Lot 657: ALS signed "Eric," one page, 4.75 x 6.25, December 19, 1932. Letter to his close friend Eleanor Jacques, apparently arranging a romantic rendezvous as he was known to harbor feelings for her. In part: "In haste. I will meet you as you say on Wednesday, 3:30 pm, outside National Gallery. Also on Friday, I would like to travel down with you…ever ready to start out in the middle of the night as you propose. Let's make quite sure about the time, however, because last time I took the Eclipse I was left in the soup…starting from a different place & at a different time without warning anybody." Addressed on the reverse in his own hand. In fine condition, with a tiny area of paper loss to the left edge.
This letter dates to a defining moment in Orwell's life—his adoption of the pseudonym 'George Orwell.' His first full-length work, Down and Out in Paris and London, had been accepted for publication in 1932 and was soon to be released. Afraid of embarrassing his family with the content of the memoir—a description of his life as a 'tramp' on the fringes of poverty—Eric Blair wrote to his agent on November 19, 1932, suggesting four names he thought were suitable for a nom de plume, one of which was 'George Orwell.' Down and Out was released on January 9, 1933, and from then on Eric Blair was 'George Orwell'—even to himself, generally opting to sign with his pseudonym rather than his given name.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 453
Sunday, 17th May 2015
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