Coming Up for Air.London: Victor Gollancz Ltd, 1939 Stock Code: 122896
NotesFirst edition, first impression, in the scarce dust jacket. This is one of the hardest of Orwell's novels to find in the dust jacket. One of only 2,000 copies printed, it was the last of Orwell's novels to bear the Gollancz imprint. Gollancz disapproved of the political aspects of the novel, which included a parody of an LBC meeting, and Orwell was in no doubt that "some of Gollancz's Communist friends have been at him to drop me" (Dudley Edwards, p. 289). However, to Orwell''s surprise, it was published without any major changes.
Provenance: from the publisher's archive of Victor Gollancz (1893-1967), one of the revolutionary figures of 20th-century publishing. Everything about Gollancz was distinctive, from his business practices - he flouted convention, backed newcomers extravagantly, and held unique sway over the Book Society choices - to the appearance of his books. The famous yellow jackets, a collaborative design between Gollancz himself and the typographer Stanley Morison, bristle with blurbs, recommendations, and reviews in black and magenta. Prior to its acquisition by Peter Harrington, the archive was shelved together from first publication, though occasionally moved from warehouse to warehouse over the decades. The copies were retained by Gollancz as "archive" or "file" copies and most are stamped in ink with rubber stamps, usually on the front panel of the dust jacket, the front free endpaper, and the title page.
Octavo. Original blue cloth, title to spine in blue. With the dust jacket.
Publisher's file copy, with their inkstamp to front free endpaper and front panel of jacket. Spine slightly faded, couple of spots to covers, light foxing to edges; an excellent copy in the exceptionally nice, crisp, jacket, spine panel with a faint mark and just very mildly toned.
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