[awr-wel, -wuhl]
Orwell, George, pseud. of Eric Arthur Blair, 1903-50, British novelist and essayist, b. Bengal, India. He is best remembered for his scathingly satirical and frighteningly political novels, Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four. After attending Eton, he served (1922-27) with the Indian imperial police in Burma (now Myanmar). He returned to Europe in 1927, living penuriously in Paris and later in London. In 1936 he fought with the Republicans in the Spanish civil war and was seriously wounded. His writings—particularly such early works as Down and Out in Paris and London (1933), Burmese Days (1934), The Road to Wigan Pier (1937), and Homage to Catalonia (1938)—are highly autobiographical.

A socialist, Orwell was a keen critic of imperialism, fascism, Stalinism, and capitalism. His works are concerned with the sociopolitical conditions of his time, notably with the problem of human freedom. Animal Farm (1946) is a witty, satirical fable about the failure of Soviet-style Communism, and Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) is a prophetic novel describing the dehumanization of humanity in a mechanistic, totalitarian world. Orwell's other novels include A Clergyman's Daughter (1935), Keep the Aspidistra Flying (1936), and Coming Up for Air (1940). The master of a superbly lucid prose style, Orwell wrote many literary essays, which some critics find superior to his novels. His volumes of essays include Dickens, Dali and Others (1946), Shooting an Elephant (1950), and the Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell (4 vol., 1968, repr. 2000).

See biographies by B. Crick (1980), M. Shelden (1991), J. Meyers (2000), G. Bowker (2003), and D. J. Taylor (2003); studies by J. Meyers, ed. (1975), R. Williams (1981), L. Hunter (1984), A. Coppard and B. Crick, ed. (1985), R. Alok (1989), J. Rodden (1989, repr. 2002), and C. Hitchens (2002).

Orwell is a town in Oswego County, New York, United States. The population was 1,254 at the 2000 census. The town was named after Orwell, Vermont.

The Town of Orwell is in the north-central part of the county.


The town was first settled around 1806. The Town of Orwell was created from part of the Town of Richland in 1817. In 1828, Orwell was reduced by the founding of the Town of Boylston, but more territory was obtained from Richland in 1844.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 41.3 square miles (107.0 km²), of which, 39.8 square miles (103.0 km²) of it is land and 1.5 square miles (4.0 km²) of it (3.75%) is water.


As of the census of 2000, there were 1,254 people, 419 households, and 300 families residing in the town. The population density was 31.5 people per square mile (12.2/km²). There were 701 housing units at an average density of 17.6/sq mi (6.8/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 98.17% White, 0.88% African American, 0.32% Native American, 0.08% Asian, and 0.56% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.48% of the population.

There were 419 households out of which 35.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.7% were married couples living together, 7.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.4% were non-families. 21.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.79 and the average family size was 3.23.

In the town the population was spread out with 28.6% under the age of 18, 7.0% from 18 to 24, 28.1% from 25 to 44, 26.5% from 45 to 64, and 9.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 120.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 124.9 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $35,000, and the median income for a family was $37,500. Males had a median income of $34,000 versus $21,500 for females. The per capita income for the town was $15,256. About 16.6% of families and 21.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.7% of those under age 18 and 10.4% of those age 65 or over.

Communities and locations in Orwell

  • Beecherville -- A hamlet in the southeast part of the town, northeast of Stillwater.
  • Bennett Bridge -- A location south of Pekin.
  • Castor Corners -- A location northwest of Orwell village.
  • Chateaugay -- A hamlet east of Orwell village. It was also called "Shatagee."
  • Little America -- A location southeast of Stillwater.
  • New Scriba -- A hamlet on the north town line east of Vorea.
  • Orwell -- The hamlet of Orwell, sometimes called "Orwell Corners," is at the junction of Routes 2 and 22.
  • Pekin -- A hamlet in the south part of the town, formerly called "Molino."
  • Salmon River Reservoir -- Part of the reservoir is in the southeast part of the town.
  • Stillwater -- A hamlet in the southeast part of the town.
  • Vorea -- A hamlet northeast of Orwell village near the north town line.


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