Pier
Commissioned by the Left Book club in 1936, George Orwell set out to report on working class life in the bleak industrial heartlands of Yorkshire and Lancashire. The experience profoundly changed him, and in Wigan Pier he unleased a brilliant and bitter polemic that has not lost its force with the passage of time.
Homage to Catalonia
George Orwell's account of his experience as a militiaman in the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s. The book describes the chaos at the Front, the futile young deaths for what became a confused cause, the antique weapons and the disappointment many British Socialists felt on arriving in Spain to help.
Animal Farm
Having got rid of their human master, the animals in this political fable look forward to a life of freedom and plenty. But as a clever, ruthless elite takes control, the other animals find themselves hopelessly ensnared in the same old way.
make a note


Code (above)

The Ledge
editor-in-chief: Stacey Knecht,
Thanks to: De digitale pioniers and
Het Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds
Design: Maurits de Bruijn

Copyright: Pieter Steinz, Stacey Knecht
All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the author.