Orwell’s account of his participation in the Spanish Civil War on the side of the Republicans has quite rightly achieved the status of a classic. Orwell pitched up in Barcelona as a journalist intending to cover the war. In the event he got carried away by the atmosphere of the time and ended up signing up to fight at the front. It must have been some atmosphere. Orwell describes it as a formative experience that made him really believe in socialism, something he had done only intellectually before.
I don’t think anyone since Shakespeare has contributed quite as many sayings and allusions to the English language as Orwell. And the most remarkable thing is that most of them come from only two relatively short books. Orwell was not a prolific writer and he died at a much earlier age than most of us would have wanted him to.
My three favourite twentieth century English authors are Orwell, Tolkien and C.S.Lewis. It isn’t a perfectly equal trinity though. I think Orwell and Tolkien are writers of huge genius who will be read for centuries to come. Lewis I like a lot and enjoy reading, but he isn’t really in the same category. He can certainly write well and has lots of interesting ideas, but I think he is very much of his time and will get steadily less relevant as the world changes. He also got a lot of his ideas from the other two. This doesn’t diminish how much fun you get from reading him. But originality always commands more respect than derivation, no matter how skilfully done.
Animal Farm was one of the earliest animations of a novel.
Disney it isn’t.