Eileen Blair (nee O'Shaughnessy) - Blue Plaques

Please note: The location displayed on the map is approximate.

Information about the plaque

Eileen Blair Blue Plaque

A commemorative blue plaque was unveiled on 27 March 2022 in honour of Eileen Blair (nee O'Shaughnessy), a South Shields-born Oxford scholar and the first wife of famous author George Orwell. 

Eileen was married to Eric Blair, mostly famously known by his pen name George Orwell.

Orwell is renowned throughout the world for his novel 'Animal Farm' and the dystopian classic 'Nineteen Eighty-Four', along with many more journalistic essays, social and political commentaries and literary reviews.

A writer herself, Eileen met Orwell in 1935 and they married a year later.

She is thought to have been a strong influence on Orwell's style of writing, in particular with 'Animal Farm'.

It is also thought that Eileen's futuristic poem 'End of the Century 1984', which was published before she met Orwell, influenced the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four published after her death.

The blue plaque is located at her former family home in Beach Road, South Shields.

The plaque was funded and installed by The Orwell Society.