aldous Huxleyquotes

1894 - 1963

Photograph of Aldous HuxleyBorn to a prominent intellectual English family in 1894, it seemed Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) was destined to become a scientist. Instead, when a serious illness left him nearly blind, he abandoned his scientific dreams to pursue a literary career. Graduating from Balliol College, Oxford in 1916 with a degree in English Literature, Huxley published his first book, a collection of poems, The Burning Wheel.

Huxley hobnobbed with some of the most famous writers of the 20th century at Garsington Manor, a gathering place for intellectuals like Virginia Woolf, T. S. Eliot, and D. H. Lawrence. These experiences gave Huxley the substance for his early, satirical novels on contemporary intellectual society (Antic Hay, Those Barren Leaves, Point Counter Point). At the same time, he was writing witty periodicals for Vanity Fair and Vogue.

Known for his far-reaching intelligence in his most famous novels like Brave New World and Island, which considered the positive and negative impacts of science and technology on society, Huxley was a successful screenwriter as well (Alice in Wonderland, Jane Eyre, Madam Curie).

When he moved to California in the 1930s, he developed an interest in Eastern mysticism and philosophy, which he believed was an alternative to the emptiness of contemporary society (The Perennial Philosophy).

Always writing, Huxley even documented his experiences with the drug mescaline in The Doors of Perception, and wrote a moving autobiography, This Timeless Moment, about his second wife. His lively mind and elegant style defined him as one of the most profound thinkers of his generation, and the most representative writer of his century.