Trivia Minute August 17, 2015

154: “Animal Farm” by George Orwell is published

by Marcus Michelson
"Animal Farm - 1st edition" by Unknown - -. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Animal_Farm_-_1st_edition.jpg#/media/File:Animal_Farm_-_1st_edition.jpg
Cover of the first edition of George Orwell’s “Animal Farm,” published in Great Britain on Aug. 17, 1945. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

On this date in 1945, George Orwell’s novella “Animal Farm” was published in Great Britain.

Here are some things you may not have known about Orwell and “Animal Farm.”

Orwell wrote Animal Farm as a response to the British public’s admiration for Joseph Stalin as an ally during World War II. Orwell used the character of Napoleon, a Berkshire Boar, to represent Stalin. Napoleon establishes himself as leader of Animal Farm by dispatching his enemies and twisting the original aims of the Animalism movement.

The book was chosen as one of Time magazine’s 100 best English-language novels in 2005. It was also a selection in the Great Books of the Western World.

George Orwell was the pen name of Eric Arthur Blair, who was born in British-controlled India in 1903. Orwell was a Democratic Socialist, who believed that Stalinism was giving socialism a bad name. “Animal Farm” made him a bestselling author. Four years after the publication of “Animal Farm,” his masterpiece “Nineteen Eighty-Four” was published.

Orwell died of tuberculosis six months after the publication of “Nineteen Eighty-Four.” He was 46 years old.

Today is also: Independence day in Indonesia and Gabon. It’s Flag day in Bolivia and San Martin Day in Argentina. In the United States it is unofficially National Thrift Shop Day. It’s also the birthday of American frontiersman Davy Crockett, former president of China Jiang Zemin and Amercian actor Robert De Niro.

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