Name at birth: Eric Arthur Blair
George Orwell was the pen name of Eric Blair, the author of Animal Farm (1945) and Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949). He was born in India and educated in England, and as a young man he spent seven years in Burma working for the Indian Imperial Police. He returned to Europe and in 1933 published his first book, Down and Out in Paris and London, a first-hand account of his self-imposed poverty. He wrote dozens of political essays, but is most famous for his dark satire of Stalinist totalitarianism, Animal Farm (with its famous quote: "All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others"), and for his description of modern dystopia in Nineteen Eighty-Four ("Big Brother is watching you.").