London (JFK+50) After having been turned down by four different publishing companies, George Orwell's "Animal Farm" was published here in London by Secker and Warburg seventy years ago today, August 17, 1945. The author accepted payment of a hundred pounds, roughly $4000 in US funds today, for his work.
Orwell, a democratic socialist,intended the book as "a satirical tale against Stalin," dictator of the communist Soviet Union. The book, written between November 1943 and February 1944, was selected by Time magazine as one of the 100 best English language novels between the years 1923 and 2005.
Jon O'Brien at www.Metro.co.uk describes Animal Farm as...
"The story of a dying pig (Old Major) who inspires his fellow oppressed animals to stage a rebellion against their cruel human owner."
Mr. O'Brien lists the following 12 facts that "you probably didn't know" about the Orwell novel...
1. It was shaped by Orwell's experience in the Spanish civil war.
2. T.S. Eliot rejected it.
3. The farm setting was inspired by a 10 year old boy.
4. A Russian spy thwarted its publication.
5. Early reviews were not always kind.
6. The book made Orwell a household name.
7. Orwell's wife died shortly before publication.
8. It has been adapted twice for the Big Screen.
9. Animal Farm is not its full title.
10. The book was later illustrated by Quentin Blake.
11. It was banned in the Eastern bloc.
12. It has been immortalized in song several times.
According to Andrea Chalupa of The Atlantic, George Orwell "worked by letter with a group of refugees to publish (Animal Farm) in Ukrainian in the displaced persons camps of postwar Europe. "
Stalin's terror famine in Ukraine starved to death an estimated 10 million people.
"How 'Animal Farm' Gave Hope to Stalin's Refugees," by Andrea Chalupa, The Atlantic, March 1, 2012, www.theatlantic.com/
"12 things you probably didn't know about Animal Farm," by Jon O'Brien, August 17, 2015, www.Metro.co.uk/