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George Orwell

Nineteen Eighty-Four

Publisher: © 1949 Secker & Warburg, GB, London.

The First edition

NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR was published in 1949 by Secker & Warburg. States “First published 1949”. Binding Green calico, top edge purple. Jacket is red with white lettering and with wraparound band, Evening Standard “Book of the Month”. Front flap has price of 10s. Net. 25,575 printed. There is a less preferred green jacket. The first paperback edition was published by Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, in 1954. Since then it has been reprinted in the Penguin edition twenty-six times (and today is January 07, 2002).

By Daniel J. Leab:

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.

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