George Orwell was born Eric Arthur Blair in 1903 in Motihari in Bengal, India and later studied at Eton for four years. Orwell was an assistant superintendent with the Indian Imperial Police in Burma. He left the position after five years and then moved to Paris, where he wrote his first two books, Burmese Days and Down and Out In Paris. Orwell then moved to Spain to write but decided to join the United Workers Marxist Party Militia. After being decidedly opposed to communism, Orwell served in the British Home Guard and with the Indian Service of the BBC during World War II. He started writing for the Observer and was literary editor for the Tribune. Soon after he published the world-famous book, Animal Farm, which became a huge success for Orwell. It was then towards the end of his life when Orwell wrote Nineteen Eighty-Four. George Orwell died on January 23, 1950 in London.
British-born and educated historian John Plumb received his B.A. in 1933 from the University of London and his Ph.D. three years later from Cambridge University. After eight years as a research fellow at Cambridge, he became a member of the faculty and in 1966 professor of modern English history. During the same period and in the 1970s, he was a visiting professor in the United States at Columbia and at New York University. Plumb is the definitive authority on England's first prime minister, Robert Walpole, about whom he wrote a two-volume biography. Plumb presents a balanced study of the era of Whig supremacy and the earlier Hanoverian period, 1714--60. In addition to authoring books, Plumb has edited a number of multivolume works and has published numerous articles and book reviews. Says Crane Brinton, "Plumb writes firmly and well in the British academic tradition of his master, G. M. Trevelyan" (N.Y. Herald Tribune).