London: Victor Gollancz, 1937. FIRST EDITION. Octavo (22 x 15 cm), pp.viii; 264. With 32 black and white photographic plates. Not including the foreword, which appeared in the first Left Book Club edition. In publisher's blue cloth with yellow titles to spine. With original light yellow dust-jacket with titles to spine and front cover. Some spotting to prelims and edges; heavy tobacco scent. Very slight reading lean. Chipping to jacket corners and head and tail of spine; spine lightly browned. Very good indeed. Orwell's famous sociological analysis of working class life in the bleak industrial heartlands of Northern England prior to the Second World War, commissioned by Victor Gollancz in January 1936. Orwell received a £500 advance (two years' income for him at the time), and researched the book by spending the harsh winter of 1936 living in Barnsley, Sheffield and Wigan; three urban areas of heavy industry producing coal, steel and textiles respectively. The book was chosen by Gollancz for its popular Left Book Club, which issued most of the copies printed (over 44,000) in 1937, making the first Gollancz trade edition of just 2,150 copies very rare, especially in a jacket. Item #49532
Fenwick, G; George Orwell. A Bibliography [A.5b], (1998).
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