Aldous Huxley was an English writer, philosopher and a prominent member of the Huxley family.
Aldous Huxley short biography
Aldous Leonard Huxley was born in Godalming on 26th July, 1894 in an upper scale family. He came from a literary background, his father also being a biographer, editor and poet. Huxley was educated at Eton College in Berkshire from 1908-1913. When he was just fourteen years old, his mother died. During his teenage years, he also suffered from an attack of Keratitis Punctata and thus became blind for about eighteen months, but then by wearing some special kind of glasses, he was able to recover his eye-sight a little and at least read, but consequently also learned Braille. Even though he had frequent conditions of near blindness, Huxley went on relentlessly with his studies at Balliol College in Oxford, where he received his B.A in English. He was confused whether to pursue his career as a scientist or take part in the World War. Since, he was unable to decide, he took up writing.
He wrote several poems, which appeared in 1916 and the second volume, which appeared in 1920. Huxley’s novel, Crome Yellow came in 1921, which blended criticism, dialogue, wit and satire and also established Huxley as one of the most important literary authors of the decade. Within a period of 8 years, Huxley had written several books. Amongst these novels, the most notable ones are Point Counter Point published in 1928 and Do What You Will published in 1929.
During the year of 1920, Huxley also developed a very strong association with D.H. Lawrence, and he also traveled to Italy and France with him. He stayed in Italy for a couple of years until 1930 when he moved to Sanary, which also inspired him to write his novel, Brave New World, a take on the dark aspects of technology flourishing in society. Huxley also developed a keen interest in the Peace Pledge Union around that time. Later in 1937, Huxley traveled to the U.S.A with the belief that the Californian climate would aid in improving his eye-sight, which was being a major burden. This also proved to be the turning point in his life, because Huxley gave up on writing fiction and chose essays as the tool for expressing his ideas.
In his new home, Huxley became involved in the study and practice of mysticism. His new philosophical outlook informed his novel Eyeless in Gaza (1936), which promoted pacifism on the eve of World War II.After Many a Summer Dies the Swan (1939) makes the case for the emptiness of materialism. Gradually, Huxley moved toward mystical writings, far from the tone of his early satire. The Perennial Philosophy(1945) and The Doors of Perception (1954) represent Huxley’s non-fictional expression of his interests, including even experimentation with psychedelic drugs.
In Los Angeles, Huxley wrote screenplays for film versions of fictional classics such as Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, and Alice in Wonderland. He also continued writing fiction, notably Ape and Essence (1948), a futuristic fiction set in Los Angeles after a nuclear war. With Grey Eminence (1941) and The Devils of Loudon (1952), Huxley looked backward to historical events to examine what he believed to be the hypocrisy of organized religion. In addition to his fiction and screenplays, the planning and writing of biographies, essays, and other works of non-fiction occupied him constantly during these years.
Huxley’s last novel, Island (1962), returns to the theme of the future he once explored so memorably in Brave New World. The later novel, in which Huxley tried to create a positive vision of the future, failed to come up to readers’ expectations. Brave New World Revisited, a series of essays addressing the themes of his early novel, represents a more successful rethinking of future (and present) social challenges.
Huxley died of cancer in California on November 22, 1963.