1984 Mine


1984PenquinSignet SignetCommemorative

To Orwell Today,


I have an original, first-edition paperback copy of 1984 by Orwell, the one published by Secker & Warburg in 1949.

I am trying to find the second, third and fourth edition of 1984 published by Secker & Warburg, if there is any, but the internet is confusing me a little bit.

That would be good if you are able to attach the pictures of these covers, or else give me some reliable website links. Thank you so much!


Greetings May,

That's great you have an original, first-edition paperback copy of "1984" and are pursuing viewing consecutive years. It would be interesting to see the covers in chronological order.

You can see a selection of covers at Google images: Nineteen Eighty-Four Book Covers. There's an image there of Secker-Warburg's "1984" hardcover edition - something far more exciting than the paperback.

nineteen eighty-four, a novel by George Orwell, Manhattan Rare Books

I personally don't possess a hardcover copy of "1984" (nor even a first-edition paperback).

The copy of "1984" that I used to create ORWELL TODAY twelve years ago is a lowly paperback Penquin, published in 1966, that I got at a second-hand bookstore (scanned at top of page). My "1984" is definitely a well-thumbed edition with the pages soft from wear and falling apart. Notice the ETON COLLEGE leather bookmark, a souvenir from when I went LOOKING FOR ORWELL AT ETON.

Over the years people have given me copies of "1984" (none of them first edition paperbacks and none of them hardcover) and although not valuable, they are cherished additions to my Orwell shelf. Those editions (scanned at top of page) are: Penquin Books, 1990; Signet Books (by arrangement with Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc), 1959; Signet Classic, 1984; Signet Books, 1952.

I don't go out of my way to add copies of "1984" to my bookshelf (there's no need) but I can't resist if one comes along.

All the best,
Jackie Jura

Manuscript 1984

PS - Actually, on second thought, I do have a first edition of NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR, actually the VERY VERY first edition, ie so first it wasn't even at the final typing stage. I'm talking about THE FACSIMILE OF THE EXTANT MANUSCRIPT which I acquired in a booklover's corner of Wales during my HOMAGE TO ORWELL:

Diana is doing a thesis on Orwell's 1984 book covers & requests publishing info on a 1984 edition seen on my website


READER'S 1984 "1984" GIFT

1.Winston's Diary (...He went into the living room and sat down at a small table that stood to the left of the telescreen. From the table drawer he took out a penholder, a bottle of ink, and a thick, quarto-sized blank book with a red back and a marbled cover....The thing that he was about to do was open a diary. This was not illegal (nothing was illegal, since there were no longer any laws), but if detected it was reasonably certain that it would be punished by death, or at least by twenty-five years in a forced-labour camp. Winston fitted a nib into the penholder and sucked it to get the grease off. The pen was an archaic instrument, seldom used even for signatures, and he had procured one, furtively and with some difficulty, simply because of a feeling that the beautiful creamy paper deserved to be written on with a real nib instead of being scratched with an ink-pencil. Actually he was not used to writing by hand. Apart from very short notes, it was usual to dictate everything into the speak-write, which was of course impossible for his present purpose. He dipped the pen into the ink and then faltered for just a second. A tremor had gone through his bowels. To mark the paper was the decisive act. In small clumsy letters he wrote: April 4th, 1984.

He sat back. A sense of complete helplessness had descended upon him. To begin with, he did not know with any certainty that this was 1984. It must be round about that date, since he was fairly sure that his age was thirty-nine, and he believed that he had been born in 1944 or 1945; but it was never possible nowadays to pin down any date within a year or two.

He wondered again for whom he was writing the diary. For the future, for the past - for an age that might be imaginary. And in front of him there lay not death but annihilation. The diary would be reduced to ashes and himself to vapour. Only the Thought Police would read what he had written, before they wiped it out of existence and out of memory. How could you make appeal to the future when not a trace of you, not even an anonymous word scribbled on a piece of paper, could physically survive? He was a lonely ghost uttering a truth that nobody would ever hear. But so long as he uttered it, in some obscure way the continuity was not broken. It was not by making yourself heard but by staying sane that you carried on the human heritage. He went back to the table, dipped his pen, and wrote: To the future or to the past, to a time when thought is free, when men are different from one another and do not live alone - to a time when truth exists and what is done cannot be undone: From the age of uniformity, from the age of solitude, from the age of BIG BROTHER, from the age of doublethink - greetings!)

Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~

email: orwelltoday@gmail.com
website: www.orwelltoday.com