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Hello, Animal Farm reading buddies! I’ll admit, I haven’t actually started the book itself yet. I think my reasons for that are twofold. First, I’ve been visiting family for the past week, which means very little reading has happened. Second, I worry that unless I brush up on my history, I won’t “get” the deeper levels of Animal Farm. I’ve read the introduction to my edition (the Everyman’s Library one), but that’s as far as I’ve gotten. That being said, feel free to discuss any part you’d wish; just warn of spoilers, please!

So, instead of sharing my thoughts on the first half of Animal Farm, I thought I’d give some bullet point facts about Orwell and the book. If you have something to add, please feel free to do so in the comments!

  • Animal Farm by George Orwell (cover)George Orwell was born in 1903 and died in 1950.
  • His real name was Eric Blair.
  • Orwell served with the Indian Imperial Police in Burma from 1922 to 1927.
  • The author of the introduction, Julian Symons, who knew Orwell, said of him “the telling of unpalatable truths was to Orwell a kind of duty. It would be wrong to deny that it was at times also a pleasure” (p. xii).
  • Animal Farm was written during the end of 1943 and the beginning of 1944.
  • Four publishers, including Orwell’s usual publisher, rejected Animal Farm because of its anti-Stalin message; no one wanted to risk offending the Soviet Union, which played an important role for the Allies during World War II.
  • Animal Farm was finally published in 1946.

I’m hoping to actually get to Animal Farm itself over the next week or so. I’ve heard that even without an intimate knowledge of relevant history, it’s a good story, so I should probably just jump right in!

Have you started (or read) Animal Farm yet? Have you read anything else by Orwell?

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  1. I read this book in high-school, and only remember the basic elements of it. It will be interesting to read your reviews and see what I’ve forgotten! I hope that you enjoy it!

  2. I read this book years ago in high-school and was amazed by it. I’d like to read it with you this month, although I’m not sure I’ll get to it. If I don’t I’ll be sure to read your comments! I love that you posted some vital facts about George Orwell. He was a brilliant & interesting man.

  3. I’ve only read Animal Farm once, and way back then, I didn’t even know it was all allegorical and the such not. I just enjoyed the story itself! I probably should read it again now that I am an adult. 🙂

  4. Like everyone else, I guess, I read Animal Farm back in high school (a long time ago for me!). I re-read it just last year, and enjoyed it.

    I read 1984 when I was 15 or so, but I don’t remember much about it. I do remember there was a long
    (or so it seemed at the time) section about politics and social systems, which I read some of and then skipped because I found it tedious. I’d love to re-read it sometime and see what my impressions of it would be now.

    1. I’m laughing at Anita’s memory of the tedious section in 1984, because I ranted about it on my post for today. That section was incredibly boring, even as an adult!

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