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George Orwell

Burmese Days

Publisher: © 1935 Victor Gollancz Ltd., GB, London.

The First edition

By Daniel J. Leab:

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. ...

In 1944 Penguin first published Burmese Days. It (as did the 1949 Secker and 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.

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