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Nineteen Eighty-Four

Nineteen Eighty-Four


Volume 9 of The Complete Works of George Orwell

‘It was a bright cold day in April and the clocks were striking thirteen.’ This is the opening sentence of the most influential novel of the century, in English or in any of the sixty or more languages which boast a translation. Nineteen Eighty-Four has been described as chilling, absorbing, satirical, momentous, prophetic and terrifying. It is all these things, and more.

Not only does the novel have a ferocious impact, it has also made an irreplaceable contribution to the language – Big Brother, Newspeak, Thought Police, Unperson and Doublethink are just a few words it introduced.

Originally entitled ‘The Last Man in Europe’, Nineteen Eighty-Four also proved to be Orwell’s last book, the physical effort of typing up the final draft leading to his eventual collapse from TB that had dogged him since before the outbreak of the Second World War. He lived long enough to see it become an immediate bestseller on both sides of the Atlantic on publication in June 1949.

For this edition the text had been meticulously edited according to Orwell’s wishes, including the re-instatement of Winston Smith’s controversial acceptance of the equation ‘2+2=5’.

About the author

George Orwell

Eric Arthur Blair (1903-1950), better known by his pen-name, George Orwell, was born in India, where his father worked for the Civil Service. An author and journalist, Orwell was one of the most prominent and influential figures in twentieth-century literature. His unique political allegory Animal Farm was published in 1945, and it was this novel, together with the dystopia of Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), which brought him world-wide fame. His novels and non-fiction include Burmese Days, Down and Out in Paris and London, The Road to Wigan Pier and Homage to Catalonia.
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