8th June 1949

George Orwell writes 1984 on Jura

George Orwell wrote his groundbreaking novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, on Jura. It was published on this day in 1949 by Secker & Warburg. It was the last book Orwell would complete in his lifetime.

While moving to Jura’s Barnhill farmhouse would have removed many of the distractions of his former life as a journalist, allowing him to make progress on the book, Orwell’s decision was more likely influenced by a need to escape city living, and the plentiful fresh air on the island. He was, at the time, suffering a serious lung disease, which developed into tuberculosis.

He travelled between Jura and London several times over the course of three years, bringing the incomplete manuscript with him on each occasion. He finished his second draft at the end of 1948 and sent it to his publisher, then left Jura the following month, never to return.

Nineteen Eighty-Four’s success

The book was published in 1949 and became perhaps his most influential work, introducing the concepts of Newspeak, thoughtcrime, and idea of a Big Brother figure that watches over and monitors everything the population says, does, and to an extent even thinks.

Although sales were far better than Orwell expected, right from the very start, he didn’t live long enough to fully appreciate the power of his work. He died in 1950 when a blood vessel burst in his lung. He was 46. The farmhouse where he wrote Nineteen Eighty-Four is now rented out as visitor accommodation.



Other events that occured in June

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