Orwell Collection

My first Orwell was a battered copy of Down and Out in Paris and London found in a secondhand bookstore for a dollar; it is still on my shelf. I read Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four at school and over the next few years bought my own copies. Decline of the English Murder and Other Essays, Homage to Catalonia and a favourite collection, Inside the Whale have been with me from this time at university too. I steadily added to my collection with many books being bought inexpensively online, including quality first editions, often from far afield, some in much sought after dust jackets. My Orwell library has become extensive…obsessively extensive perhaps. It certainly is a kind of compulsion. 😉



First Editions

What is the curious attraction of first editions? There are a few Orwell’s that I covet AND actually have some chance of finding and buying. Inside the Whale, which only had a 1000 copies printed (and some of those were destroyed during “The Blitz” in London) is possible – maybe (update – I have procured a copy from a collector in South Africa). Down and Out in Paris and London on the other hand, I am unlikely to ever own considering the price asked for Orwell’s first book. A signed copy of any first edition will sell for an astronomical price and is simply not affordable. Having said all that, I do have a few firsts, including both the American and UK editions of Nineteen Eighty-Four which were printed less than a week apart and Animal Farmwhich had a very small print run. No dust jackets though. This link will give you an idea of the amount requested for Orwell’s books with dust jackets, especially works published in the 1930s.

First Editions


First Editions

The Road to Wigan Pier,  Left Book Club edition, February 1937 (45,150 printed)

Inside the WhaleVictor Gollancz, 11 March 1940 (1000 printed of which an unknown number were destroyed in The Blitz)

The Lion and the Unicorn: Socialism and the English Genius, Searchlight Books No. 1, Secker and Warburg, February 1941 (Only 5,000 or maybe 7,500 printed)

Homage to CataloniaSecker and Warburg, 1938 (1,250 copies printed)

Animal Farm, Secker and Warburg, May 1945, (Only 4000 printed)

Animal Farm, Harcourt and Brace, 1946 (50,000 printed in USA)


Critical EssaysSecker and Warburg, February 1946 (Only 3,028 printed)

The English People, HarperCollins, August 1947 (26,000 printed)

Nineteen Eighty-FourSecker and Warburg, June 1949 (26,575 printed in UK)

Nineteen Eighty-Four, Harcourt and Brace, June 1949 (20,000 printed in USA)

Shooting an Elephant and other essays, Secker and Warburg, 5 October 1950

England Your England and other essaysSecker and Warburg, 1953

The Orwell Reader: Fiction, Essays, and Reportage, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1956

Collected EssaysSecker and Warburg, 1961 (printed)

Orwell’s Fiction and Non Fiction

My bookshelves include many battered copies of Orwell’s fiction and non fiction in various editions with a few ebooks too. Peter Davison edited The Complete Works of George Orwella twenty-volume collection that includes Orwell’s standard published library and eleven chronological volumes of non fiction* with a further supplementary book of ‘lost works’ published a decade later. I have managed to collect all but four of these volumes. It really does make the other books superfluous on one level but then again, it is useful to have different collections/arrangements, especially of Orwell’s essays and journalism.

All Art Is Propaganda: Critical Essays

Animal Farm

Decline of the English Murder and Other Essays

Down and Out in Paris and London,

Facing Unpleasant Facts: Narrative Essays

George Orwell: The Complete Poetry, Finlay, 2015, 82pp.

Homage to Catalonia

Inside the Whale Other and Other Essays

Keep the Aspidistra Flying

Nineteen Eighty-Four, Black Inc, 2017, 322pp

Orwell and PoliticsPenguin, 2001, 560pp.

Orwell and the DispossessedPenguin, 2001, 448pp.

Orwell in Spain, Penguin, 2001, 416pp.

Orwell’s England, Penguin, 2001, 432pp.

Orwell: The Observer YearsAtlantic, 2005, 256pp.

Orwell in Tribune: “As I Please” and other writings, Methuen Publishing, 2007, 240pp.

Orwell: The War Broadcasts, Penguin, 1995, 336pp.

Orwell: The War Commentaries, Penguin, 1995, 272pp.

Seeing Things as They Are: Selected Journalism and Other WritingsHarvill Secker, 2014, 496pp.

Unwelcome Guerrilla: George Orwell and the New Statesman – An Anthology, Manchester Free Press, 1985, 95pp.

Sonia Brown and Ian Angus eds., The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell, 

  • An Age Like This 1920–1940 – Volume 1, Nonpareil Books, 2000, 574pp
  • My Country Right or Left 1940–1943 – Volume 2, Nonpareil Books, 2007, 477pp
  • As I Please, 1943–1945 – Volume 3Nonpareil Books, 2000, 435pp
  • In Front of Your Nose, 1945–1950 – Volume 4, Nonpareil Books, 2000, pp


The Complete Works of George Orwell 

Down and Out in Paris and London, The Complete Works of George Orwell – Volume 1, Secker & Warburg, 1997

Burmese DaysThe Complete Works of George Orwell – Volume 2, Secker & Warburg, 1997

A Clergyman’s DaughterThe Complete Works of George Orwell – Volume 3, Secker & Warburg, 1997

The Road to Wigan PierThe Complete Works of George Orwell – Volume 5, Secker & Warburg, 1997

Coming Up for AirThe Complete Works of George Orwell – Volume 7, Secker & Warburg, 1997


A Kind of Compulsion: 1903–1936, The Complete Works of George Orwell – Volume 10, Secker & Warburg, 2000

Facing Unpleasant Facts: 1937–1939, The Complete Works of George Orwell – Volume 11, Secker & Warburg, 2000

A Patriot After All: 1940–1941, The Complete Works of George Orwell – Volume 12, Secker & Warburg, 2000

All Propaganda Is Lies: 1941–1942, The Complete Works of George Orwell – Volume 13, Secker & Warburg, 2001

Keeping Our Little Corner Clean: 1942–1943, The Complete Works of George Orwell – Volume 14, Secker & Warburg, 2001

Two Wasted Years: 1943, The Complete Works of George Orwell – Volume 15, Secker & Warburg, 2001

I Have Tried to Tell the Truth: 1943–1944, The Complete Works of George Orwell – Volume 16, Secker & Warburg, 2001

I Belong to the Left: 1945, The Complete Works of George Orwell – Volume 17, Secker & Warburg, 2001

Smothered Under Journalism: 1946, The Complete Works of George Orwell – Volume 18, Secker & Warburg, 2001

It Is What I Think: 1947–1948, The Complete Works of George Orwell – Volume 19, Secker & Warburg, 2002

Our Job Is to Make Life Worth Living: 1949–1950, The Complete Works of George Orwell – Volume 20, Secker & Warburg, 2002

The Lost Orwell: Being a Supplement to the Complete Works of George Orwell, Timewell Press, 2006

*There is a Kindle version at a bargain price, The Collected Non Fiction.


Uniform Series

Burmese Days, Secker & Warburg, 1948

Coming Up for Air, Secker & Warburg, 1948

Keep the Aspidistra Flying, Secker & Warburg, 1954

Homage to Catalonia, Secker & Warburg, 1954

Other Works

London, Jack, Introduction by George Orwell, For Love of Life, Paul Elek, 1946

Cole, G.D.H.; Laski, Harold; Orwell, George; Sutherland, Mary,Victory or Vested Interest?, Routledge, 1942

Worsley, T. C., Introduction by George Orwell, The End of the “Old School Tie”, Searchlight Books No. 5, Secker and Warburg, 1941

Books about Orwell

Anytime I saw a book about Orwell I read it. Usually, it was a library or secondhand copy. My collection grew. Quite a few of these reference works are first editions, although they have no great monetary value it is their content; it is the assemblage of so many resources that enriches. This collection of non fiction about Orwell has quite a few books that I am looking forward to be reading or completing. Those written by people who knew Orwell, sometimes when he was still Eric Blair, are of particular interest.

Agathocleous, Tanya  George Orwell: Battling Big Brother. New York: Oxford University Press. 2000.

Bleumel, Kristin, George Orwell and the Radical Eccentrics: Intermodernism in Literary London, Palgrave Macmillan, 2004, 246pp.

Bound, Phillip, Orwell and Marxism: The Political and Cultural Thinking of George Orwell, I.B.Tauris, 2009

Bowker, Gordon, Inside George OrwellPalgrave Macmillan, 2006, 512pp.

Brennan, Michael G., George Orwell and Religion, Bloomsbury Academic, 2016, 208pp.

Brander, Laurence, George Orwell, Longmans, Green & Co, 1954, 212pp.

Buddicom, Jacintha, Eric & Us: A Remembrance of George Orwell, Frewin, 1974

Buddicom, Jacintha & Venables, Dione, Eric and Us: The Postscript Edition, Finlay Publisher, 2006,

Colls, Robert, English Rebel, Oxford University Press, 2013, 330pp.

Connolly, Cyril, Enemies of Promise, University of Chicago Press, 2008, 288pp.

Coppard, Audrey & Crick, Bernard, Orwell Remembered, Ariel Books, 1984, 287pp.

Crick, Bernard, George Orwell: A Life, London: Secker & Warburg. 1980. 473pp.

Cushman, Thomas and Rodden, John (editors), George Orwell: Into the Twenty-First Century. Paradigm. 2004. 316pp.

Davison, Peter, George Orwell: Diaries, Liveright, 2010, 544pp

Davison, Peter, George Orwell: A Life in Letters, Liveright. 2013. 560pp

Davison, Peter, George Orwell: A Literary Life. Macmillan. 1996. 175pp

Fenwick, Gillian, George Orwell: a Bibliography, Oak Knoll Press & St. Paul’s Bibliographies, 1998

Fyvel, T.R, George Orwell: A Personal Memoir, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1982, 221pp.

Gross, Miriam (ed), The World of George Orwell, Weidenfield and Nicholson, 1971

Heppenstall, Rayner, Four Absentees, 1960, Barrie & Rockliff, 206pp.

Hitchens, Christopher, Orwell’s Victory, Penguin, 2002, 208pp.

Hollis, Christopher, A Study of George Orwell: The Man and His Works, Racehorse Publishing, 2017

Hopkinson, Tom, George Orwell. London: Longmans Green. 1953. 40pp.

Marks, Peter, George Orwell the Essayist Literature, Politics and the Periodical Culture, 2011

Meyers, Jeff, George Orwell: The Critical Heritage. London and Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1975. Reprinted 1997 and 2001.

Meyers, Jeff, George Orwell: An Annotated Bibliography of Criticism. New York and London: Garland, 1977

Meyers, Jeff, Orwell: Wintry Conscience of a Generation. New York and London: Norton; Toronto: Viking-Penguin, 2000

Meyers, Valerie, George Orwell, St. Martin’s Press, 1991

Meyers, Jeffrey and Valerie, George Orwell : an annotated bibliography of criticism New York : Garland Pub., 1977

Milner, Andrew, The Road to St. Kilda Pier: George Orwell and the Politics of the Australian Left, Stained Wattle Press, 1984, 92pp.

Newsinger, John, Orwell’s Politics, Palgrave Macmillan,2002, 190pp

Quill and Brush, George Orwell – First Edition and Price Guide, Quill and Brush, 2004

Reilly, Patrick, George Orwell: The Age’s Adversary, Palgrave Macmillan UK, 1986, 316pp.

Richards, Vernon, ed., George Orwell at Home (and Among the Anarchists): Essays and Photographs, Freedom Press, 1998, 76pp.

Ricks, Thomas E., Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom 2017, 352pp.

Rodden, John, The Cambridge Companion to George Orwell. Cambridge University Press.

Rodden, John, George Orwell: The Politics of Literary Reputation, Routledge, 2002, 532pp.

Rodden, John, The Unexamined OrwellUniversity of Texas Press, 2011, 403pp.

Shelden, Michael, Orwell: The Authorised Biography,  London: Heinemann. 1991. 564pp.

Shelden, Michael, Friends of Promise: Cyril Connolly and the World of HorizonHarperCollins Publishers, 1989, 254pp

Slater, Ian, The Road to Airstrip One, McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2003, 312pp.

Small, Christopher, For Love of LifeRoad to Miniluv: George Orwell, the State and God,

Stansky, Peter & Abrahams, William, The Unknown Orwell, Alfred A. Knopf, 1972. 316pp.

Stansky, Peter & Abrahams, William, Orwell: The TransformationAlfred A. Knopf, 1979, 302pp.

Sutherland, JohnOrwell s Nose: A Pathological Biography, Reaktion Books, 2016, 240pp.

Taylor, DJ, Orwell – The Life, Vintage Books, 2003, 496pp.

Thompson, John, Orwell’s London4th Estate, 1984, 120pp.

West, W.J., The larger evils: Nineteen eighty-four – the truth behind the satire, Canongate Press, 1992, 207pp.

Williams, Raymond, Orwell, Fontana, 1971, 76pp.

Woodcock, George, The Crystal Spirit: A Study of George Orwell, Little, Brown and Company. 1966. 366pp.


British Pamphleteers Volume 1: From the 16th Century the 18th Century, Allan Wingate, 1948

Glover, Dennis, The Last Man in Europe – A Novel, Black Inc., 2017

MacMillan, Duncan & Icke, Robert, 1984, Oberon Modern Plays, 2013, 96pp.

Unpublished Notebooks, World Review, June 1950

Spurling, Hilary, The Girl from the Fiction Department: A Portrait of Sonia Orwell, Counterpoint LLC, 2003, 193pp.

Robert Bierman, Keep the Aspidistra Flying, 1997 (DVD – 101 mins)

Wilkinson, Gary, Wildflower, 2014 (DVD – 15 mins)


Random Posts