New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., 1968. 1st US Edition. 4 vols., octavo, publisher's blue cloth, spine and upper boards gilt, original printed dust jackets.
"I do not think one can assess a writer’s motives without knowing something of his early development" (George Orwell, Why I Write). First edition of this complete set of the essays, journalism, and letters of George Orwell. Carefully selected by Orwell’s second wife Sonia, and co-edited with Orwell authority and scholar Ian Angus, the multivolume work collects all of the influential novelist and critic's personal essays, reviews, articles, and letters, publishing them together for the first time. Arranged in chronological order and comprising work he wrote between the ages of 17 and 46 (the year of his death), the set provides a portrait of sorts of a writer who wished to remain unknown other than by his work. Sonia (née Brownell) was Orwell’s "final muse," the inspiration for Julia in the novel 1984, and a key figure in the mythology of the towering writer’s final years. Black-and-white frontispiece photo of Orwell along with a page of facsimile manuscript to each volume; with a note on the editing, appendices and indexes. Published in the UK the same year. Clipped dust jacket with fading to spines, chipping and rubbing to extremities, shallow loss to spine heads. Very good. Item #5348