Huxley, Aldous (1894–1963) By Poller, Jake
Aldous Huxley is an English writer who is best known for his dystopian novel Brave New World (1932) and his disquisition on psychedelic substances, The Doors of Perception (1954). In the inter-war years, Huxley commanded a formidable reputation, and his work was considered alongside the leading modernists. He was impressively prolific and wrote in a variety of genres, producing poetry, short stories, essays, novels, plays, biography, and travel writing. His work appeared in many of the modernist Little Magazines, such as Coterie, The Egoist and Wheels. Huxley was a zealous individualist: while he socialized with Virginia Woolf, Roger Fry, and Clive Bell (among others), he was never part of the Bloomsbury Group; likewise, though a regular guest at Garsington Manor, the home of society hostess Lady Ottoline Morrell, he was not regarded as a member of her pacifist coterie that included Lytton Strachey and Bertrand Russell. After moving to America, Huxley became increasingly concerned with mysticism, and his reputation declined; however, the work he produced during this period was championed by key figures in the New Age and counter-culture movements, and he played a vital part in popularizing Eastern religions in the West, such as Buddhism, Tantra, and Advaita Vedanta.