Item #15313 NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR. A Novel. George Orwell, Eric Arthur Blair.


London: Secker & Warburg, 1950. Original pale aqua cloth printed in purplish-red, with dust jacket.

Second British Edition of Orwell's last, and many would say greatest, novel.

It is a nightmare story of totalitarianism of the future and one man's hopeless struggle against it and final defeat by acceptance. Winston Smith, the hero, has no heroic qualities, only a wistful longing for truth and decency. But in a social system where there is no privacy and to have unorthodox ideas incurs the death penalty, he knows that there is no hope for him... The book is a warning of the possibilities of the police state brought to perfection, where power is the only thing that counts, where the past is constantly being modified to fit the present, and where the official language, "Newspeak," progressively narrows the range of ideas and independent thought [Oxford C.E.L.]

A topic just as relevant today as it was when the Soviets were consolidating control over Eastern Europe.

The UK printing history is recorded on the title verso, as follows: "First published 1949 | Reprinted 1950 | Reprinted 1950 | Reset 1950". Thus this is the fourth overall printing, but the first to be reset (i.e. a new edition -- with the text ending on page 318 rather than 312).

This volume is in very good condition (cloth generally mottled); the dust jacket, which at the bottom of the rear flap reads "Fourth Impression" and "10s. net" (and varies on the rear cover and both flaps from the first edition jacket), is in very good-plus condition, quite clean but with some wear at the extremities. Fenwick A.12i (which indicates that this volume was printed in France but bound in London -- but the title verso disagrees, recording the same British printer and binder as for the first edition); #13 in the Modern Library list of the 100 Best Novels of the 20th Century. Item #15313

Price: $525.00