An Orwell by any other name

What if I told you that ‘George Orwell’ wasn’t George Orwell’s real name?

Eric Arthur Blair published his first book under the pen name George Orwell. It was a book about living a life of poverty in Paris and London. Since he didn’t want his parents to find out about what he had been up to, he published the book under a pseudonym.

Once the book became popular, the name George Orwell took a life of its own. Orwell (Blair?) published the rest of his books under this name, and it gave rise to the image of the writer we have immortalized with the term Orwellian.

How strange would it be to read 1984, a novel written by Eric Arthur Blair?

What’s in a name? That depends largely upon the name. But once a name stands for something, it takes a life of its own.

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