Orwell: Paris, London, Barcelona

Orwell came back from Burma angry at the British empire. He began a series of investigations into the lives of the poor, live as a tramp for 'Down and Out in Paris and London' and as miner in 'The Road to Wigan Peer'. He also wrote novels which had poor sales.

In 1936 Orwell went to fight for the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War. By accident he joined a group called the POUM and became the target of Stalinist agents from the Soviet Union. He was shot in battle and because he was in hospital escaped the attack on the attack on the POUM by the Communis Party. This saved his life, but when people said he was 'lucky' he later joked
"it would be even luckier not to be hit at all."

Orwell wrote about his experience in Spain in Homage to Catalonia. He spent the rest of his life writing against the totalitarian dictatorships of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. He was particularly concerned about the corruption of language by dictatorships.

You can read about Orwell's views on language here.

Orwell had very poor health all his adult life. He died of tuberculosis in 1950.