Aldous Leonard Huxley was born in Surrey, England in 1894.
He was grandson of Thomas Huxley who was a champion of Charles Darwin’s
Theory of Evolution. He produced several works on this subject, Man’s Place in Nature, Manual of Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrate Animals, and Evolution and Ethics.
He enjoyed a happy childhood brought up in a well-to-do middle class
family. He was educated at Eton College where he studied to become a doctor.
His time at Eton was not a happy time, for his mother died from cancer and
he suffered from an eye disease, which left him virtually blind.
He received some surgery, which helped his vision, but he still needed to use Braille in order to read. He was determined to pursue his education despite this drawback, and he graduated from Balliol College, Oxford in 1916 with a 1st in English Literature.
He also lost his brother who committed suicide during a fit of depression.
His first publication was a collection of poems entitled The Burning Wheel
in 1916. His first novel Crome Yellow was published in 1921 drawing critical acclaim. He was a prolific writer producing reviews, essays and articles for the popular magazines of the day.
During the 1920’s he spent the bulk of his time in Italy, before moving to
the South of France in the early 1930’s just when Brave New World was published.
In 1936 Eyeless in Gaza was published and this together with The Doors of Perception published in 1954 dealt with Huxley’s interest in mysticism and states of consciousness. One of his finest works was Collected Short Stories published in 1957. His final notable work was Island published in 1962.
Huxley was always fascinated by the arguments he raised in Brave New World
and he returned to the subject when he produced Brave New World Revisited, published in 1958. This contains his critical commentaries concerning the Brave New World, dealing with subjects such as
overpopulation, propaganda in a democratic society, the arts of selling, brainwashing and chemical persuasion, and subconscious persuasion.
He moved to Los Angeles in 1937, hoping that this would assist his health.
He stayed in Los Angeles until his death from cancer in 1963. His passing was scarcely noticed as this coincided with the death of President John F. Kennedy.