by Erik G. Magro ©, Aug. 16th, 2005
On July 26, 1894 in Surrey, England, Aldous Leonard Huxley was born into a well-established, prominent family with a rich history of distinguished intellectuals on both sides who were highly esteemed among the English aristocracy. His father was Dr. Leonard Huxley, the venerated scientist and writer, and his grandfather, Thomas Henry Huxley, was the famously outspoken biologist who helped develop the theory of evolution alongside Charles Darwin. Huxley’s brother, Sir Julian Huxley, was also a distinguished biologist and eugenics advocate who would go on to charter and become the first Director-General of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); his unique position in the world council helped provide Huxley with priceless insight for many literary works (Martin). At sixteen, Huxley nearly went blind due to an eye illness that altered his path in life from a scientist to a writer. His literary career began at Oxford where he met writers like Lytton Strachey and Bertrand Russell and had a relationship with D. H. Lawrence. He published his first book in 1916, The Burning Wheel; a collection of poems followed by three more poem anthologies (Pradas). In his twenties, Huxley wrote for a series of magazines, namely, Athenaeum, House and Garden, and Vogue, but he would gain notoriety for his novels during this time. In 1921, Crome Yellow, was published followed by two comedies, Antic Hay (1923) and Those Barren Leaves (1925), which would earn him acclaim from critics for the important social issues he raised. Proceeding works include essays examining philosophical and cultural issues and novels reflecting his background influences in science. His personal best-selling novel was Point Counter Point (1928), but his highest literary achievement is the visionary future look at a spiritually bereft society in a one-world technocratic state in his classic novel, Brave New World (1932).