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| Aldous Huxley was born on July 26th
1894 into a rather interesting family background of diverse and
His mother was a grand-daughter of Thomas Arnold, famed as a former headmaster of Rugby Public School who did much to modernise the English educational system. On his father's side Aldous was a grandson of Thomas Henry Huxley a scientist, educator, and Fellow of the Royal Society.
Despite having been almost fully deprived of his eyesight by an eye infection during his years at Eton College (1908-13) he was nonetheless able to achieve first class honours in English Language and Literature at Oxford's famous Balliol College.
In efforts to earn his living he turned to initially teaching and then to writing and his talents as a writer became accepted and respected.
It was whilst living near Toulon in 1931 that he wrote his "Brave New World" which ranks with George Orwell's "1984" as a worrisome vision of the future that has achieved cult status. He became disenchanted with the then "Europe of the Dictators" and migrated to the United States of America. He made this move in April 1937 along with a friend named Gerald Heard.
Whilst in the United States he wrote the Perennial Philosophy (1945) perhaps his most important non-fictional work. The Perennial Philosophy takes its title from an expression that may have been coined by Leibniz in association with a belief that there was much common ground between religions.
In David King Dunaway's biography Aldous Huxley Recollected we read:-
"Huxley's studies with the Vedanta Society of southern California had taken him into the realm of mysticism, and he was ever more serious about his meditations. Out of this hermitage and spiritual deepening came The Perennial Philosophy, an effort to combine in an anthology what Huxley perceived as the unifying substance of the world's religions: mysticism."
Aldous Huxley died in his home in Hollywood on 22nd November 1963. He was not aware that earlier that day President Kennedy had been assassinated in Dallas, Texas.
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Brave New World