Homage to Catalonia is George Orwell's personal account of his experiences and observations fighting for the POUM militia of the Republican army during the Spanish Civil War. The war was one of the defining events of his political outlook and a significant part of what led him to write in 1946, "Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for Democratic Socialism, as I understand it." The first edition was published in the United Kingdom in 1938. The book was not published in the United States until February 1952, when it appeared with an influential preface by Lionel Trilling. The only translation published in Orwell's lifetime was into Italian, in December 1948. A French translation by Yvonne Davet - with whom Orwell corresponded, commenting on her translation and providing explanatory notes—in 1938–39, was not published until five years after Orwell's death.