Victor Gollancz Ltd., March 11, 1940
Print run: 1,100 copies
- Charles Dickens, 1939
- Boys' Weeklies, 1940
- Inside the Whale, 1940
From Daniel J. Leab (one of the owners):
A brilliant essayist with a magnificent command of the English language, Orwell in this first collection dealt with Charles Dickens, the English "boys' weeklies," and Henry Miller. He used his subjects to dwell on a wide variety of issues including "cultural unity," propaganda, and literary trends. These essays, as one critic later remarked, are "small masterpieces in a limited field." In early 1940 1,100 copies (with overs) of this book were printed; the book went out of print before the end of the year. All copies were not sold; some were destroyed by bombing. Orwell probably earned less than Ј30 for this splendid collection. No American edition of this book has been published. However, the essays would surface over the years in various edited collections, in the U.K. (such as the Penguin editions), the U.S., and elsewhere in translation.