George Orwell
Historical Figure
Nationality: United Kingdom
Date of Birth: 1903
Date of Death: 1950
Cause of Death: Tuberculosis
Religion: Unclear (registered as Anglican)
Occupation: Poiceman, Soldier, Educator, Broadcaster, Author, Journalist, Playwright, Poet
Spouse: Eileen O'Shaughnessy(d. 1945);
Sonia Brownell
Children: Richard H. Blair
Professional Affiliations: BBC
Military Branch: International Brigades (Spanish Civil War)
Turtledove Appearances:
POD: May 30, 1942
Appearance(s): Tilting the Balance;
Upsetting the Balance
Type of Appearance: Direct (as Eric Blair)
The War That Came Early
POD: July 20, 1936;
Relevant POD: September 29, 1938
Appearance(s): Hitler's War
Type of Appearance: Direct (unnamed)
Military Branch: International Brigades (WWII)
Eric Arthur Blair (25 June 1903 - 21 January 1950), better known by the pen name George Orwell, was an English author and journalist. Noted as a novelist and critic as well as a political and cultural commentator, Orwell is among the most widely admired English-language essayists of the 20th century. He is best known for two novels critical of totalitarianism in general, and Stalinism in particular: Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four. Both were written and published during the Cold War, towards the end of his life.

Blair was a BBC radio broadcaster during the late 1930s and much of the 1940s; ironically, no recordings of his voice are known to have survived into the 21st century.

George Orwell in WorldwarEdit

Eric Blair was the producer of the Indian section of programming on the BBC during World War II and the war with the Race.

Blair had led an interesting life before arriving at that position, among other things, serving in the Spanish Civil War against the fascists, but was sickened by the Communists' behavior, and left.[1]

When World War II began, Blair took a job in the BBC's Eastern Section. He continued at this post when the Race invaded in 1942. It was here that Blair was introduced to Moishe Russie.[2] The astute medical student noted to Blair the symptoms of tuberculosis when Blair began to cough almost uncontrollably.[3]

Later in life, Russie reflected on his meeting Blair and shared his sentiment that "the Nazis the Russians [were] a boot in the face of mankind forever." While Russie thought Blair was being gloomy at the time, in the 1960s, Russie reconsidered.[4]

Blair and Russie's path crossed several times in London, as Russie began broadcasting propaganda for Britain.[5] When the Race attempted an invasion of Britain, Blair armed himself and joined in the defence of London.[6]

One of Blair's propaganda coups was putting an Indian princess on the air to describe Race occupation of her homeland. He mused on the convenient alliance it was: he, the Socialist, teaming up with royalty.[7]

George Orwell in The War That Came Early Edit

In early 1939 a tall, pale, skinny fellow with a dark mustache and hair who had to come from Ireland or England exchanged nods with Chaim Weinberg in Tortosa as the International Brigades were being pulled from the Ebro front to Madrid. Weinberg was surprised that such an obvious foreigner would prefer to hang with Catalan anarchist militias rather than with other Internationals.[8]

Literary comment Edit

While this character isn't clearly identified, his basic description matches Eric Blair. In OTL, Blair left Spain after being wounded in 1937. His presence there in the novel's 1939 suggests a butterfly effect of the initial 1936 POD.

See AlsoEdit

References Edit

  1. Tilting the Balance, pg. 540.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Down to Earth, pg.
  5. Upsetting the Balance, pg. 108.
  6. Tilting the Balance, pg. 294-296.
  7. Ibid., pg. 388-389.
  8. Hitler's War, pg. 436

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