Post War and death  

   Nineteen Eighty-Four and final years


house where George Orwell wrote 1984

Barnhill, Orwell's isolated house on the island of Jura


' If I can live another ten years, I think I have another three worthwhile books in me.


Orwell was taken ill again in Cologne in spring 1945 while as a war correspondent for the Observer . While he was sick there, his wife died during an operation in Newcastle to remove a tumor (they had recently adopted a baby boy, Richard Horatio Blair, who was born in May 1944). She had not told him about this operation due to concerns on the cost and the fact that she thought she would make a speedy recovery.


George Orwell book

For the next four years Orwell mixed journalistic work mainly for the Tribune, the Observer and the Manchester Evening News, though he also contributed to many small-circulation political and literary magazines with writing his best-known work, Nineteen Eighty-Four, which was published in 1949. Originally, Orwell was undecided between titling the book The Last Man in Europe and Nineteen Eighty-Four but his publisher, Fredric Warburg, helped him choose. The title was not the year Orwell had initially intended. He first set his story in 1980, but, as the time taken to write the book dragged on (partly because of his illness), that was changed to 1982 and, later, to 1984.



Sonia Brownell

He wrote much of the novel while living one the remote Scottish island of Jura, where he moved in 1945 .Orwell needed isolation to write the novel that was to become 1984 and had been evolving in his mind since 1943 .He also wished his adoptive son Richard could enjoy the freedom of the countryside and do a bit of fishing. The last years of his life was spent fighting tuberculosis and pushing himself  finish Nineteen Eighty-Four . By Christmas 1947, he had to go to the hospital near Glasgow for tuberculosis of the left lung and spent 6 months there . To the horror of his friends he returned to Jura with its cold, damp climate to finish the book . His lungs once again began to trouble him, but he did nothing to seek treatment .Towards the end of '47, he typed the 120,000 words of the book by himself as no typist could be found to go to the island . Orwell felt he could have produced a much better work if he had not been so ill . He went to a sanatorium at Gloucestershire to recover, but was destined to never leave there . Orwell met Sonia Brownell in 1945 , who was famous for her beauty and was active in the literary world .


" I don't believe that the kind of society I describe will arrive, but I believe something resembling it could arrive .'


Nineteen Eighty-Four was published on June 6, 1949. Publication was speeded up as fast as possible as it was feared Orwell might not live long enough to see it published .The book was not meant to been seen as a prophecy of how the future would be in 1984, but of the Cold war world of 1948 ( the last two digits transposed ) of rationing, war damage fear of a new world war . Shortly after the book was published Orwell made a statement that the book should not be viewed as an attack on the British Labor Party or Socialism .


In September Orwell was transferred to a University College hospital in London . On October 13, he was married to Sonia Brownell in a bedside ceremony . He died of a haemorrhage on the night of January 21, 1950 at the age of 46 . He thought he had a good chance of recovery and was planning to a trip to Switzerland with Sonia . Three days before his death, he wanted his tombstone to simply read " Here lies Eric Arthur Blair born June 25, 1903, died January 21, 1950.'  and not his more famous pen name .He  named his wife as beneficiary . He also asked that no biographies be written of him as it was not relevant to an author's work , which of course was impossible to enforce .


Orwell did not die rich, or even with a best seller, in 1950 the paperback editions of 1984 and Animal Farm had not yet appeared . Orwell was buried at All Saints' Churchyard, Sutton Courtenay, Oxfordshire .


obituary of George Orwell



Orwell's Grave at FindAGrave.com





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