George Orwell Materials at Brown University Library

The Manuscript of Nineteen Eighty-Four
Gift of Daniel G. Siegel, Class of 1957


Provenance of the manuscript:

The manuscript of Orwell's last novel is the only substantial  Orwell manuscript  not to be destroyed by the author.  Sonia Orwell, the author's widow, donated it to a charity auction run by Christie, Manson & Woods in London on June 11, 1952.  The manuscript was purchased by Scribner's of New York, sold to a private collector and purchased back by Scribner's 17 years later in 1969.  Daniel Siegel purchased the manuscript from Scribner's in June 1969.   In 1984 Mr. Siegel published the manuscript in a facsimile edition edited by the noted Orwell scholar, Peter Davison.    In 1992 Mr. Siegel gave the manuscript to the Brown University Library.    In his preface to the facsimile Mr. Siegel writes:

The collective survival of the world's books and manuscripts is a transcendent act.  Without books, knowledge becomes arbitrary, truths are disparate and unrelated.  Without books, memory fails.  Any collection of books which justifies and confirms only the present truth is, in the wrong hands, or in the long run, dangerous.  Regardless of how random any collection might be, its very existence is an indication of a society's political health.  Like one of Charrington's trinkets, the existence of this manuscript is a good sign.

Description of the Manuscript:

The surviving manuscript of1984 contains about 44% of the published text and represents four stages of composition from the summer of 1946 to 1948.   One hundred ninety seven pages survive, of which 183 are handwritten and 14 are typewritten.  

  catalog record for the facsimile | catalog record for the manuscript


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