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George Orwell

Down and Out in Paris and London

Publisher: © 1933 Victor Gollancz Ltd., GB, London.

The First edition

By Daniel J. Leab:

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 and 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.

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