Aldous Huxley Biography

(Writer and Philosopher Best Known for His Novels: ‘Brave New World’, ‘Island’ and ‘Point Counter Point’)

Birthday: July 26, 1894 (Leo)

Born In: Godalming, England

Aldous Leonard Huxley was a well-known writer, essayist and screenwriter. He wrote his fist novel at the age of 17, the novel was never published though. His first published novel “Crome Yellow” was a satirical work on social issues. Besides editing the magazine “Oxford Poetry”, he also wrote short stories, poetry and created scripts for some Hollywood films. But he could not achieve success in Hollywood. In his later life, parapsychology and philosophical mysticism dominated most of his writings. When he was introduced to meditation, vegetarianism and Vedanta, he became an active member of Vedanta Society of Southern California for a long period. His book “The Doors of Perception” mirrors his experience of psychedelic drug. After the publication of this book, some disagreement occurred between him and Swami Prabhavananda, the head of the Vedanta Society regarding his experience of LSD drug. Still Huxley remained involved in the activities of the society by contributing articles for its journal and delivering lectures at the temple. He represented his personal experience of improvement of his poor eyesight with the help of Bates Method in the book “The Art of Seeing”. He loved to mention himself as an agnostic, though he had an interest in spirituality and mysticism.
Quick Facts

British Celebrities Born In July

Also Known As: Aldous Leonard Huxley

Died At Age: 69


Spouse/Ex-: Laura Archera Huxley

father: Leonard Huxley

mother: Julia Arnold Ward Huxley

siblings: Julian Huxley, Margaret Huxley, Trevenen Huxley

children: Matthew Huxley

Born Country: England

Quotes By Aldous Huxley Novelists

Died on: November 22, 1963

place of death: Los Angeles County, California, United States

Cause of Death: Laryngeal Cancer

Ancestry: British American

More Facts

education: Eton College, Balliol College, Oxford

  • 1

    What is Aldous Huxley's most famous work?

    Aldous Huxley's most famous work is "Brave New World," a dystopian novel published in 1932 that explores a future society where technology and conditioning control every aspect of life.

  • 2

    What was Aldous Huxley's perspective on society and government?

    Aldous Huxley was critical of totalitarianism and the loss of individual freedoms. He believed in the importance of personal autonomy and warned against the dangers of a society controlled by technology and bureaucracy.

  • 3

    How did Aldous Huxley's views on drugs and psychedelics influence his work?

    Aldous Huxley experimented with psychedelic substances such as mescaline and LSD, which influenced his writings on consciousness, spirituality, and the human experience. His experiences with psychedelics inspired his later works, such as "The Doors of Perception."

  • 4

    What themes are commonly explored in Aldous Huxley's novels?

    Common themes in Aldous Huxley's novels include dystopian societies, the dangers of technology, the quest for meaning and spirituality, the nature of consciousness, and the conflict between individual freedom and social control.

  • 5

    How did Aldous Huxley's background and education shape his writing?

    Aldous Huxley's upbringing in a highly intellectual and artistic family, as well as his education at prestigious institutions like Eton and Oxford, provided him with a deep understanding of literature, philosophy, and societal issues. This background influenced the complex themes and philosophical depth of his works.

Childhood & Early Life
Born in Godalming, Surrey, England, Aldous Huxley was the third son of Leonard Huxley, a writer and schoolmaster and his first wife Julia Arnold. He had two brothers and a half-brother.
He began his initial learning in his father’s well-equipped botanical laboratory. Later he attended Hillside school. After that, he studied at Eton College. He lost his mother in 1908.
In 1911, he suffered from blindness for two to three years. As a result of this, he could not qualify for the service in the First World War. After his recovery, he studied English literature at Balliol College, Oxford, from where he graduated with first class honors.
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He taught French for a year at Eton College. Though, he was remembered there for his incompetency as a teacher, yet he gained popularity among his students for his use of words.
In 1918, he worked at the Air Ministry for a brief period. He also worked as a farm laborer at Garsington Manor during World War I. At that time, he met with personalities like Bertrand Russell and Clive Bell.
During the 1920s, he served at Brunner and Mond chemical plant in Billingham, Teesside. In 1921, his first novel, “Crome Yellow” appeared. Through this novel, he caricatured the lifestyle at Garsington.
After the death of his friend D.H. Lawrence, he edited Lawrence’s letters in 1933. During this period, he authored several famous novels like “Brave New World” and “Eyeless in Gaza”.
He also started writing and editing non-fiction works on pacifist issues. The names of books like “Ends and Means”, “Pacifism and Philosophy” and “An Encyclopedia of Pacifism” deserve special mention in this context.
In 1937, he shifted to Hollywood. For a brief period, he went to Taos, New Mexico, where he authored “Ends and Means”. This book appeared in the same year.
His friend Gerald Heard introduced him to the principle of ‘ahimsa’. From 1939 to 1963, he was actively involved with the Vedanta Society of Southern California, headed by Swami Prabhavananda.
His familiarity with spiritual values of “Vedanta’ inspired him to write “The Perennial Philosophy” through which he discussed about teachings of renowned mystics across the world.
His memory of Occidental College, whose president was his close friend, acted as an inspiration for his satirical novel “After Many a Summer”. Appearing in 1939, this novel earned him James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction.
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Between the years 1941 to 1960, he wrote 48 articles for “Vedanta and the West”. The Vedanta Society of Southern California published “Bhagavad Gita: The Song of God”, whose introduction was written by him in 1944.
During this time, he started earning as a Hollywood writer. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer appointed him for its film “Madam Curie” He also worked as the script writer of “Pride and Prejudice” and “Jane Eyre”.
His experience of taking psychedelic drug acts as the basis of his essays like “The Doors of Perception” and “Heaven and Hell”. His writings on this drug became popular among the hippies.
From 1951 to 1962, he remained on the editorial board of The Vedanta Society of Southern California. From 1955, his lectures, delivered at the Hollywood and Santa Barbara Vedanta temples, were released on CDs titled “Knowledge and Understanding” and “Who Are We”.
In 1959, Macmillan government offered him a Knight Bachelor which he turned down. In the following year, he authored “Island” and delivered lectures on “Human Potentialities” at the Esalen Institute.
Major Works
His novel “Brave New World” appeared in 1932. Listed as one of the 100 best English language novels of the 20th Century by the Modern Library, this novel discusses issues like reproductive technology and psychological manipulation.
His novel “Ends and Means” was published in 1937. This novel discusses the issues related to war, religion, nationalism and ethics. In it he frankly opined about people’s ignorance regarding achievement of liberty, peace and justice.
Personal Life & Legacy
He married Maria Nys, a Belgian woman in 1919. They had a son. In 1955, Maria died of breast cancer and the very next year, he married Laura Archera, an author.
In 1960, he was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer. He passed away at the age of 69. Unfortunately, media coverage of his demise was overshadowed by the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Facts About Aldous Huxley

Aldous Huxley was known for his fascination with psychedelic substances, particularly mescaline and LSD, which influenced his writing and philosophical views.

Huxley was a proponent of alternative education methods and was involved in the development of the concept of "perennial philosophy," which explores the commonalities among different spiritual traditions.

He was a devoted advocate for environmental conservation and wrote about the importance of preserving the natural world in several of his works.

Huxley was highly interested in Eastern philosophy and religion, incorporating elements of Buddhism and Hinduism into his writings and personal beliefs.

In addition to his well-known dystopian novel "Brave New World," Huxley also wrote poetry, essays, and non-fiction works on a wide range of topics, showcasing the depth and diversity of his intellectual pursuits.

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