Down and Out in Paris and London

ORWELL, George. Down and Out in Paris and London.

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ORWELL, George. Down and Out in Paris and London. London: Victor Gollancz, 1933.

8vo., original black publisher's cloth, backstrip lettered in yellow; lacking the exceptionally rare dust jacket; pp. [iv], 5-288; book with slight shelf lean; bumped and slightly warped at edges; a couple of small nicks and chips to spine, with a little loss of cloth; internally a rather clean example, some pencil markings now erased from the endpapers; contemporary ownership name and date in pencil to ffep; previous bookseller sticker partially removed from rear paste-down; a very good copy, still, of a book often found browned or foxed; a surprisingly clean example.
First edition.
In 1927, George Orwell [Eric Blair] resigned from his position as a policeman in Burma and returned to London, where he took rooms in Portabello. During his time in the city, he undertook a number of 'tramping' expeditions, intentionally sleeping rough and collecting material for an article which was later published in his essay The Spike in 1931. In 1928 Orwell moved to Paris. Whilst there he fell ill, and had many of his belongings stolen. In 1933 Down and Out in Paris and London was published, inspired by many of his experiences over the previous few years.
His first full-length book, the story is part fiction, and part autobiography, and was initially rejected for publication by both Jonathan Cape and T. S. Eliot, the latter who wrote to Orwell "We did find it of very great interest, but I regret to say that it does not appear to me possible as a publishing venture." Dejected, Orwell put the manuscript to one side, but it was discovered by his friend Mabel Fierz, who offered it to Gollancz. It was the first work which Eric Blair published under the pseudonym 'George Orwell', and thus the name used for most of his reportoire thereafter, was born.

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