It was a bright cold day in April…Orwell 1984

It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. Winston Smith, his chin nuzzled into his breast in an effort to escape the wild wind, slipped quickly through the glass doors of Victory Mansions, though not quickly enough to prevent a swirl of gritty dust from entering along with him.
The hallway smelt of boiled cabbage and old rag mats. At one end of it a coloured poster, too large for indoor display, had been tackled to the wall. It depicted simply an enormous face, more than a metre wide: the face of a man of about forty-five, with a heavy black moustache and ruggedly handsome features. Winston made for the stairs. It was no use trying the lift. Even at the best of times it was seldom working, and at present the electric current was cut off during daylight hours. It was part of the economy drive in preparation for Hate Week. The flat was seven flights up, and Winston, who was thirty-nine and had a varicose ulcer above his right ankle, went slowly, resting several times on the way. On each landing, opposite the lift-shaft, the poster with the enormous face gazed from the wall. It was one of those pictures which are so contrived that the eyes follow about when you move. BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU, the caption beneath it ran.
Inside the flat a fruity voice was reading out a list of figures which had something to do with the production of pig-iron. The voice came from an oblong metal plaque like a dulled mirror which formed part of the surface of the right‑hand wall. Winston turned a switch and the voice sank somewhat, though the words were still distinguishable. The instrument (the telescreen, it was called) could be dimmed but there was no way of shutting it off completely. He moved over to the window: a smallish, frail figure, the meagreness of his body merely emphasized by the blue overalls which were the uniform of the Party. His hair was very fair, his face naturally sanguine, his skin roughened by coarse soap and blunt razor blades and the cold of the winter that had just ended.
Outside, even through the shut window-pane, the world looked cold. Down in the street little eddies of wind were whirling dust and torn paper into spirals and though the sun was shining and the sky a harsh blue, there seemed to be no colour in anything, except the posters that were plastered everywhere. The blackmoustachio’d face gazed down from every commanding corner. There was one on the house-front immediately opposite. BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU, the caption said, while the dark eyes looked deep into Winston’s own. Down at street level another poster, torn at one corner, flapped fitfully in the wind, alternately covering and uncovering the single word INGSOC. In the far distance a helicopter skimmed down between the roofs, hovered for an instant like a bluebottle, and darted away again with a curving flight. It was the police patrol, snooping into the people’s windows. The patrols did not matter, however. Only the Thought Police mattered…


On a cold day in April of 1984, a man named Winston Smith returns to his home, a dilapidated apartment building called Victory Mansions. Thin, frail, and thirty-nine years old, it is painful for him to trudge up the stairs because he has a varicose ulcer above his right ankle. The elevator is always out of service so he does not try to use it. As he climbs the staircase, he is greeted on each landing by a coloured poster depicting an enormous face of a dark-eyed man of about forty-five, with a heavy black moustache and ruggedly handsome features, underscored by the words “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU.”

Though Winston is technically a member of the ruling class, his life is still under the Party’s oppressive political control. In his apartment, an instrument called a telescreen—which is always on, spouting propaganda, and through which the Thought Police are known to monitor the actions of citizens—shows a dreary report about pig iron. Winston keeps his back to the screen while the police patrol helicopter is snooping into the people’s windows to spy on them.

The Norman Conquest

The Norman conquest marked the beginning of a new era. The Normans brought a
new social system, known as the feudal system, based on a strict hierarchy that saw
the king at the top, under him the barons, then the knights and finally the peasants
and the serfs. The king gave the land to his barons in return for military service; the
same relationship linked the knights to the barons.

Twenty years after the conquest, William sent his men throughout England to make
a survey of the economic life of the country: in 1086 the record, known as
“Dornesday Book”, was written down and it became the first official census of the
English people and their possessions.

William had three sons but only two were to rule England: William Il (from 1087 to
1100) and Henry I (from 1100 to 1135 ) because Robert was given Normandy, of
which his father had been the duke. When Henry I died, his daughter Matilda didn’t
become the queen because the barons and the noblemen supported Henry’s
nephew from Normandy, Stephen, who was crowned in 1135. Matilda led a military
campaign against her cousin and captured him, but he was freed by his queen and
resumed his place on the throne of England. However, the members of the
aristocracy refused to take arms against one another and obliged Stephen and
Matilda’s son, Henry, to come to an agreement in 1153. It was agreed that Stephen
would rule until he died and then Matilda’s son should become the next king.

Henry Il was the first king of the Plantagenet dynasty, kings of England and France.
He is remembered as a great reformer, a founder of the English common law and a
creator of sound administration and justice. His first task was to reduce the power of
the barons, which he did with the help of professional soldiers. Then he sent
travelling judges round the land to administer the law which became known as
“Cornmon law” because it was used everywhere. Finally, Henry wanted to reduce
the power of the Church: to do this he made Thomas Becket, his chancellor and
friend, head of it. But, once Archbishop of Canterbury, Becket became an opponent
to the king and a defender of the interests of the Church; he refused to comply with
the Constitutions of Clarendon (1164) which gave the king authority in choosing the
bishops but, after being exiled, he was murdered by four knights (sent by the king)
in Canterbury Cathedral. He became a martyr and a saint and venerated in his shrine
in Canterbury by pilgrims all over England and Europe.