Today is George Orwell's birthday, who was born on 5th June, 1903. He is the famous author of Animal Farm and (my favourite book of all time) 1984. He is the writer that gave us the phrase, 'Big Brother is watching you', which became the basis of the successful reality show around the world, Big Brother... although I am not so sure that the quality of the people we have seen on that TV show throughout the years has ever matched up to the brilliant writing of Orwell. As you can tell, I love Orwell's writing, but he also had an incredibly colourful life. So, I'd like to present to you just 5 things you didn't know about English writer, George Orwell....
Orwell had 11 Golden rules which had to be followed to make the perfect cup of British tea! Rule Number 11 was that, tea should be served without sugar.
His real name was Eric Arthur Blair. He called himself George Orwell because he was a real patriot and so he used George from Saint George (just like a fantastic language school in London...which one could I be thinking of?) and the river, Orwell
For two years between 1928 and 1929, Orwell nearly starved to death while living in Paris (sometimes working as a waiter). He wrote in detail about this experience in "Down and Out in Paris and London"
In 1936, Orwell fought in the Spanish Civil War to 'combat Fascism and defend Democracy' and was shot in the throat - an injury which nearly killed him. He had been warned before that he was much taller than the average Spanish soldier and he should not stand up in the trenches because he was an easy target. Unfortunately he did stand up and a sniper shot him millimetres from his main artery.
In his lifetime, Orwell was a teacher in a London school, a waiter in Paris and a policeman in Burma. If you have never read any of Orwell's work, give it a try. If you go to a good language bookshop you might be able to find a copy of an 'easy reader' English version of Nineteen-Eighty-Four or Animal Farm - I recommend both books VERY highly!