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George Orwell
Item Details
Description
ALS signed "George," three pages on two sheets, 6.5 x 7.75, March 8, 1948. Letter to novelist Anthony Powell, written while recovering from a diagnosis of tuberculosis at Hairmyres Hospital. He describes his reviewing work for the Times Literary Supplement and reports on improved health having embarked on a course of streptomycin. In part: "I'm…doing another book for the TLS (a rather dreadful anthology of recent American stuff called 'Spearhead')…I didn't suppose they'd send me the Mark Twain book. (By the way, after many years of trying I have at last got hold of a very rare book, Van Wyck Brooks's 'The Tragedy of Mark Twain,' which he afterwards called in & reissued in a garbled version.) I am a lot better. I am having a drug called streptomycin, which is a novelty in this country but is thought to be very good. It appears to be doing its stuff, though it's too early for them to say for certain. The doctor says that my lung is healing up fast & that I ought to be out & about by the summer. Of course I should probably have to continue having treatment…I've arranged to bring out my uniform edition at the rate of a volume a year, & at present I have got six books to go in it, as I have suppressed several. I hope there'll be others later…I had always wanted to have something very sort of chaste but solid in blue buckram for about 5/-. I notice both Evelyn Waugh's & Graham Greene's uniform editions are very cheap-looking. They don't seem to be able to make a book now with covers that don't bend. It makes me very envious to see American books." In fine condition, with a few light stains.
The review of 'Spearhead' that Orwell describes in the opening lines appeared in the Times Literary Supplement on April 17, 1948, and offered a long and wide-ranging review of current American poetry and prose. Orwell took sideswipes at, among others, William Carlos Williams and e.e. cummings, and noted that 'Henry Miller's favourite verb has been laboriously blacked out by hand, over a stretch of fifty pages.' Admitted to Hairmyres Hospital while working on the iconic novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, Orwell became the first patient to receive streptomycin in Scotland; although his health at first showed improvement, he suffered severe side effects and the treatment had to be suspended after fifty days. In July, he returned to his solitary Barnhill farmhouse on the remote Scottish island of Jura, where he completed the manuscript of Nineteen Eighty-Four. Orwell's autograph is scarce in any form, and this lengthy letter boasts especially desirable publishing content.
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George Orwell

Estimate $12,000 - $15,000
Jun 12, 2019
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Starting Price $1,000
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Ships from Boston, MA, United States
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0503: George Orwell

Est. $12,000 - $15,000Starting Price $1,000
Fine Autographs & Artifacts
Jun 12, 2019 3:00 PM EDT
Buyer's Premium 25%

Lot 0503 Details

Description
...
ALS signed "George," three pages on two sheets, 6.5 x 7.75, March 8, 1948. Letter to novelist Anthony Powell, written while recovering from a diagnosis of tuberculosis at Hairmyres Hospital. He describes his reviewing work for the Times Literary Supplement and reports on improved health having embarked on a course of streptomycin. In part: "I'm…doing another book for the TLS (a rather dreadful anthology of recent American stuff called 'Spearhead')…I didn't suppose they'd send me the Mark Twain book. (By the way, after many years of trying I have at last got hold of a very rare book, Van Wyck Brooks's 'The Tragedy of Mark Twain,' which he afterwards called in & reissued in a garbled version.) I am a lot better. I am having a drug called streptomycin, which is a novelty in this country but is thought to be very good. It appears to be doing its stuff, though it's too early for them to say for certain. The doctor says that my lung is healing up fast & that I ought to be out & about by the summer. Of course I should probably have to continue having treatment…I've arranged to bring out my uniform edition at the rate of a volume a year, & at present I have got six books to go in it, as I have suppressed several. I hope there'll be others later…I had always wanted to have something very sort of chaste but solid in blue buckram for about 5/-. I notice both Evelyn Waugh's & Graham Greene's uniform editions are very cheap-looking. They don't seem to be able to make a book now with covers that don't bend. It makes me very envious to see American books." In fine condition, with a few light stains.
The review of 'Spearhead' that Orwell describes in the opening lines appeared in the Times Literary Supplement on April 17, 1948, and offered a long and wide-ranging review of current American poetry and prose. Orwell took sideswipes at, among others, William Carlos Williams and e.e. cummings, and noted that 'Henry Miller's favourite verb has been laboriously blacked out by hand, over a stretch of fifty pages.' Admitted to Hairmyres Hospital while working on the iconic novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, Orwell became the first patient to receive streptomycin in Scotland; although his health at first showed improvement, he suffered severe side effects and the treatment had to be suspended after fifty days. In July, he returned to his solitary Barnhill farmhouse on the remote Scottish island of Jura, where he completed the manuscript of Nineteen Eighty-Four. Orwell's autograph is scarce in any form, and this lengthy letter boasts especially desirable publishing content.

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