An Exhibition from the Collection of Daniel J. Leab
Brown University, Fall 1997
George Orwell attempted in 1940 after the outbreak of World War II to enlist in His Majesty's armed forces. Because of ill-health, he failed. Had he succeeded and been killed in action he would be remembered by academic specialists, if at all. He would have been noted as a minor, not too successful English novelist and memoir writer who had penned some interesting critical essays and as a man considered by many of his contemporaries to be a rude person.
Fortunately, Orwell did not die in that war, and today his name has become an oft-used adjective. "Orwellian" has become a synonym for the oppressive social forces that make us discontented and fearful, whether they be state regimentation, dissimulation at any level of life, or abusive propaganda. His 1940s writings, whether books or essays, have had lasting and smashing impact. A prolific writer, he constantly honed his ideas and his prose. He was tempered by adversity -- well into his early 40s, despite his Etonian background, he lived a hand-to-mouth existence, partly by choice (given his uncompromising nature) and partly by circumstance (his writing brought little remuneration). Nor did his political attitudes make life any easier: in a U.K. many of whose intellectuals and academics were infatuated with a false view of the Soviet Union, Orwell questioned the premises of its government and ideology.
Born Eric Arthur Blair, he assumed the pseudonym George Orwell. He did so in 1933 in order to avoid embarrassing his family, just prior to publication of a book about life as a tramp and "down and outer". There is a quality of decency to that act, and it is decency which underlay much of Orwell's writing, even his harsh view of the future in Animal Farm (1946) and Nineteen Eighty-Four (1948). Much of what Orwell wrote is not scintillating. But his essays resonate with ideas (right or wrong), demonstrate an intellectual vigor and toughness, and in the main are splendidly written. He deserves the accolades he has won for his style, insights, and arguments.
I came upon Orwell in the mid-1950s while a college student at Columbia University. His vision of my possible future scared me. I admired the rigor of his prose, his ability to write succinctly and clearly. Working backward from Nineteen Eighty-Four I began to read whatever of his writing I could find. Homage to Catalonia, which had been issued in the U.S. only few years earlier, moved me deeply.
Many years passed before this scholarship student had the means to collect George Orwell. I have never really gone at it "hot and heavy." I am not a methodical collector with a desiderata list pasted to my arm. As opportunities arose I tried to take advantage of them. Sometimes I have been fortunate at auctions, sometimes not. I am not always the first person to whom dealers offer Orwell items; competition is intense from institutions and other collectors, and over the years this competition has increased significantly. Those (and they were many) who firmly held that Orwell would decline in "collectability" after 1984 have proved to be very wrong indeed.
My involvement with American Book Prices Current has given me an interesting perspective on the continuing rise of the stature of Orwell. During the early 1980s, in anticipation of 1984, prices for Orwell rose. But it was assumed that once there was a cash-in, prices would fall. They did not, instead continuing their upward trend, both because of Orwell's talent and because societies throughout the world tend increasingly toward the Orwellian. A typical collector, I mourn the increased prices , the diminished availability, and even the absence of the widow placing manuscript pages in charity auctions.
Orwell's writing continues to attract and to have an exceptional prescience. The writer's views on society ring like a firebell in the night. As an academic I know what has happened to my own discipline in recent years. Orwell fought strenuously against the debasement of ideas, the abuse of language, and regimentation by the state. All that seems inescapable today. Until his untimely death Orwell fought vigorously against these corruptions. And, however one views Orwell the man, it is that energetic campaigning which has overtaken my initial interest and which strongly attracts me to the works of a most remarkable writer. I shall continue to collect George Orwell.
Daniel J. Leab
Collectors do not work in isolation; they need all the help they can get. And I owe a great debt to various members of the book trade, especially to Roy Davids, Hans Fellner, James Jaffe, Anthony Rota, and Ralph Bruno Sipper for their advice and assistance. I have benefited greatly from being able to tap into the wide-ranging knowledge of Leab-family-friend Ian Willison -- who over a generation ago put together the alpha of Orwell bibliography. Nobody interested in Orwell can or would wish to avoid Peter Davison; he sits "bestride the field like a colossus." The last 11 volumes of his masterfully edited Complete Works of George Orwell, despite Davison's unnecessary modesty, will be the last work -- I've benefited enormously from his wisdom, generously given. I owe great debts to Joanmarie Freitag for her ability to decipher my scrawl repeatedly and to translate it to disk and to Nancy Houghton of the Grolier Club for her advice, assistance, and patience. And last but certainly not least, my wife, Katharine Kyes Leab, has as always generously, intelligently, and sympathetically supported me -- even going so far as to allow the overflow from my collection to be housed in her clothes closet. Kathy remains happily the ideal helpmate and the center of my life.
Selections from the Exhibition (Text by Daniel J. Leab):
(Call numbers link to online catalog records.)
1. Essays Moral and Polite 1660-1714, John and Constance Masefield, editors, London: E. Grant Richards, 1906. John Masefield, editor.
PR1365.M5 1906 Hay Star
Lyrics of Ben Jonson, Beaumont, and Fletcher, London: Grant Richards, 1906 (2nd reissue, 1913).PR1204.L97x 1913 Hay Star
Both inscribed (Dec. 1921) by E. A. Blair "To his tutor."
George Orwell was born Eric Arthur Blair on June 25, 1903, in Motihari, Bengal. He returned with his mother and sister to England in 1904. After a stint (1908-1922) at an Anglican day school in Henley, he boarded (1911-1916) unhappily at St. Cyprian's, a private preparatory school in Sussex. He then went to Eton (1917-1921) as a King's Scholar. He retained his scholarship even though an indifferent student. A. S. Gow, subsequently a noted Cambridge classicist, was his tutor for three of Blair's four years at Eton. Gow thought him a "bit of a slacker" and "a dodger," and later maintained that "there was not the faintest hope" of Blair getting the scholarship he needed if he wished to go on with his education. However disappointing Blair's Eton career may have been to Gow, the student did present these "tokens of appreciation" to his tutor just prior to graduation.
2. George Orwell in Kent ("Hop-Picking") With a critical introduction by Medway Fitzmoran and Postscript by John Blest, Wateringbury, Kent: Bridge Books, 1970, an edition of 300 copies of which this is No.28.
PR6029.R8 H67x 1970 Hay Star
On returning to England, Blair, as biographer Bernard Crick puts it, went "native in London and Paris." Blair concentrated on his writing first in Paris and then in England, producing as he puts it "novels and short stories which no one would publish." He did manage while in Paris to get some "pot boiling" articles published in French translation, and subsequently in the U.K. he did get some articles, stories, reviews, and poems into print. "Hop-Picking," written in diary form in 1931, was not published in toto until after his death. Parts of it were used in his novel A Clergyman’s Daughter (1935).
3.a. George Orwell, Down and Out in Paris and London, London: Victor Gollancz, 1933, first edition, first printing.
DC715 .O7 1933a Hay Star
Blair returned to England from Paris around Christmas 1929. During the next three years, as Orwell expert Peter Davison recounts, Blair went "tramping and lived with down and outs: wrote reviews...his first important articles; taught at...a fourth-rate private school; wrote and rewrote what was to be published as Down and Out in Paris and London...." The first version ("Days in London and Paris") was rejected by the U.K. publishing firm Jonathan Cape, which also rejected an expanded version subsequently submitted. Reworked and entitled "A Scullion's Diary" it was also rejected by Faber & Faber, in a letter penned by T.S. Eliot. A friend of the dejected Blair interested the literary agent Leonard Moore in the work, and he in turn brought it to the attention of the brash publisher-promoter Victor Gollancz, who since founding his firm in 1928 had shaken up English book publishing.
Gollancz, who decided to publish Blair's effort, wanted the book to be called "Confessions of a Down and Out in Paris and London," and words and passages cut to avoid possible libel actions and to ensure sales to libraries. The modifications were made (as Blair wrote Moore: "names are to be changed, swearwords etc cut...."). Orwell wanted the book published pseudonymously; he feared it might upset his family. At one point consideration was given to calling the author "X". Discussion about the title continued into page proof-running heads in the first edition read "Confessions of a...."; Blair preferred to confess as a "Dishwasher" rather than as a "Down and Out." But the point became moot. He chose not to be known as "X." Among the pseudonyms discussed were: "P.S. Burton, Kenneth Niles, H. Lewis Allways, and George Orwell." Blair said, "I rather favour George Orwell." Gollancz agreed.
Why the name George Orwell? Various scholars and memoirists have given disparate reasons for the choice, none wholly convincing. A childhood friend has said Blair hated the name "Eric." Indeed Blair himself once wrote, "it took me nearly 30 years to work off the effect of being called Eric." But despairing of any success for the oft-rejected Down and Out, he may have, as has been variously suggested, adopted a name that could be forgotten. It has also been suggested that the name "George" appealed to him because it is the name of England's patron saint. And he was familiar with the East Anglian river Orwell, which pleasantly flows to the sea near the port of Harwich, some 35 miles from the home of Orwell's parents in Southwold, where he stayed from time to time between his expeditions into lower class life. Or Blair may have chosen George Orwell because it scanned nicely: he once told a bookseller that he chose the name because it "helps to have a name that comes near the middle of the alphabet and therefore near the eyeline in the centre of the fiction shelves." The book was well received critically. Altogether 3,195 copies with overs were printed and none were remaindered, but a history of the Gollancz firm remarks "the booksellers squeezed out their exiguous orders with extreme reluctance...."
3.b. George Orwell, Down and Out in Paris and London, New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1933, first American edition.
DC715 .O7 1933 Hay Star
The author initially expressed concern that there might be material in the book which would be disdainful of Americans. But what there is, such as a contempt for the inability of Americans in Paris to "know" good food, seems not to have made a difference: for as Peter Stansky and William Abrahams, chroniclers of the author's early life indicate, at that time "criticism of this sort coming from an Englishman would only amuse Americans...." Harpers brought out an edition of 1,750 copies to generally good reviews (the novelist James T. Farrell judged the book "genuine, unexaggerated and intelligent"). Alas, only 1,100 copies had been sold before Harpers in February 1934, nine months after publication, remaindered the unsold 383 copies. Copyright is in the name of Eric Arthur Blair.
3.c. George Orwell, Down and Out in Paris and London, London: Secker & Warburg, 1986. "The Complete Works of George Orwell," edited by Peter Davison, Volume One.
PR6029 .R8 1986 1 c.2 Hay Star
This splendidly authoritative edition, meticulously edited by Davison, corrects the "in-house censorship" on the first edition. Davison has used various sources to justify his corrections including the text of the 1935 French translation La Vache enragee ("the title is idiomatic French for being destitute") which the author "greatly admired" and for which he "added explanatory notes for the French readers, evidently in answer to questions posed by the translators." Davison also deals with the questions raised ever since its publication over what in the book is fact and what is fiction. In writing Down and Out the author as in much of his other books "works most interestingly and most valuably along the borderline that separates documentary and fiction," but the writing is "firmly rooted."
4. Eric Blair, "A Ruined Farm Near the His Master's Voice Gramophone Factory," in Thomas Moult, editor, The Best Poems of 1934, New York: Harcourt Brace and Company, c. 1934; London: London, Toronto: Jonathan Cape Limited, 1934, pp.113-114.
PR1225.M652 1934 Hay Star
Blair, in addition to using the pseudonym Orwell, continued to write and review under his given name well into 1936. He contributed a number of poems to the English literary monthly, Adelphi, in 1934, one of which was chosen for this well-regarded anthology.
5.a. George Orwell, Burmese Days, London: Victor Gollancz Ltd., 1935, uncorrected proof copy, first edition.
PR6029.R8 B87x 1935 proof Hay Star
In his first novel, Orwell presents a pessimistic, cautionary tale. Drawing on his experiences in Burma, he has written what his friend the estimable critic Cyril Connolly recommended "to any one who enjoys a spate of efficient indignation, graphic description, excellent narrative, excitement, and irony tempered with vitriol." This book is an incisive critique of the Anglo-Indian society in which Orwell lived while serving as a policeman in Burma during the mid-1920s. Richard Rees, the long-term editor-proprietor of The Adelphi, subsequently declared that Orwell's judgments "are clear cut black and white"; Orwell has demonstrated forcefully that the "British Empire is brutal and corrupt...." Gollancz, who not long before had to withdraw a book and pay damages, and who worried that publishing Burmese Days might again result in legal action, hesitated to bring out the book. Harper & Brothers, after Orwell agreed to some changes, published the book in the U.S. in October 1934. The American edition of Burmese Days received generally good reviews. After more discussion between Gollancz and Orwell, further alterations and modifications were made (e.g., the newspaper the Burmese Patriot was changed to the Burmese Sinn Feiner), and an English edition was brought out by Gollancz in June 1935. Subsequently, an unhappy Orwell called the Gollancz edition "garbled."
5.b. George Orwell, Burmese Days, London: Penguin Books in association with Martin Secker & Warburg, 1989.
PR6029.R8 B87x 1989 Hay Star
In 1944 Penguin first published Burmese Days. It (as did the 1949 Secker & Warburg Uniform edition) followed the 1934 American edition. Orwell supposedly called it "the true first edition and the better version." Since then it has become clear that the Penguin and the Secker and Warburg editions varied partly as a result of changes introduced by Orwell. The 1989 Penguin edition is a reprint of Vol. 2 of The Complete Works of George Orwell, as edited by Peter Davison, who has collated the various editions, and thus the 1989 Penguin is by far the most authoritative edition to date.
6.a. George Orwell, A Clergyman's Daughter, New York and London: Harper and Brothers, 1936.
PR6029.R8 C58 1936 Hay Star
This novel was published by Gollancz on March 11, 1935. Harper's published the American edition in August 1936, making use of British sheets. Gollancz, fresh from defending libel actions arising from his publication of a novel dealing with teaching experiences in Kensington, made Orwell tone down many of the references in the original manuscript (e.g., mentions of Barclay's Bank and the Lambeth public library). The changes were considerable and Peter Davison has found that because the original typescript has not survived, "much of the text cannot be recovered." Consequently, A Clergyman’s Daughter is somewhat disjointed. It deals with Dorothy Hare, daughter of a mean-spirited ignorant Rector who, without any real explanation on Orwell's part, goes from slaving for her father to a series of picaresque demeaning experiences (tramping, hop-picking, living as a down-and-out in London, teaching in a dreadful private school). The lack of a real transition from the rectory to Dorothy-on-the-road may be the result of the censorship Orwell complained about. The book's end is bleak: Dorothy has returned to life with her parson father, but without hope. One of the Gollancz readers of the manuscript said that the author "would certainly be a plum for a practising psychoanalyst..." and felt that "the chaotic structure of the book would suggest some kind of mental instability...." Orwell virtually disowned this work, referring to it as a "simple potboiler."
6.b. George Orwell, A Clergyman's Daughter London: Secker & Warburg, 1960, uncorrected proof copy.
PR6029.R8 C58 1960 proof Hay Star
A Clergyman’s Daughter was not republished in Orwell's lifetime. Ten years after his death Secker & Warburg republished the novel as part of the Uniform Edition. The Clergyman’s Daughter, as here titled, was corrected by the publisher before publication – the first reprint since the novel appeared in England.
7.a. George Orwell, Keep the Aspidistra Flying, London: Victor Gollancz Ltd., 1936, with red wraparound band.
PR6029.R8 K44x 1936 Hay Star
Once again Orwell faced in-house censorship from his publisher, who had serious concerns about some of the novel's targets. At the center of this biting critique of 1930s English society is Gordon Comstock, who gives up a promising career in advertising in order to make his way as a poet (Orwell had the Times Literary Supplement say Comstock once showed "exceptional promise"). Comstock's integrity gives way to middle class gentility (as represented by the aspidistra, once described as "the homely indestructible house plant that stands in every middle-class British window"). In his failed pursuit of the poet's life he has numerous experiences similar to Orwell's (e.g., stints in a bookshop and in a tenth rate lending library) as he searches for time to write. By the novel's end Comstock has thrown his manuscript down a drain, taken up domesticity with his pregnant girlfriend, and returned to the world of advertising. Keep the Aspidistra Flying was published on April 20, 1936. Orwell's agent could not interest any American publisher in the book. It received mixed reviews and did not sell particularly well. Of the 3,000 copies printed, many were lost in the early days of World War 11, when the stock was bombed. In March 1942 a cheap edition of 484 copies was issued (made up mainly of copies salvaged from the bombing). The wraparound band contained a fulsome endorsement of Orwell from the then prominent novelist and literary critic Compton Mackenzie: "It confirms my opinion that Orwell is a real crasher. And I flatter myself on having as quick a nose for the genuine slice of life as anybody. Not a line of this novel suggests anything but the truth, and it is a little masterpiece of construction." Few copies have survived with the wraparound band intact.
7.b. George Orwell, Keep the Aspidistra Flying; New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1956, first American edition.
PR6029.R8 K44x 1956 c. 2 Hay Star
Two decades after the publication of the novel in the U.K., it was published in the U.S., as a result of the stature Orwell had achieved.
7.c. George Orwell, Et Vive L'Aspidistra!, Paris: Gallimard, 1960, No.2 of 35 special copies. Translated by Yvonne Davet.
PR6029.R8 K4414x 1960 c.2 Hay Star
Orwell's reputation grew substantially after his death, and even such once-ignored works as Keep the Aspidistra Flying appeared in translation. At the time of its original publication little interest had been shown in Orwell's writing. The tide turned rapidly after 1950. The French publisher Gallimard, noted for its publication of modern literature, published over the years various works by Orwell. During his lifetime he had worked closely with Yvonne Davet on this and other translations of his work. A long-time secretary to the distinguished French writer Andre Gide, Mme. Davet, according to Davison, "was honoured by the Academie Francaise for her translations... from English into French."
8.a. George Orwell, The Road to Wigan Pier, London: Victor Gollancz Ltd., 1937, first trade edition.
HD8390.O7 1937 Hay Star
In January 1936, the socially conscious Gollancz commissioned Orwell to write about working class life in England's depressed industrial north. He visited various communities, including Manchester and Liverpool, but spent most of his two month visit in Wigan - an older industrial community marked by despair, squalor, and environmental decay. "Wigan Pier" as Orwell later pointed out "was a tumbledown wooden jetty: and by way of a joke someone nicknamed this Wigan Pier." Orwell biographer Michael Shelden reports that it "had become the butt of music hall jokes for many years In December 1936 Orwell turned over his manuscript to Gollancz. It would be published in March 1937. The book was in two parts. The slightly longer Part I was as Gollancz had envisaged reportage (and quite brilliant and moving) on working class life in the industrial north. Part I was a prime example of what contemporaries referred to as "dole literature." But in the second half of the book the tenor changes dramatically. Part II was an idiosyncratic, quixotic, argumentative partly autobiographical polemical critique of various brands of English Socialism and the shortcomings of many of its adherents. He attacked the "astute young social-literary climbers who are Communists now, as they will be Fascists five years hence, because it is all the go"
8.b. George Orwell, The Road To Wigan Pier, London: Victor Gollancz Ltd., 1937, With a Foreword by Victor Gollancz, first edition.
HD8390.O7 1937b Hay Star
George Orwell, The Road To Wigan Pier, London: Victor Gollancz Ltd., 1937, With a Foreword, by Victor Gollancz, Left Book Club Edition.
HD8390.O7 1937c Hay Star
George Orwell, The Road To Wigan Pier, London: Victor Gollancz Ltd., 1937, Left Book Club Edition, Part One Only.
HD8390.O7 1937d Hay Star
Gollancz at the beginning of 1936 had organized the Left Book Club, similar in operation to the Book-of-the-Month Club in the U.S. The response was good, and by the end of 1936 there were almost 40,000 members. Orwell had expressed doubt this book would be a Left Book Club selection but it did become one – in March 1937 Gollancz published both trade and Left Book Club editions. The initial printing of the latter was greater than the combined sales of all Orwell's previous books.
To his great credit (and those of his colleagues) Gollancz went forward despite his doubts of the ideas set forth in Part II. But Gollancz's concern about Part II caused him to write what has been called an "extraordinary introduction" to the book and it appeared for "technical reasons" in some of the trade edition as well as the Book Club edition. Gollancz's foreword praised Part I, but warned the reader about Part II, cautioning that "this second part is highly provocative" and gives "a distorted picture of what Socialists are like and what they say." Only about 150 copies of the trade edition carried Gollancz's foreword; the rest of the 2,000 or so copies of the trade edition did not.
Orwell had resisted Gollancz's initial attempt to issue the book in two parts and to issue a Left Book Club edition of only the first part. Over 40,000 copies of the cohesive edition were distributed to club members 890 copies of only Part I were issued in May 1937 as a "supplementary" book with the club bulletin urging members to buy it and send it to their friends because it was "one of the best weapons for rousing the public conscience." The book club editions were bound in the limp orange cloth the club then uniformly used ("lively without being vulgar"). One history of the club argues that The Road To Wigan Pier was "probably the best book the club ever issued...."
8.c. George Orwell, The Road To Wigan Pier New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1958, With a Forward by Victor Gollancz, first American edition.
HD8390.O7 1958 Hay Star
No American edition appeared at the time of the English one. The book was not reprinted in Orwell's lifetime. A 1958 American reviewer found the book still "wonderfully alive."
9.a. George Orwell, Homage to Catalonia, London: Secker & Warburg, 1938, first edition.
DP269.O74 1938 Hay Star
Orwell went to Spain in December 1936, ostensibly to write about the civil war, but soon joined the anti-Franco forces. Before going he had gotten in touch with the British Communist Party but its leader was dismissive of Orwell as "politically unreliable" (and subsequently attacked him as "a disillusioned middle class boy"). Orwell then made contact with the Independent Labor Party, once an important British left-wing force whose cranky sectarianism had pushed it to the sidelines. The ILP contact meant that when Orwell decided to fight he enrolled not in the Communist-controlled International Brigades but in the militia of the POUM (Partido Obrero de Unification Marxista), a splinter Marxist group. After over 100 days at the front with POUM militia he returned to Barcelona to meet his wife Eileen who served as a volunteer with the ILP group there.
Orwell was in Barcelona during the internecine fighting that took place there in May as the Communists tightened their grip. He went back to the front, was severely wounded, recuperated, and then had to flee with Eileen to escape arrest and probably execution (the fate of others whom the Communists felt stood in their way). Homage to Catalonia recounts Orwell's personal experience in Spain; it is his view of what happened. Gollancz, who said Orwell is part of the Communist racket," rejected the book - even before Orwell had begun to write it. Secker & Warburg, then according to Managing Director Frederic Warburg, "a firm ... unpopular and insignificant," published the book in April 1938. Of the 1500 copies printed many remained unsold 12 years later. Orwell believed correctly that the Communists and their sympathizers did all in their power to damage Homage to Catalonia.
9.b. George Orwell, Homage to Catalonia, New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1952, with an introduction by Lionel Trilling, first American edition.
DP269.O74 1952 c.3 Hay Star
The first American edition came after Orwell's death. The publisher printed 4,000 copies in May 1952; a second impression of 3,000 came weeks later in July. It has remained in print. American critics generally enthused about the book and echoed Trilling's judgment that it was "one of the important documents of our time."
9.c. George Orwell, La Catalogne Libre (1936-1937), Paris: Gallimard, 1955, No.2 of 60 special copies, translated by Yvonne Davet.
DP269.O7413 1955 Hay Star
Mme. Davet was in correspondence with Orwell already in the spring of 1938 about the translation, even though publication in France had not yet been arranged. The outbreak of World War II and the German victory over France brought an end to any arrangements and not until 1947 did Orwell and Mme. Duvet again correspond. This French edition included various changes that Orwell had suggested; thus, except for a few paragraphs, Chapters V and XI, the so-called "political chapters," which interrupt an account of his personal experiences, become appendices.
9.d. George Orwell, Homage to Catalonia, London: Secker & Warburg, 1986, "The Complete Works of George Orwell," edited by Peter Davison, Volume Six.
PR6029 .R8 1986 6 c.2 Hay Star
This edition, in Davison's words, "attempts to carry through the wishes Orwell expressed" in the years after the initial publication. Some of the changes that Orwell wished to make had been undertaken in the 1955 French edition. Davison's edition also makes use of these, and other modifications and changes, that later had been suggested by Orwell.
l0.a. George Orwell, Coming Up For Air, London: Victor Gollancz Ltd, 1939, uncorrected proof.
PR6029.R8 C6 1939 proof Hay Star
George Orwell, Coming Up For Air, London: Victor Gollancz Ltd, 1939, first edition.
PR6029.R8 C6 1939 Hay Star
This conventional novel deals with George Bowling, an insurance-company employee, fat and 45, who lives in one of London's depressing suburbs with his nagging wife and irritating children. He dreams of his past in the English countryside before World War I. A windfall gives him the opportunity to return to Lower Binfield and he is thoroughly disillusioned. The countryside has given way to housing estates, and his favorite secret fishing pond has been drained and is a dump for tin cans. The novel received respectable reviews. Orwell later said the novel which appeared in June 1939 just weeks before the outbreak of World War II had been "blitzed out of existence," but it was published in an edition of 2,109 copies, with a second printing of 1,050 (with overs). The second printing was "ordered six weeks after publication of the first printing." But for the outbreak of the war Coming Up For Air might have done better commercially.
10.b George Orwell, Coming Up For Air, New York: Harcourt, Brace, and Company, 1950, first American edition, advance review copy with publisher's slip giving date of publication tipped in at the front.
PR6029.R8 C6 1950 c.4 Hay Star
In 1939 no American publisher wished to bring out this book. On January 19, 1950, two days before Orwell died, Harcourt, Brace on the strength of Orwell's success with Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four published simultaneously Down and Out in Paris and London, Burmese Days, and Coming Up For Air (which on its dust jacket is billed as "George Orwell's new novel."
11. George Orwell, Inside The Whale and Other Essays, London: Victor Gollancz Ltd, 1940, first edition.
PR6029.R8 I6 1940 Hay Star
George Orwell, Inside The Whale and Other Essays, Various places of publication: Penguin Books in Association with Martin Secker & Warburg, 1979.
PR6029.R8 I62x 1962 Hay Star
A brilliant essayist with a magnificent command of the English language, Orwell in this first collection dealt with Charles Dickens, the English "boys' weeklies," and Henry Miller. He used his subjects to dwell on a wide variety of issues including "cultural unity," propaganda, and literary trends. These essays, as one critic later remarked, are "small masterpieces in a limited field." In early 1940 1,100 copies (with overs) of this book were printed; the book went out of print before the end of the year. All copies were not sold; some were destroyed by bombing. Orwell probably earned less than £30 for this splendid collection. No American edition of this book has been published. However, the essays would surface over the years in various edited collections, in the U.K. (such as the Penguin editions), the U.S., and elsewhere in translation.
12. George Orwell, "The Lessons of the War," Horizon, February, 1940 (Vol.1, #2), pp.133-137.
AP H69 c.2 Hay Star
George Orwell, "The Ruling Class," Horizon, December, 1940 (Vol.2, #12), pp.318-323.
AP H69 c.2 Hay Star
George Orwell, "Shooting An Elephant," John Lehmann, editor, The Penguin New Writing, Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England; 41 East 29th Street, New York, U.S.A.: Allen Lane: Penguin Books, 1940, pp.9-15.
PR6029.R8 S55x 1940 Hay Star
Orwell was a hard-working, thoughtful, and prolific writer. Between 1931 and 1941 he published some 230 essays, reviews (of books, plays, films), sketches, and poems. All the writing he did honed his skills. As Malcolm Muggeridge later remarked, Orwell's writing overall was "sharp, original, and clear as a church bell ringing on a still evening." His work appeared in venues such as Time & Tide, Tribune, The Adelphi, New English Weekly, New Statesman..., and Horizon. Orwell needed whatever he could earn, but the financial rewards were meager. Peter Davison estimates that in 1940 his journalism earned Orwell less than £160, yet that year he published some very significant essays. It was in 1940 that he made his first appearance (in the second issue) of the important literary monthly Horizon, which would carry some of his most important writing. Orwell's brilliant and vital essay "Shooting An Elephant" first appeared in the second issue of John Lehmann's New Writing (Autumn 1936). Fellow Etonian Lehmann thought enough of the essay to reprint it in this anthology ("of the best and most typical contributions of the first two or three numbers").
13. George Orwell, "Selected Notices," Horizon, September, 1940 (Vol.2, #9), pp. 139-141.
AP H69 c.2 Hay Star
George Orwell, 2 page TLS (one sheet), to British author Sacheverell Sitwell, July 6,1940.
(A99-120, folder 1, Hay Manuscripts)
Peter Davison, 1 page TLS, to Daniel Leab, July 24, 1991.
(A99-120, folder 16, Hay Manuscripts)
Michael Shelden, Orwell, The Authorised Biography, London: Heinemenn, 1991.
PR6029.R8 Z7817 1991b Hay Star
Orwell in July 1940 had just finished writing a review of Sitwell's Poltergeists (London: Faber & Faber, 1940). And as Sitwell's biographer Sarah Bradford recounts, Orwell "wrote to Sachie (whom he had never met) to tell him how intrigued he was by the book, which reminded him of an experience he himself had had." Toward the end of the 1980s this until then unpublished and unrecorded letter was made available to Peter Davison for his complete multi-volume edition of Orwell's writing with the request that the letter be embargoed until the volumes were printed. When I was informed that Shelden had made unauthorized use of the letter, I tried to get in touch with him, but got no response to my request for an acknowledgement. The threat of legal action however did lead to an insertion of the fact that the letter was in my possession and the U.K. publisher sent me a copy of Shelden's biography, characterized on its publication in England by a reviewer in the Times Literary Supplement as "a book that gives us new material but no fresh insights."
14. George Orwell, The Lion and the Unicorn: Socialism and the English Genius, London: Secker & Warburg, 1940 [i.e., 1941], first edition, advance proof copy.
HX246.O7 1940 proof Hay Star
George Orwell, The Lion and the Unicorn: Socialism and the English Genius, London: Secker & Warburg, 1941, "Searchlight Books, No.1," first edition.
HX246.O7 1941 Hay Star
T. R. Fyvel, a non-Communist left-wing writer in his early 30s, suggested to Warburg and Orwell during the summer of 1940 (when England faced the possibility of a successful German Invasion) "a series of short books on war aims for a better future." The result was "Searchlight Books," long pamphlets or short books, of which Orwell was a hard working editor along with Fyvel. Of the projected 17 titles, ten were published during 1941-42, and apparently bomb damage to Warburg's office and the destruction of his printer's paper stock played a role in ending the series. Orwell wrote the first one, which is comprised of three essays: "England Your England" has been accurately described as a "brilliantly written summary of English national characteristics" (and subsequently has been anthologized in various collections of Orwell's essays and elsewhere); "Shopkeepers at War" makes a cogent case against "private" capitalism and for a socialist society; "The English Revolution" argues that it is already "under way" and will take a peculiarly English form.
The Lion and the Unicorn, written with great speed in October, 1940, was first published on February 19, 1941; initially 5,000 copies were ordered, but the number was raised to 7,500. A second printing of 5,000 copies was ordered in March, 1941. It sold over 10,000 copies (and was among the most commercially successful of Orwell's books to that date). The destruction of the stock by bombs ended its sales. There was no American edition. It was republished by Penguin Books in 1982 with an introduction by Orwell biographer Bernard Crick.
15. George Orwell, "Culture and Democracy," in C. D. H. Cole, et al, Victory or Vested Interest?, London: The Labour Book Service, 1942, pp. 77-97.
D742.G7 V5 1942 Hay Star
In 1941 Orwell wrote some essays which just before his death in 1950 he instructed were not to be reprinted. These include "Fascism and Democracy" and "Patriots and Revolutionaries," two chapters he contributed to a Gollancz-edited anthology, The Betrayal of the Left: An Examination and Refutation of Communist Policy, published in March 1941 a few months before the German invasion of the Soviet Union. While not for Orwell, the Nazi demarche restored the appeal of Russia for many of the contributors. Orwell in his two chapters sets forth some unpleasant truths about the popular appeals of Fascism and the need for the Left to not abandon patriotism to the Right. He had presented "Culture and Democracy" in November 1941 as a lecture to the Fabian Society. Founded in 1884 by British middle class intellectuals to spread Socialist ideas, the society (which became somewhat elitist over the years) preached evolutionary Socialism not revolutionary Marxism, and is an adjunct of the Labour Party which it serves as a "think tank." Much of what Orwell spoke about such as the failure of certain kinds of socialists to differentiate between "totalitarians and bourgeois democracy" can be found in his other writings. This edition of the book, which preceeded the Routledge trade edition was for members of the Labour Book Service only, and not the "general public." Of the 6,311 copies of this book published on May 15,1942, probably by far the larger portion was that issued by the Labour Book Service. Orwell did not want "Culture and Democracy" reprinted because, as he wrote in 1947, it was "transcribed from shorthand notes of a lecture, & was grossly altered without my knowledge."
16. George Orwell, "London Letter," Partisan Review, Vol.8, No.2, March-April, 1941, pp. 10-113.
AP4 P37x Hay Star
George Orwell, "Ghandi In Mayfair," Partisan Review, Vol.11, No.1, Winter, 1944,p. 106-113.
AP4 P37x Hay Star
George Orwell, "Toward European Unity" ("The Future of Socialism-IV"), Partisan Review, Vol.14, No.4, July-August, 1947, pp.346-351.
AP4 P37x Hay Star
From 1941 until the Summer 1946 issue Orwell regularly reported on the English scene for the Partisan Review. Altogether he wrote 15 "London Letters." The Partisan Review was a New York-based one-time Trotskyite literary and political journal. By the 1940s "for many readers," according to co-editor William Phillips, the Review "served as a focal point in their attempts to orient themselves in the world of modern art and politics." Orwell, during the 1940s, when the Partisan Review achieved great eminence and influence, also contributed articles and reviews. "Ghandi In Mayfair," a tough-minded negative review of Beggar My Neighbour by Lionel Felden (published by Secker & Warburg) first appeared in Horizon (September, 1943).
17. George Orwell, one-page TLS, to British novelist and critic Desmond Hawkins, March 22, 1941.
(A99-120, folder 1, Hay Manuscripts)
George Orwell, one-page TLS, to Hawkins, November 17, 1942.
(A99-120, folder 1, Hay Manuscripts)
George Orwell, "As I Please," Tribune, January 21, 1944, Facsimile, in Michael Marlands, editor, "George Orwell," The Times Authors, Number 2, published by Times Newspapers Limited, c. 1970.
(A99-120, folder 2, Hay Manuscripts)
His attempts to join the army after war's outbreak having failed because of his weak health, Orwell in early 1940 joined what later became known as the Home Guard (resigning from this part-time service in November 1943 on medical grounds). Hawkins, then in his mid-30s, was a well-known contributor to the BBC's Home Service who, according to one source, "had the reputation of being able to get good authors to the microphone," Orwell's first appearance with Hawkins had been in late 1940 on his "The Writer In The Witness Box," a tightly-scripted, heavily-censored seemingly spontaneous discussion of "The Proletarian Writer." In August 1941 Orwell joined the BBC as a Talks Assistant in the Indian Section of its Eastern Service, designed to propagandize India and Southeast Asia for the British cause. Orwell within a few months became a Talks Producer, and subsequently worked with Hawkins on various programs. The 1942 letter is also found in the Appendix to W J. West, editor, Orwell: The War Broadcasts (London: Duckworth/British Broadcasting Corporation, 1985), pp.229-230.
Orwell found the BBC censorship and bureaucracy off-putting. But more importantly, Orwell realized that the enormous effort he and others were making in broadcasting to India was attracting few listeners. The effort was, as he called it, "two wasted years," and he resigned in November 1943. He became literary editor of Tribune. Among his other duties he wrote a much-admired weekly column, "As I Please," which appeared regularly until February 1945, with the last appearing in April 1947. Davison reports that Orwell contributed to 80 columns, "discussing well over 250 topics." His approach was truly idiosyncratic and ranged from comments on the mating of toads to "the Soviet betrayal of Socialism."
18. Talking to India, by E. M. Forster, Richie Calder, Cedric Dover, Hsiao Ch'ien and Others: A Selection of English Language Broadcasts to India, edited with an Introduction by George Orwell, London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd, 1943.
AC5.O7 1943 Hay Star
Despite his continuing health problems, Orwell managed during 1942-43 a prodigious output. In addition to his time-consuming duties at the BBC (which included writing 15-minute commentaries, reading many of them over the air, and producing booklets and courses), he was a regular contributor of essays and reviews to the Partisan Review, the New Statesman, Tribune, and other weekly newspapers. He also contributed to (among other publications) the Observer, Poetry London, New Road (a small Socialist annual), and the Nation (the American weekly). Talking to India, wrote Orwell, was "a representative selection…with a literary bias" of the programs broadcast to India. The approximately 2,000 copies printed of the book were sold out by 1945. Orwell's contribution, beyond the Introduction, was "The Rediscovery of Europe: Literature Between the Wars," broadcast in March 1942 and published that same month in the Listener (the BBC magazine). There was no American edition ofTalking to India.
19.a. George Orwell, Animal Farm: A Fairy Story, London: Secker & Warburg, 1945, first edition.
PR6029.R8 A63 1945 Hay Star
Orwell wrote what he called "a little squib" between November 1943 and February 1944, despite his many other literary activities. It was short, only 30,000 words, but given what he called its "political meaning," quite controversial. Utilizing animal figures he wrote a biting allegorical history of the Soviet Union. Although the parallels are not exact, in the mid-1940s the meaning was quite clear. The revolt of the animals at Manor Farm against Farmer Jones is the Bolshevik Revolution. The tyrannical "boar," Napoleon, who winds up as leader is Stalin. The expulsion of the pig Snowball, despite his valiant contributions, equated Trotsky's fate. The painful efforts of the animals to build the windmill are like the Five-Year-Plans which at great cost industrialized the USSR.
Animal Farm is splendidly written and filled with now well-known phrases such as "all animals are equal but some are more equal than others." However given the wartime British infatuation with the Soviets, Orwell had difficulty finding a publisher. Gollancz by contract had the right of first refusal on Orwell's fiction. Orwell warned him that the book was "anti-Stalin." Gollancz read the manuscript, and then informed the author's agent "I could not possibly publish...a general attack of this nature." Cape's interest ended when "an important official in the Ministry of Information" reacted negatively. T. S. Eliot, for Faber & Faber, in rejecting the manuscript, wrote Orwell "we have no conviction... that this is the right point of view from which to criticize the political situation." A dejected Orwell who also got other turndowns seems even to have considered self-publication. In October 1944 Secker & Warburg accepted the manuscript for publication. But the small firm's limited share of rationed paper stock meant that the book was not published until August 1945.
As Orwell biographer Bernard Crick points out, it "was widely reviewed...and nearly all praised the style." There was much less unanimity on the political implications from critics as diverse as Graham Greene and Cyril Connolly; some read it as an anti-Soviet, anti-Stalin, anti-Socialist polemic (praising or damning it on that basis); others saw it as a condemnation of all tyranny or as a lament for "the revolution betrayed." Only 4,500 copies were run off initially. Another 10,000 were printed in November. By the time of Orwell's death in January 1950 it is estimated that in the U.K. over 25,000 copies had been sold. It has been continually reprinted.
19.b. George Orwell, Animal Farm, New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1946, first U.S. edition, "advance confidential copy," ink-stamped "Review Copy" and giving the details of publication on the front wrapper.
PR6029.R8 A63 1946 proof Hay Star
Christopher Morley, "Animal Farm by George Orwell," reprint from the August 1946 Book-of-the-Month Club News, 4 pp.
(A99-120, folder 6, Hay Manuscripts)
While struggling to find an English publisher, Orwell at the recommendation of Partisan Review friends sent the manuscript to the Dial press in New York, whose rejection included the assertion that "it was impossible to sell animal stories in the U.S.A." Various other U.S. publishers, including, recalled Frederic Warburg, "top firms as Harper, Knopf, Viking, and Scribner," also rejected it. But towards the end of 1945 Harcourt, Brace had "the courage" (Orwell's words) to accept it, but dropped the subtitle "A Fairy Story," as did all translations in Orwell's lifetime except that into Telugu (a language of the Indian sub-continent). Harcourt, Brace in August 1946 published a print run of 50,000 copies, and it was also a Book-of-the-Month Club choice (whose two print runs totaled over 500,000 copies). Animal Farm was enthusiastically endorsed by the club's editorial board - the critic Christopher Morley (who had been on the BMOC-board since its organization in 1926) called the book "one of the great political satires." And most U.S. reviewers agreed with him. Edmund Wilson compared Orwell to Voltaire and Swift and called the book "absolutely first rate."
19.c. George Orwell, Kolhosp tvarin [Animal Farm], translated into Ukranian by Ivan Chernyatinsky (pseudonym of Ihor Shevchenko), with a preface written by Orwell, Munich: Prometei, 1947.
PR6029.R8 A6319 1947 Hay Star
Among the earliest translations into an East European language of an Orwell work, it is of special significance because Orwell at the translator's request specifically wrote an introduction for this edition, in which he presented his personal history and what had led him to write Animal Farm. His aim was less to attack Stalin's regime than as Robert Conquest puts it "to expose the delusions of intellectuals" – Orwell wanted the world to see the Soviet regime "for what it really was." Shevchenko, later a Professor of Byzantine Literature at Harvard University, undertook this translation on his own, convinced Orwell to write the preface, and oversaw the production of this edition which was meant for Ukranian refugees in occupied Germany in Displaced Persons camps. According to Orwell about 2,000 copies were distributed but American military authorities seized the rest and turned them over to the Soviet repatriation people. At his insistence Orwell received no royalties for this edition, nor of any other translation intended for people too poor to buy them.
19.d. George Orwell, Folwark Zwierzecy [Animal Farm], no place of publication: Oficyna Literacke, 1985, translated into Polish by Teresa Jelenska, with 10 illustrations by Jan Lebenstein.
1-SIZE PR6029.R8 A63165x 1985 Hay Star
Ms. Jelenska's version was produced in London in 1947 for the League of Poles Abroad. Orwell took much interest in her effort and would meet with her and explain in French parts of the text she found difficult. Subsequent editions of her translation were issued outside Poland in 1956 (by Radio Free Europe) and in 1974 and 1984, and at least three editions were published clandestinely in Poland prior to the 1985 one. Poland, according to one source had a "clandestine publishing industry...without rival in Eastern Europe, and...print runs of 10,000 or more" were not unusual. Lebenstein, the illustrator of this edition has been called "one of Poland's foremost satirical artists."
19.e. George Orwell, Skotsky khutor [Animal Farm], probably Frankfurt-am-Main, although no place of publication given: Possey, 1950, translated into Russian by Mariya Kriger and Gleb Struve. The translator's copy with a pencilled note by Mariya Kriger: "My husband and I translated this book..."
PR6029.R8 A63 1945 c. 2 Hay Star
Vladimir Gorachek, publisher of Possey, a Russian emigré weekly in West Germany, in 1949 obtained Orwell's permission to publish Animal Farm in Russian in order to "distribute it gratis among Russian readers behind the 'Iron Curtain'." Gorachek planned to sell "about 1,000-2,000 copies" in West Germany in order "to be able to cover the expenses of sending the bulk through..." Orwell accepted no royalties and donated money to support the printing of the edition, having failed to persuade the British Foreign Office to contribute the 2000DM needed by Possey. Struve, an expert on Soviet literature, had come into contact with Orwell after the war, and in the course of their correspondence had introduced him to the 1922 futurist Russian novel We, often referred to as a source forNineteen Eighty-Four.
19.f. Animal Farm, a film presented by Louis de Rochemont, produced and directed by John Halas and Joy Batchelor, 73 minutes, released in 1955, Video – BBC Enterprises, Inc., 1986.
PR6029.R8 A632x 1986 Hay Video
George Orwell, Animal Farm, New York: A Signet Book published by the New American Library, 1956, paperback, first printing.
PR6029.R8 A63 1956 Hay Star
George Orwell, Animal Farm, New York: Time Inc., 1965, a volume in the Time Special Reading Program, Editors' Preface, introduction by Malcolm Muggeridge, illustrated by Joy Batchelor and John Halas.
PR6029.R8 A63 1965 Hay Star
Starting with the 1948 Korean translation of Animal Farm, U.S. agencies sponsored translations and distributed copies of Orwell's books in over 30 languages. Animal Farm was one of several books FBI head J. Edgar Hoover promoted vigorously. The Halas-Batchelor film, the first full-length animated feature made in the U.K., ended with the animals overthrowing the reign of the pigs in a mass action. Rumor has it that some U.S. government agency helped fund the film which ends in line with contemporary American Cold War propaganda that the "captive peoples" of Eastern Europe would rise up against their Communist master. The Signet book in various printings has sold millions of copies. The introduction reprints a Times Literary Supplement article (August 6, 1954) which quotes Orwell: "Every line 1 have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism...," but omits the rest of the sentence "and for democratic Socialism, as I understand it." Time reprints the 1954 edition (with illustrations similar to the images in the film). The editors' preface echoes Time-Life's aggressive anti-Communism, and while seeming to appear fair uses catch phrases such as "Stalinist betrayal," "Communist duplicity," and "pig commissars." Muggeridge is a bit more even-handed; at one point he argues that "Animal Farm is as relevant to contemporary America – where the Century of the Common Man has become the Century of the Common Millionaire – as ever it was to Soviet Russia."
19.g. George Orwell, Animal Farm: A Fairy Story, London: Secker & Warburg, 1956, illustrated by John Driver, a trial issue for a proposed edition, which was abandoned.
PR6029.R8 A63 1956b proof Hay Star
George Orwell, La Republique des Animaux, Paris: Gallimard, 1964, No.24 of 31 special copies.
PR6029.R8 A6314 1964 Hay Star
George Orwell, Animal Farm: A Fairy Story, London: The Folio Society, 1984, drawings by Quentin Blake.
PR6029.R8 A63 1984 Hay Star
George Orwell, Animal Farm: A Fairy Story, New York, San Diego, London: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1995, pictures by Ralph Steadman, 50th Anniversary Edition, first edition.
PR6029.R8 A63 1995 c. 2 Hay Star
By 1996 Animal Farm had been translated into 60 languages (including Persian and Icelandic), and some 20,000,000 copies had been sold.
The history of this proposed 1956 edition is unclear. It seems never to have gotten far beyond the mock-up stage; this exemplar seems to be the final form it took before the project was abandoned.
Orwell expressed great bitterness in 1946 when a French translation fell through because the French publisher got "cold feet," declining to undertake a translation because of "political reasons." In this French edition Napoleon was renamed Cesar. Orwell at one point suggested that the French translation be titled "Union des republiques socialists animales" (that is, URSA, or the BEAR).
In 1984, the Folio Society for obvious reasons produced an edition with drawings by the well-known illustrator Quentin Blake.
The Harcourt Brace edition, designed to cash in on the 50th anniversary of Animal Farm's initial printing, was the first one it published which restored the "Fairy Story" subtitle. The restoration probably resulted because Harcourt were reprinting the Secker & Warburg edition, and may not even have come to their attention.
19.h. Michael Shelden, editor, George Orwell: Ten "Animal Farm" Letters to His Agent, Leonard Moore, Bloomington, Indiana: published by the private press of Frederic Brewer for the Friends of Lilly Library, 1984, number 59 of 200 copies.
PR6029.R8 Z49 1984 Hay Star
About 500 of Orwell's letters to his agent have survived. Nearly 100 of these letters were acquired by the Lilly Library from a London dealer in 1959. This selection of letters, well annotated by Shelden, records Orwell's struggle to find a publisher forAnimal Farm.
19.i. George Orwell, Animal Farm: A Fairy Story, London: Secker & Warburg, 1987, "The Complete Works of George Orwell," edited by Peter Davison, Volume 8.
PR6029 .R8 1986 8 c.2 Hay Star
Bernard Crick, "How the essay came to be written," Times Literary Supplement, September 15, 1972, pp. 1039-1040, tear sheets.
(A99-120, folder 3, Hay Manuscripts)
George Orwell, "Telling People What They Don't Want to Hear: The Original Preface to Animal Farm," Dissent, Winter 1996, pp. 59-64.
PR6029.R8 A633x 1996 Hay Star
Davison has authoritatively edited what must be seen as the version. It is enhanced by three appendices: 1. the first publication of Orwell's dramatization of Animal Farm (written in late 1946, and broadcast live, twice in January 1947); 2. the introduction to the 1947 Ukrainian edition (a "re-casting back from the Ukrainian" since the English text no longer seems to exist); 3. a preface intended for the first publication of Animal Farm (an intemperate essay titled "The Freedom of the Press," arising from Orwell's frustration at the rejections of his manuscript). The essay came to light a quarter of a century after it was written. For Orwell biographer Crick its theme "is that cowardice is as great a threat to liberty as official censorship." Crick argues cogently that if the essay had been published as a preface it would have diminished the book and "the universality of its reflections on the corruption that can come from power..." Animal Farm, then, "might have appeared to be an attack only on Stalin." Orwell's essay first saw publication in the TLS, but since has appeared in various formats – however, "the first appearance in an American publication," as the editor of the Social Democratic quarterly Dissent put it, did not come until 1996 or nearly 50 years after the U.S. publication ofAnimal Farm.
20. George Orwell, "World Affairs – 1945," Junior, London: Children's Digest Foundation, 1945, pp. 79-88.
AP201.J86x no.1 Hay Star
During the first part of 1945, into the summer, Orwell served a stint as a correspondent (at home and abroad) for The Observer and the Manchester Evening News. He also managed to squeeze in other writing, as for example his contribution to Junior (designed as "a collection of stories, articles, and pictures for the junior members of the family"). Orwell's article, drawing on his correspondent experiences appeared in Junior's initial issue in late 1945. He made no concessions to the age of his readers. Junior's editors (who included Andre Deutsch, later an influential, maverick, left-leaning U.K. publisher) correctly assessed Orwell's report as "an attempt to describe the actual state of the world and the immediate problems that face us." Orwell, said their preface to his article, "sets out to show that these problems CAN be solved, but at the same time emphasises that there is not much cause for optimism in the world to-day."
21. George Orwell, "Arthur Koestler," in B. Rajan and Andrew Pears, editors, Focus Two, London: Dennis Dobson Limited, 1946, pp. 27-38.
PR6029.R8 A78x 1946 Hay Star
George Orwell, "The Prevention of Literature," Polemic, No. 2, January, 1946, pp. 4-13.
AP4.P65x Hay Star
Randall Swingler, "The Right to Free Expression" (annotated by George Orwell), Polemic, No. 5, October 1946, pp. 5-21.
AP4.P65x Hay Star
George Orwell, "Lear, Tolstoy and the Fool," Polemic, No. 7, March, 1947, pp. 2-17.
AP4.P65x Hay Star
Ian Angus, who helped establish the Orwell Archive at the University of London and to whom anyone seriously interested in George Orwell owes a great deal, points out that the "American publication of Animal Farm freed Orwell from financial worries for the first time in his life." But until Orwell could take advantage of the"dollar" royalties, he continued to publish extensively. The essay on the ex-Communist political writer Koestler, a close friend, was written in September 1944 but took months to appear in Focus, self-styled as "a serial miscellany concerned chiefly with criticism of contemporary writing." The essay on Koestler discusses his novels – particularly Darkness at Noon (Koestler's explanation of why the non-guilty accused confess at the 1930s Moscow show trials). Orwell finds the novels generally worthy, in part because Koestler has "happened to see totalitarianism from the inside."
Polemic, "a Magazine of Philosophy, Psychology, and Aesthetics," during its short life (1945-47, 8 issues) published some of Orwell's best essays. "The Prevention of Literature" is both a spirited attack on the "distortion in writing" caused by the "poisonous impact on "English intellectual life" by Communist and fellow travelling apologists for Soviet actions and a strong defense of freedom of expression. Swingler, a minor English Communist poet in his mid-30s, attacked Orwell for writing this article "through a fog of vagueness and through a hailstorm of private hates," equating Orwell (and Koestler) with the anti-Soviet "HEARST PRESS". Polemic's editors allowed Orwell to respond to Swingler in sidebars almost as long as the article. Orwell demolished Swingler's arguments. In "Lear, Tolstoy and the Fool" Orwell dredges up and dismisses a long forgotten Tolstoy pamphlet in which the Russian author judged Shakespeare as "not even an average author." Orwell used Tolstoy's pamphlet to condemn those who would practice coercion in support of their beliefs, no matter how principled or noble these might be. Both Polemic essays have been anthologized in various Orwell collections.
22. George Orwell, Critical Essays, London: Secker and Warburg, 1946, first edition. < b>PR6029.R8 D5 1946a c. 2 Hay Star
As Orwell wrote in a "note" to the collection, "most of these essays have appeared in print before, and several of them more than once." "Charles Dickens" and "Boys Weeklies" had been printed in Inside the Whale. "Boys Weeklies" had also appeared in Horizon as had "Wells, Hitler, and the World State," "The Art of Donald McGill," "Rudyard Kipling," "W~ B. Yeats," and "Raffles and Miss Blandish." The last also had appeared in Politics, a New York monthly. The essay on Koestler had been written for Focus. "In Defense of P.G. Wodehouse" for The Windmill. "Benefit of Clergy" should have appeared in the Saturday Book in 1944, but at the last moment the publishers excised the essay from the bound copies on "grounds of obscenity." The first edition of Critical Essays (February 14, 1946) was 3,028; the copies quickly sold out; in May another 5,632 copies were published.
23. George Orwell, Dickens, Dali, & Others: Studies in Popular Culture, New York: Reynal & Hitchcock, 1946, first edition, copy marked by Orwell.
PR6029.R8 D5 1946 Hay Star
This is the American edition of Critical Essays. An edition of 5,000 copies was published in April 1956, to good reviews like its English counterpart. This copy belonged to Anthony Hobson, who noted on the inside front cover "George Orwell's copy with corrections in his hand. Given c. 1961 by Sonia Orwell to Cyril Connolly, who had discovered it in the loft of her flat in Charlotte Street, and by Deirdre Connolly to me. May 1975 ARAH."
24. Jack London, Love of Life and Other Stories, introduction by George Orwell, London: Paul Elek, 1946, pp.7-15, first edition.
PR3523.O46 L8 1946 Hay Star
Much has been written about the influences on Orwell in his writing of Nineteen Eighty-Four. Warburg felt that Orwell "must acknowledge a debt to Jack London's IRON HEEL," a dystopian 1907 novel in which a Fascist-like group regiments American society. Much of this short introduction is given over to Orwell's view of The Iron Heel. Orwell believed that London could "foresee Fascism," and understood "the characteristics which a ruling class must have if it is to survive...."
25.a. George Orwell, "Second Thoughts on James Burnham," Polemic, May, 1946, pp.13-33.
AP4.P65x Hay Star
An ideologue now all but forgotten, James Burnham (1905-1987) during the 1940s and 1950s was a man whose ideas had great impact and popularity. He followed a well-worn ideological trail from the Marxist Left in the 1930s (he was for a time a well-known Trotskyite) to the editorial board of the conservative National Review in the 1950s (William E Buckley eulogized him as the "dominant intellectual influence in the development" of the journal). There has been considerable speculation about his influence on Orwell in the structure of Nineteen Eighty-Four.
A 1945 Burnham essay ("Lenin's Heir") in Partisan Review, which in effect by emphasizing the "great man" aspects of Stalin apotheosized the Soviet dictator at the expense of Trotsky, seems to have spurred Orwell on to write this devastating critique. Orwell draws mainly on Burnham's The Managerial Revolution (1941), which formulates theories on the nature of contemporary social revolution and political life. Orwell is very much distressed by Burnham's apocalyptic views of a future in which the "managers" will organize and control all classes and aspects of society. Orwell points out that "Burnham foretold the domination of Russia by Germany and of Germany by Russia," and that in each case he was allowing "power worship" to "blur his judgement." In savaging Burnham as a failed prophet, Orwell is also attacking once more those in the "English intelligentsia" who despite paying lip service to their view of Socialism "wish to destroy the old, egalitarian version.. and usher in a hierarchical society where the intellectual can at last get his hands on the whip."
25.b. George Orwell, "James Burnham and the Managerial Revolution," London: Socialist Book Centre, July, 1946,19 pp.
JC252.B86 1946 Hay Star
Orwell liked pamphlets. He believed in the efficacy of the pamphlet form, and lamented that "the public is not, so to speak, pamphlet-conscious." He argued in 1943 (New Statesman, January 9) that even if many of them were "rubbish," they ought "to be the literary form" of our time. He collected them (his collection of some 2,000 is now in the British Library). This rare and fragile pamphlet, his Polemic critique of Burnham with a new title, was issued by the Socialist Book Centre only a few weeks after the journal article appeared. The director of the Publishing Department of the Centre on seeing the Polemic galleys of the article had written to Orwell proposing to issue it in pamphlet form, but with a different title. Publication originally was to be in June. 3,000 copies were printed. This pamphlet seems to have had limited distribution. Shortly after its publication, Collett's – "the official Communist bookshop in London" – took over the Socialist Book Centre. A "stunned" Orwell, who did not even know how many copies of the pamphlet had been sold, understandably found the situation "simply calamitous."
26. George Orwell, The English People, With 8 Plates in Colour and 17 Illustrations in Black and White, London: Collins, 1947, first edition.
DA118.O7 1947 Hay Star
This short book was commissioned in September 1943 and was written in the Spring of 1944, after the completion of Animal Farm. It was published in 1947; because of the delay in publication (apparently caused by the "wartime paper shortage") Collins – the publisher – updated bits of it in 1946. Part of the series "Britain in Pictures," which in the 1980s was "much sought after by collectors," it covers very much the same terrain as did The Lion and the Unicorn, though the text is much milder. Orwell emphasized the "decency" of the English people. This work, too, he later requested not be reprinted. The book is divided into six sections, one of which dealing with language, anticipates his subsequent discussions of the various uses to which English can be put.
27. George Orwell, "Politics & the English Language," Printed as a "Christmas Keepsake for the Typophiles," Evansville, Indiana: Herbert W Simpson, Inc., December 1947, original printed wrappers.
PN239.P64 O79x 1947 Hay Star
This significant essay first appeared in Horizon (April 1946). David Astor, proprietor/editor of The Observer, circulated the essay to all who wrote for the paper. This pamphlet was printed by the Observer Foreign News Service for circulation "among those who write in The Observer and O.F.N.S." It was also published as an undated pamphlet for journalists of the huge-circulation Sunday newspaper, the News of the World. Subsequently it appeared abridged in the New Republic which granted the Typophiles permission for the reprint and "the author obliged with his consent from Scotland." Number XIX of the "Typophile Monographs," this reprinting had its genesis in a suggestion by Paul A. Bennett of Brooklyn, New York. There were actually three printings or versions: One was for Herbert W. Simpson (100 copies); one was for the Typophiles (320 copies); and one was for "the Friends of Paul Bennett" (50 copies). These all used the abridged New Republic version. Whether Orwell realized he was authorizing three versions rather than one, is doubtful. The essay has been anthologized various times and not only in collections of Orwell's writings. It deals forcefully with the debasement of the language by authority for its own ends to obscure the indefensible, by utilizing words such as "pacification" to describe the killing of defenseless people. It is necessary, declares Orwell, to understand that "political language.. is, for example, designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable..." For those who wished to reign in politicans, he laid out some startlingly simple rules that should be followed so that meanings are clear (e.g., "never use a long word where a short one will do"). Orwell, already quite ill, particularly valued this essay, and indicated to Warburg that it should be included in a forthcoming collection of his essays.
28. George Orwell and Reginald Reynolds, editors, British Pamphleteers, Volume 1, "From the 16th Century the 18th Century," London: Allan Wingate, 1948, first edition. Orwell's introduction, pp.7-19.
DA300.O7 c. 2 Hay Star
Orwell, although in quite poor health, had written the introduction for this volume in the Spring of 1947. Reynolds – a Quaker, a pacifist, a supporter of the ILP and of the non-Communist Republicans in Spain – had worked with Orwell on his talks to India. Although they did seem to consult on the contents (Orwell had some suggestions), he said that Reynolds – then in his early 40s – "compiled and arranged this book." A second volume with which Orwell had little to do appeared in 1951. This introduction gave Orwell a chance to play with his ideas about pamphlets and once more to decry the "decay" of the English Language.
29.a. George Orwell, "1984," London: Secker & Warburg, 1949, uncorrected proofs, first edition, plain blue wrappers with publisher's date stamp ('11 Mar 1949), and with title, etc., information written on the front cover in an unknown hand. The initials on the flyleaf, "T.R.F.," belong to Orwell's friend and biographer Tosco R. Fyvel.
PR6029.R8 N49 1949b proof Hay Star
By all accounts Orwell was thinking about a novel such as Nineteen Eighty-Four some years before he began to write it. There is in the Orwell Archive in London an outline (which Orwell scholars date 1943/1944) for a book similar in many aspects. Orwell worked on this novel between increasingly serious bouts of ill-health. He had written the first dozen pages by June 25, 1945; he wrote a 50-page section in the Summer of 1946; by November 7, 1947 he had completed what he called a "rough draft." The novel was finished by early December 1948. A very ill Orwell had typed the last draft himself. It was a struggle for him to finish the manuscript as much of the time he was in great pain from the tuberculosis which destroyed his lungs. He had been bedridden some of the time (both on Jura – an island off the Scottish western coast – and in London), and spent the first half of 1948 in a Glasgow hospital. In January 1949 he went into a sanatorium in Gloucestershire, and in September 1949 moved to University College Hospital in London where he died January21, 1950.
Ill-health frustrated the work-oriented Orwell but he did manage to turn out some articles and reviews, prepared Coming Up for Air to appear as the first volume in Secker & Warburg's Uniform Edition of his works, and corrected the proofs of Nineteen Eighty-Four, which was published in June 1949. Warburg, who told his staff that the manuscript of Nineteen Eighty-Four was among "the most terrifying books I have ever read...a study in pessimism unrelieved," nonetheless knew he had a winner in publishing terms and the company ran an initial printing of 26,575 copies (six times as many as the first printing of Animal Farm).
Comparison of the proof with the published book reveals various textual differences, including word changes, spelling corrections, and typographical emendations. The most outstanding difference is the title which appears in numbers (i.e., 1984) on the title page of the proof copy but is spelled out (Nineteen Eighty-Four) as a published book.
29.b. George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four: A Novel, London: Secker & Warburg, 1949, green dust jacket, first edition.
PR6029.R8 N49 1949b c. 2 Hay Star
George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four: A Novel, London: Secker & Warburg, 1949, red dust jacket with wraparound band, Evening Standard "Book of the Month," first edition.
PR6029.R8 N49 1949b Hay Star
Nineteen Eighty-Four, since its publication has been called among other things an allegory, a satire, a prophecy, science fiction, a parable, and a fantasy. Orwell, well into completion of the novel, still considered as an alternative title "The Last Man in Europe." The (London) Evening Standard, then still an influential, reputable newspaper, selected the novel as its "Book of the Month" (which a dismissive Orwell said "doesn't mean anything in particular"). The newspapers critic called it "the most important book published since the war." There is a "commonly held opinion that the red dust jacket represents the first issue." That may be, but there is some dispute about this, as there is about the title. There are conflicting interpretations as to why the year 1984 was chosen by Orwell. There are those such as the writer Julian Symons (on the basis of conversations with his friend Orwell) who maintain that the title reflects "the fact that the book was finished in 1948, the last numerals being reversed." More recently, there have been arguments, most notably from Peter Davison (and based on his archival research) which show that in the draft manuscript (see 29e) the year in question was 1980 and then it was 1982, and it became 1984"only because the writing dragged on."
29.c. George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four: A Novel printed wrappers, New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1949, Advance Review Copy, First American Edition.
PR6029.R8 N49 1949 proof Hay Star
Harcourt preferred the title "The Last Man in Europe," or at least the use of the numbers "1984", but ultimately agreed to Nineteen Eighty-Four. The American publishers like their English counterpart were anxious to get Orwell's book into print as soon as possible. Therefore, the American edition was set separately from a copy of Orwell's manuscript. Orwell in the proof stage caught some of the changes made by Harcourt's editors, but there are differences between the original American and British editions. Another problem arose from Harcourt's wooing of the Book-of-the-Month Club. Initially the club agreed to accept the Orwell book only on deletion of some of the more political and theoretical parts of the novel, such as the Appendix on "The Principles of Newspeak" – the substitute for "Old Speak (or Standard English, as we should call it)" whose implementation Orwell explained was "designed to diminish the range of thought." Orwell refused to delete anything and after some brief hesitation the Club agreed to accept the Orwell book as a monthly selection. The American edition was published in June 1949 A year after publication Harcourt had sold 170,000 copies; and 190,000 were distributed in the book-club edition.
29.d George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four: A Novel, London: Secker & Warburg, S.J. Reginald Saunders & Co. Ltd., 1949, first Canadian edition.
PR6029.R8 N49 1949c Hay Star
George Orwell, 1984, Paris: Gallimard, 1950, translated from the English by Amelie Audiberti, first French edition.
PR6029.R8 N4914 1950 Hay Star
George Orwell, 1984: A Novel, New York, A Signet Book published by the New American Library, 1955, paperback.
PR6029.R8 N49 1950 Hay Star
George Orwell, 1984, New York: Plume/New American Library, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 1983, with a special preface by Walter Cronkite, and an Afterword by Erich Fromm.
PR6029.R8 N49 1983 Hay Star
George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four, London: David Campbell Publishers Ltd., 1992, with an introduction by Julian Symons, first Everyman's Library edition (#134).
PR6029.R8 N49 1992 Hay Star
Nineteen Eighty-Fourremains in print in much of the world. It has been translated into many languages. There have been numerous reprintings, often with unnecessary introductions.
At a time when U.S publishers had not yet breached the Commonwealth market, the first Canadian edition (printed in the U.S.) seems to have resulted from an agreement which allowed the American printer to dump a cheaply made edition (probably for a book club) into a foreign (i.e., Canadian) market.
There was much less trouble with this French edition than had been the case with Animal Farm.
The 1955 Signet paperback appeared in May 1955; the Orwell book had been reprinted every 4-5 months since first appearing in July 1950; this is the 13th printing. Altogether in the 25 years since New American Library first brought out Nineteen Eighty-Four in paperback, the company sold over 7,500,000 copies. Signet Giants were first introduced in 1950 just so the company could charge more than the traditional 25 cents for a paperback. The 1955 printing had the then-requisite sexy cover – with a very daringly cut blouse on a very attractive, sexy woman, and on the blouse is pinned prominently a big Anti-Sex League" button.
The 1983 paperback sold for $5.95, and instead of a sexy cover , offered a "sound-bite" introduction by the then well-known news-caster Walter Cronkite (who had anchored a 1983 TV "Special" anticipating the year 1984) and a more thoughtful if dated afterword from the 1961 paperback printing by the then-popular philosopher Erich Fromm (whose name, unlike Cronkite's, is not on the cover).
The Everyman series was revived at the end of the 1980s, and it includes both Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four. This attractively produced book has a thoughtful introduction by Orwell's friend, the writer Julian Symons. Unlike the New American Library editions, Everyman presented the title not in numbers but spelled out, as Orwell had wanted.
29.e. George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four, with a Critical Introduction and Annotations by Bernard Crick, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984.
PR6029.R8 N647 1984d Hay Star
George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four: The Facsimile of the Extant Manuscript, Edited by Peter Davison, with a Preface by Daniel G. Siegal, London: Secker & Warburg, Weston, Massachusetts: M & S Press, 1984.
2-SIZE PR6029.R8 N647 1984b Hay Star
Political-scientist Crick, the author of an award-winning, splendid biography of Orwell, has written a provocative 136-page introduction to Nineteen Eighty-Four. Crick deals thoroughly, often perceptively, with the themes and ideas raised in Nineteen Eighty-Four. He also systematically annotates Orwell's text, using the authoritative one put together by Peter Davison with meticulous bibliographical research for the "Complete Works" (of which Nineteen Eighty-Four is volume 9; it was published later in 1987). Crick deals well with a work he considers "the most misunderstood and most ambitious" of Orwell's work. Siegel, a rare book dealer, in 1969 bought the manuscript, which is about 44% of the preliminary draft of the novel. The manuscript had been donated by Orwell's widow, Sonia, to a charity auction at Christie's. It passed through several hands before Siegel bought it in 1969. [Siegel donated the manuscript to the Brown University Library in 1992.] The typescript for the novel is in the Orwell Archive in London. It is possible as this edition is set to compare the pages (the Davison transcript and the original) on a line-by-line basis. Davison has also usefully footnoted where necessary, and has located the equivalent pages in various printed editions. Davison's scholarship is extremely thorough without being obtrusive. His introduction is very detailed without being overwhelming.
29.f. "Thirty Five Years Hence," "Orwell's Strange World of 1984," Life, July 4,1949, pp.18, 78-86.
2-SIZE PR6029.R8 N5344x 1949 Hay Star
Life magazine on July 4,1949, rather than celebrating the nation's birthday, gave over nearly 10% of its issue to Orwell and Nineteen Eighty-Four. The magazine published some lengthy excerpts from the novel, mostly those dealing with state regimentation of the individual's life. These excerpts were highlighted by a variety of fascinating illustrations of the world depicted in Nineteen Eighty-Four. They were the handiwork of the cartoonist Abner Dean, a well-received and fashionable contributor to the New Yorker.
Life's editors vigorously editorialized against those whose "desire to help the common man wind up trapping him in hopeless misery"; and also managed to get in swipes at those "British laborites" who "revel in austerity and would love to preserve it," as well as "U.S. proponents of the welfare state." Orwell, who considered himself a democratic Socialist, was deeply concerned about those in the American media like Life who used his book to attack Socialism. For him it was "shame-making publicity" and he issued what he called "a sort of dementi."
29.g. Eugene Zamiatin, WE, New York: E. P. Dutton, 1924, first American edition, translated by Gregory Zilboorg.
PG3476.Z34 M913 1924 Hay Star
Eugene Zamiatin, WE, New York: E. P Dutton, 1925, second printing, Gleb Struve's annotated copy.
PG3476.Z34 M913 1924 c. 3 Hay Star
Much has been written about the various individuals whose work influenced Orwell in creating Nineteen Eighty-Four. Among those who have been singled out are Burnham, Aldous Huxley, H.G. Wells, and Zamiatin. The last, a one-time professional engineer, initially turned to writing in his late 20s as an avocation while in exile for his activities in the Russian revolution of 1905. After the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, according to Max Eastman, Zamiatin gave his "energy and ingenuity to writing and to editing literary journals." Zamiatin left Russia in the early 1930s and died in Paris in 1937. We, written in 1921-22, has many parallels with Nineteen Eighty-Four, including the state's extirpation of imagination, the complete regimentation of life, the psychological transformation of the main protagonist. Zamiatin, understanding he had no possibility of publishing We in the USSR, sent his manuscript overseas, and its first appearance in any language was the 1924 American edition. In 1944, Gleb Struve, then teaching Slavonic Studies at London University, introduced Orwell to We via the French translation Nous Autres. Orwell reviewed it for Tribune in early 1946. He particularly found it interesting that as in Nineteen Eighty-Four the state in We practiced "cruelty as an end in itself." Struve had a copy of the English translation but extremely dissatisfied with it, almost entirely rewrote it in the margins of his copy: at one point in exasperation he wrote of a translated phrase "both incorrect and cheap."
29.h. "Nineteen Eighty Four on TV: Stills from the BBC's Production," sheet from Michael Marland, editor, "George Orwell," Times Authors, No.2, Published by Times Newspapers, Ltd. c. 1970.
(A99-120, folder 4, Hay Manuscripts)
"1984," Release Script, January 18,1956, Copy No.24.
(A99-120, folder 11, Hay Manuscripts)
"1984," Campaign Sheet for the Associated British release, 1956.
(A99-120, folder 13, Hay Manuscripts)
"1984," stills from the 1956 and 1984 film versions (A99-120, folder 12 & 14, Hay Manuscripts); "T-shirt" advertising the 1984 film.
(A99-120, museum object, Hay Manuscripts)
The 1954 BBC production was castigated by some U.K. critics because of its brutality – one described it as "a picture of love gone sour, of brutality and misery." A repeat showing, even though some viewers threatened a "switch off strike," drew what was estimated to be "TV's biggest-ever viewing audience" to that date in the U.K. The 1956 movie version of Nineteen Eighty-Four was filmed in England with the aid of a $100,000 subsidy from the U.S. Information Agency, which with unintended irony later marked the project "classified," and would not discuss it except "off the record." The producer, Peter Rathevon, was at the time of the filming RKO's president but the movie was released by Columbia in the U.S. He supposedly put in $500,000. The movie was a critical and commercial flop. It starred Edmond O'Brien (a bit too beefy for the role of Winston Smith) and Jan Sterling (a bit too blond for Julia.) The 1956 script initially ended with Winston Smith, true to U.S. Cold War propaganda, standing up for individual rights, and being shot while shouting "Down with Big Brother." That ending, although filmed, was later discarded in favor of one hewing more closely to the novel. The 1984 production was designed to cash in on the hullabaloo surrounding the fact that the eponymous year had been reached. This production, reasonably faithful to the novel, was a bleak muted film. John Hurt as Winston and Suzanna Hamilton as Julia could be shown in a greater state of undress than their counterparts earlier. This film also did not do well at the box office.
As the novel's eponymous year came, so too did a flood of writing about Orwell, what he meant, what the book meant, etc. A great many people, not familiar with the novel, knew about parts of it that had become integral parts of popular culture (e.g., "Big Brother," "Newspeak," "thoughtcrime"). From the flood of publications I have chosen these because they represent an interesting, useful cross-section.
29.i. "Orwell's World: How Close," World Press Review, December 1983, pp.33-40.
1-SIZE PR6029.R8 Z7455x 1983 Hay Star
The World Press Review interviewed nine editors from across the world and the result is not always predictable views about Orwell, technology, and the future.
Paul Gray, "That Year Is Almost Here," Time, November 23, 1983, pp.46-56.
PR6029.R8 N5332x 1983 Hay Star
Paul Gray may not always have it right, but he does the usual Time job – the depth may not be there but an interesting variety of facts are.
Roy Harris, "The Misunderstanding of
Newspeak," Times Literary Supplement, January 6, 1994, p. 17.
(A99-120, folder 5, Hay Manuscripts)
Harris, a student of language, does an insightful analysis of "Orwellian linguistics," and agrees with "his (deserved) canonization as a prophet of twentieth-century culture."
Alfred Kazin, "'Not One of Us," New York Review of Books, June
14, 1984, pp.13-18.
(A99-120, folder 5, Hay Manuscripts)
A reasoned approach to Orwell's writing, with an emphasis on style and language, Kazin's essay concludes Orwell "knew best what he was against."
Leopold Labedz, "Will Orwell Survive 1984," Encounter, June,
July, 1984, pp. 18-24, 25-34.
1-SIZE PR6029.R8 Z724x 1984 Hay Star
Labedz's two-parter is a detailed attack on those of the contemporary Left who would claim Orwell, who as a result has been the subject of "misrepresentation, ideological reinterpretation, and distortion and corruption."
Norman Podhoretz, "If Orwell Were Alive Today," Harper's, January,
1983, pp. 30-37.
1- SIZE PR6029.R8 Z754x 1983 Hay Star
Podhoretz, on the other hand, is convinced that were Orwell alive he would take "his stand with the neoconservative and against the Left..."
Crispin Aubrey and Paul Chilton, editors, Nineteen Eighty-Four in
1984, London: Comedia Publishing Group, 1983.
PR6029.R8 N643 1983 Hay Star
The thesis of the Aubrey/Chilton effort can be summed up from its equating of Margaret Thatcher with "Big Brother."
Irving Howe, editor, 1984 Revisited: Totalitarianism in Our Century, New
York: Harper Perrenial, 1983, paperback.
PR6029.R8 N5 1983 c.2 Hay Star
Irving Howe's book claims to view Orwell from various points of view, and it does.
C.J. Kuppig, Nineteen Eighty-Four to 1984: A Companion to
the classic novel of our time, New York: Carroll & Graf, 1984.
PR6029.R8 N6433 1984 Hay Star
C. J. Kuppig has put together a series of essays stretching back over two decades, to present various, sometimes contradictory views of the novel and its author.
Reflections on America,1984: An Orwell Symposium, Athens, Georgia: University of Georgia Press, 1986, wrappers.
PR6029.R8 N664 1986 c. 2 Hay Star
The Orwell symposium attempted to place Orwell's ideas in the context of the 1980s U.S.; a good group of scholars did their best – in some cases they succeeded and in others not: Hugh Kenner perceptively deals with the style and substance of Orwell's writing; Joseph Weizenbaum intelligently questions the impact of computers on American society – without denigrating technology (which he applauds while outlining his concerns about its impact and the uses to which the state puts it).
Peter Stansky, editor, On Nineteen Eighty-Four, New York: W.H. Freeman
and Company, 1983, paperback.
PR6029.R8 N644 1983 c. 2 Hay Star
Law, language, sex, technology: all the contributors to Stansky's anthology deal with how Orwell's work helps to understand how such areas of 1980s life have been altered, and why that impact is much greater than had been perceived.
29.j. George Orwell, 1984, Downsview, Ontario, Canada: Listen for
Pleasure Ltd., 1984, abridged for recording by Dawson. Read by Derek Jacobi.
George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four, London: Penguin
Audiobooks, 1996. Read by Timothy West.
It is long past 1984, but interest in Orwell continues unabated. Penguin, which has kept most of Orwell's writing in print over the past few decades, has now undertaken to make the major works available unabridged on tape. There had been abridged recordings in the past.
30. Christ Church, Albany Street, NW 1, Parish
Paper..., February, 1950.
On January 21,1950, Orwell – aged 46 – died of pulmonary
tuberculosis. He wanted to be buried "according to the rites of the Church
of England." As he did not belong to any parish, two of his friends
arranged for a funeral at Christ Church which was near Regents Park. Malcolm
Muggeridge recalled that the Vicar was "excessively parsonical." The
service by all accounts was a "melancholy" affair. Thanks to David
Astor's influence, Orwell was buried as he wished in a "country
churchyard," in an Oxfordshire village where the Astors had an estate. As
Orwell requested he is buried under his own name:
On January 21,1950, Orwell – aged 46 – died of pulmonary tuberculosis. He wanted to be buried "according to the rites of the Church of England." As he did not belong to any parish, two of his friends arranged for a funeral at Christ Church which was near Regents Park. Malcolm Muggeridge recalled that the Vicar was "excessively parsonical." The service by all accounts was a "melancholy" affair. Thanks to David Astor's influence, Orwell was buried as he wished in a "country churchyard," in an Oxfordshire village where the Astors had an estate. As Orwell requested he is buried under his own name:
31. George Orwell, Shooting an Elephant and Other
Essays, London: Secker and Warburg, 1950, first edition.
George Orwell, Shooting an Elephant and Other Essays, New
York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1950,
first American edition.
Orwell had discussed with Warburg an edition of his essays in 1949 while in the hospital. The English edition of 7,000 was published in Fall 1950. The American edition, which as a selling point on its cover identified Orwell as the author of Nineteen Eighty-Four, was initially published in an edition of 4,000 copies. The contents are identical, although the order of the "As I Please" columns is different.
32. George Orwell, "Unpublished Notebooks," World
Review, June, 1950, pp.21-44.
World Review published a special issue dedicated to Orwell. Contributors included Bertrand Russell, Stephen Spender, and Aldous Huxley. World Review also published the diary Orwell kept between May 28, 1940 and August 28, 1941. But as World Review's editor noted "we thinned the manuscript, partly to avoid repetition or to eliminate mere newspaper reports, and partly to omit certain speculations which have since been superseded by our knowledge of the course of events."
33. George Orwell, Such, Such Were the Joys, New York: Harcourt, Brace
and Company, 1953, first American edition. Advance Review Copy with Publisher's slip tipped in at the front.
A second posthumous collection of Orwell's essays, including
some of his best. Almost a third of the book is given over to a vitriolic memoir
of his childhood school days at St. Cyprian's (1911-1916), called "Crossgate's"
in this piece (first published in Partisan Review in 1952). The title is
taken from one of William Blake's Songs of lnnocence:
A second posthumous collection of Orwell's essays, including some of his best. Almost a third of the book is given over to a vitriolic memoir of his childhood school days at St. Cyprian's (1911-1916), called "Crossgate's" in this piece (first published in Partisan Review in 1952). The title is taken from one of William Blake's Songs of lnnocence:
There has been among scholars some debate as to when the article was written, as it is felt that this might reflect on his mood at the time Nineteen Eighty-Four was reworked in manuscript. It would seem that Orwell may have distorted his experiences at school. Whatever his experiences at St. Cyprian's, Orwell dramatically took apart childhood life at private schools, institutions he fervently wished to have closed down.
34. George Orwell, England Your England and Other
Essays, London: Secker & Warburg, 1953, first edition.
The equivalent to Such, Such Were the Joys, but the selection on Orwell's school days was excluded for fear of libel, and was replaced by two excerpts fromThe Road to Wigan Pier.
35. A Collection of Essays by George Orwell, Garden City, New York:
Doubleday & Company, Inc., A Doubleday Anchor Book, 1954, paperback.
The Orwell Reader: Fiction, Essays, and Reportage by George
Orwell, New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1956, with an introduction by Richard Rovere,
Two wide-ranging collections of Orwell's writings. The Collection is one of the earlier "Anchor Books," introduced in 1952 as an up-market, more expensive line of paperbacks "specifically tailored for the needs" of college and graduate students. Anchor Books were highly successful. The Collection anthologized 14 essays including "Why I Write," "Such, Such Were the Joys," "Boys Weeklies," and "Raffles and Miss Blandish." The Reader, which sampled the novels as well, had a splendid introduction by Richard Rovere, a noted American political journalist and literary critic. It has gone through various printings.
36. George Orwell, Essais Choisis, Paris: Gallimard, 1960, translated and
with an introduction by Philip
Thody, first French edition, Number 5 of 35 special copies.
George Orwell, Decline of the English Murder and Other
Essays, London: Penguin Books, 1965.
Typical of the collections of essays which have continued to be issued. The 13 essays in the French edition include Orwell's views on Burnham, literature, death, and "Why I Write." The ten essays in the Penguin collection had been included in Shooting an Elephant, Critical Essays, and England Your England. By 1996 this Penguin book had gone through 15 printings.
37. Sonia Orwell and Ian Angus, editors, Collection Essays, Journalism and
Letters of George Orwell, Volume
III, "As I Please," London: Secker & Warburg,
1968, first edition, advance copy.
There is a misprint on the cover of this advance copy. The printed edition is The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell. This is not the "complete" Orwell, it is only a collection but a very substantial one, 2,000 pages. According to Secker & Warburg, the four volume set comprised over 650,000 words. Each of the four volumes covered a distinct period in his life: Volume 1, "An Age Like This," 1920-1940; Volume II, "My Country Right or Left," 1940-1943; Volume 111, "As I Please," 1943-1945; Volume W, "In Front of Your Nose," 1945-1950. This was an "Anglo-American edition" and is footnoted accordingly. Harcourt published the set in the United States. Both in the U.S. and the U.K. the set generally was well-received critically.
38. Bernard Crick, George Orwell: A Life, London. Penguin Books, 1992,
New Edition (with a new
Preface and new Appendix).
Orwell had left instructions that no biography of him be undertaken. Some years after his death his widow, Sonia Orwell, commissioned Crick to write a biography. They ultimately had a falling-out, but Crick did write a masterly biography of Orwell, which appeared to general acclaim in 1980 in the U.K. and in 1981 in the United States.
The first Penguin edition appeared in 1982. Ten years later this new edition appeared (and another printing of this edition is scheduled for 1997). The telling, well-argued 33-page Appendix (titled "Afterthoughts and Aftermatter") highlights some of the new material, such as medical records, that have appeared since Crick's biography was first published.
But Crick also takes some swipes at various people such as Sonia Orwell. And he also offers some very tough criticism of fellow-biographer Michael Shelden. Though praising Shelden for some of his discoveries, Crick expresses disappointment at some of his emphases. And Crick argues forcefully that there is something "very unusual and unwelcome in Shelden's approach to scholarship."
39. Peter Davison, George Orwell: A Literary Life, Houndmills,
Basingstoke, Hampshire and London:
Macmillan, 1996, first English paperback edition, inscribed
to "Dan and Kathy...publication day: 8
This is an excellent summing up of Davison's unchallenged and unrivaled knowledge of the writings of George Orwell. Peter Davison has spent more than twenty years putting together what will be the most important collection of Orwell's complete writings. There does not seem to be a stone he left unturned, an alley he has not followed to its end. The first nine volumes of the Complete Works "give corrected texts of nine of Orwell's books." Published in hardback (1986-87) by Secker & Warburg and subsequently by Penguin, they are models of bibliography and textual research. The remaining 11 volumes are scheduled to be published in 1997 (they have unfortunately been delayed almost a decade, albeit not because of Davison—there is quite a story here). [The volumes have been published - see PR6029 R8 1997 Hay Star .] Davison's Literary Life reads well and easily, but is dense with information and well thought-out critiques. It is not a biography per se but is an intelligent and complete overview, and even though a relatively short book, resonates in a manner only possible when the author has mastered his subject.
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