4umi George Orwell : 1984


The book

© 1949, the Estate of Eric Blair.
First American edition
First American edition.

First published 8 June 1949 by Secker and Warburg, London. Edition of 25,575 copies. The imprint states: “First published 1949”. Binding: green calico-textured cloth on boards, purple top edge. Dustjackets printed in both red and green versions.

First edition
The first edition.

The first edition in the United States was published by Harcourt, Brace and Company, New York, on 13 June 1949. Edition of 20,000 copies. The imprint states: “First American Edition”. Binding: grey calico cloth on boards. Followed by a “Book of the Month Club” edition which sold 190,000 copies by March 1952.

Also see a scan of the first page of the manuscript.

The movies

In 1954 the BBC made an adaptation for television with Peter Cushing playing Winston Smith. The watchful eyes of Big Brother were portrayed by the design department's Roy Oxley. The programme caused a stir, and questions were asked in Parliament.

Video cover, from a poster for the movie.

But at around the time and location the author had in mind, April to June 1984 in London, a major blockbuster motion picture was shot, starring John Hurt as Smith and Richard Burton as O'Brien, his last role, with music by the Eurythmics. The film was released in Europe 14 November 1984 and the US 17 February the following year—or so we are told. What is certain the tagline “Big Brother is watching you” has grown into popular culture, a common household name and far beyond.

See a thoughtful trailer (02:13) and a Youtube clip (02:39), check out some audioclips from the movie, and hear singer Annie Lennox convincingly imitating an exchange of fire by machine guns in a sample (00:16 but very stereo) from the soundtrack with these suggestive titles, again leading to bans in various countries and other disruptions of public and local order:

Cover of the soundtrack on vinyl.
- --oOo-- -
 George Orwell A Hanging "Rudyard Kipling" Notes on Nationalism The Prevention of Literature Politics and the English Language Why I write Reflections on Gandhi Animal Farm 1984 Chapter 1 of Part 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 1 of Part 2 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 1 of Part 3 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Appendix Poetry