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Aldous Huxley

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The English novelist and essayist Aldous Leonard Huxley, b. July 26, 1894, d. Nov. 22, 1963, a member of a distinguished scientific and literary family, intended to study medicine, but was prevented by an eye ailment that almost blinded him at the age of 16. He then turned to literature, publishing two volumes of poetry while still a student at Oxford. His reputation was firmly established by his first novel, Crome Yellow (1921).

Huxley's early comic novels, which include Antic Hay (1923), Those Barren Leaves (1925), and Point Counter Point (1928), demonstrate his ability to dramatize intellectual debate in fiction; he discussed philosophical and social topics in a volume of essays, Proper Studies (1927). Brave New World (1932), was his most celebrated work.

Aldous Huxley was born in Godalming, Surrey on July 26, 1894, into a well-to-do upper-middle-class family. His father, Leonard Huxley, was a biographer, editor, and poet. He first studied at Eton College, Berkshire (1908-13). When Huxley was fourteen his mother died. At the age of 16 Huxley suffered an attack of keratitis punctata and became for a period of about 18 months totally blind. By using special glasses and one eye recovered sufficiently he was able to read and he also learned Braille. Despite a condition of near-blindness, Huxley continued his studies at Balliol College, Oxford (1913-15), receiving his B.A. in English in 1916. Unable to pursue his chosen career as a scientist - or fight in World War on the front - Huxley turned to writing. His first collection of poetry appeared in 1916 and two more volumes followed by 1920. During the 1920s Huxley formed a close friendship with D.H. Lawrence with whom he traveled in Italy and France. For most of the 1920s Huxley lived in Italy. In the 1930s he moved to Sanary, near Toulon, where he wrote Brave New World, described as a dark vision of a highly technological society of the future. In the1930s Huxley was deeply concerned with the Peace Pledge Union. He moved in 1937 with the guru-figure Gerald Heard to the United States, believing that the Californian climate would help his eyesight, a constant burden. After this turning point in his life, Huxley abandoned pure fictional writing and chose the essay as a way for expressing his ideas.

Huxley wrote Brave New World in four months in 1931. It appeared three years after the publication of his best-seller, the novel Point Counter Point. During

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