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Burmese Days by George Orwell, 1935, 1st British Edition, Custom Leather Binding



Burmese Days by George Orwell

First British Edition, Published by Victor Gollancz Ltd., London, 1935

Custom Full Leather Binding

FINE Condition

Binding Details:  Fine contemporary full morocco leather binding with raised bands to the spine with gold gilt ruling, titles, and decorative central motifs There is gold gilt ruling to the borders of the front and rear covers, marbled endpapers, hand-sewn silk endbands, and the top page edges are gold gilted. The original cloth spine is bound in at the rear of the book.

Book Details:  This is is the first British edition of George Orwell’s critically acclaimed first novel “Burmese Days" published by Victor Gollancz Ltd. in 1935. The book recounts Orwell’s five years' service as a police officer in the Indian Imperial Police in Burma 1922–1927 and is an honest and evocative novel based on life in upper Burma when Britain's rule was still unchallenged. The novel was initially rejected by British publishers due to concerns that his caustic critique of colonialism might be considered libelous to those portrayed. Orwell was able to get the book published in America in 1934 by Harper & Brothers. The Gollancz edition is the First British with the character’s names changed to avoid libel cases. The following are some of the reviews of the book when it was published:

"This is a superior novel, not less so because it tells an absorbing story. Orwell has made his people and his background vividly real. And he knows of what he writes." (The New York Times)

“...can take an honorable place beside A Passage to India.” (The Saturday Review)

"an admirable novel. It is a crisp, fierce, and almost boisterous attack on the Anglo-Indian. The author loves Burma, he goes to great length to describe the vices of the Burmese and the horror of the climate, but he loves it, and nothing can palliate for him, the presence of a handful of inefficient complacent public school types who make their living there I liked it and recommend it to anyone who enjoys a spate of efficient indignation, graphic description, excellent narrative, excitement, and irony tempered with vitriol." (The New Statesman)

The book measures 7.5” x 5.25” with 318 pages.

Condition Report:  The binding is in FINE condition. Internally, the book is generally clean with some spotting to the preliminary pages. There are no bookplates or signs of previous ownership. Overall, this is a full leather custom binding that houses the critically acclaimed first novel by George Orwell. 

A photograph of the binding appears in the photo section of the listing.