Many talented twentieth century writers have been overshadowed by classical writers such as Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare. Novels dealing with classical topics are often more recognized than works that tackle controversial topics. Aldous Huxley defies this stereotype, for his controversial works gained great fame while influencing many people. Huxley was not just a successful writer; he was a complex person whose ideas and novels influenced many people.
Aldous Huxley was born July 26, 1894 (It's Online-Aldous Huxley) in Godalming, Surrey, England (Aldous (Leonard) Huxley). Huxley was born into a prominent family. His grandfather, Thomas Henry Huxley, was a biologist who "helped develop the theory of evolution." Huxley's aunt, Humphrey Ward, was a novelist. His mother was the niece of Matthew Arnold, a poet, and the granddaughter of Thomas Arnold, a famous educator and headmaster of Rugby school (Aldous Huxley-Biography). When Huxley was fourteen years old, his mother died of cancer. He said his mother's death "gave him a sense of the transience of human happiness" and "he felt that heredity made each individual unique, and uniqueness of the individual was essential to freedom" (Aldous Huxley-Biography). From 1908 until 1913, Huxley studied at Eton College (Aldous (Leonard) Huxley). While at Eton, Huxley developed a condition of near blindness that plagued him until his death (Philosopher's Corner Presents: Aldous Huxley).
After receiving his Bachelor of Arts in English at Balliol College, Oxford, Huxley worked in the War Office in London and taught at Eton and Repton (Aldous (Leonard) Huxley). While at Oxford, Huxley was introduced to the literary world and became good friends with D.H. Lawrence (Aldous Huxley-Biography). In 1916, Huxley published his first book of poems, The Burning Wheel (Philosopher's Corner Presents: Aldous Huxley). From 1920-1921, he was a part of the editorial staff of the Athenaeum under Middleton...
Cited: Aldous (Leonard) Huxley (1894-1963). 10 May 2000
Brooke, Jocelyn. "Aldous Huxley." British Writers. Ed. Ian Scott-Kilvert. 7 vols. New
York: Scribner 's Sons, 1984.
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