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!
- 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?