Inside the Whale
and Other Essays.London, Victor Gollancz Ltd, 1940 Stock Code: 124300
NotesFirst edition, first impression, one of 1,000 copies printed. The publisher's retained copy with their rubber stamp to the half title leaf. Orwell may well have been the finest essayist England produced in the entire century. Despite his radical credo in his essays he remains the last of the great Victorian prose stylists. Besides the title essay, this book prints his notable studies of Charles Dickens and boy's weeklies. A scarce book in any condition - copies as nice as this are rare.
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 black cloth, titles to spine gilt. With the dust jacket. Housed in a quarter morocco green solander box by the Chelsea Bindery.
Publisher's file copy, with their inkstamp to the half-title, and pencilled mark to front free endpaper and front panel of the jacket. Very mild spotting to boards, an exceptionally nice copy in the nicked, little tanned and lightly rubbed dust jacket.
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