Lot 683: TLS signed "George," one page, 6.75 x 8, Barnhill, Isle of Jura, Argyllshire letterhead, October 23, 1947. Letter to the novelist Anthony Powell, editor of the Times Literary Supplement, declining to review a new edition of George Gissing's A Life's Morning. In full: "Re. the Gissing book—I'd love to do it but I'm really afraid I must say no. The thing is I'm not only struggling with this book of mine but shall also be pretty busy while in London. I've got all manner of time-wasting things to do, and in addition I've been landed with another long article which I can't dodge out of. I hope to at any rate break the back of it while in London, but that means not undertaking anything else. I'm sorry—I'd much rather have done the Gissing article. I'm coming up on the 7th and will ring you up. Winter is setting in here, rather dark and gloomy. Already we light the lamps about half past five. However we've got a lot more coal here than we should have in London, and this house is a lot more weather proof than my flat, where the water was coming through the roof in twelve places last winter. Please give my love to Violet." In fine condition, with central vertical and horizontal folds.In 1946, Orwell stepped away from his overwhelming amount of journalistic work—he contributed to the Tribune, The Observer, the Manchester Evening News, and countless small-circulation political and literary magazines—and moved to the solitary Barnhill farmhouse on the remote Scottish island of Jura to focus his full attention on writing Nineteen Eighty-Four. He wrote most of the famed dystopian novel while living there in 1947 and 1948. A great admirer of Gissing, Orwell had written a piece in 1943 praising his work and would again pen an essay in 1948 on the occasion of another re-release. Orwell's affinity for Gissing's gritty naturalism and focus on working-class politics are also clearly reflected in his own work, and Nineteen Eighty-Four is no exception. In addition to the scarcity of any Orwell autographic material, the exceptional content of this letter elevates its desirability even further.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 466
Wednesday, 9th December 2015
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