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Essays Kindle Edition
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Nothing much to say about the genius of Orwell, though. These are considered as the benchmark of essay-writing in any language. More than his famous novels, the essays are the essential Orwell.
Quality of book:
I love the hardbound binding quality as well as page quality. Every man's library is one of the best publisher of hardback books so buy without fear.
This edition has more content than paperback so there is no brainer to buy paperback which can't compete with this handbind edition of Everymans library. So you are playing for more essays and getting own of the best quality book.
Author is known for making political work in the form of art. His editorials and essays are the testimony to artistic political work.
Top international reviews
The collection covers many years from the late '30s to the early '50s, but feels very contemporary at times, particularly in its discussion of left/right politics, totalitarianism and the impossibility of remaining honest in the context of party politics.
The hardcover edition's quality is superb, and it remained in excellent condition after I've read it back to back and exposed it to my bad habit of heavily highlighting books (with not a single page escaping the fate of being marked).
As for typos - I found only three(!) all over the 1400 pages of the book.
Regarding the content - the book contains many but not all of his essays from 1928 up until the last ones in 1949 including all 80 As I Please.
Unlike the Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters 4 volume edition, it does NOT contain any letters or diary entries, that are now available as excellent separate editions.
While reading further books about Orwell I came across references to essays in the 4 volumes CEJL that are not available in this edition.
As for the writing - well, that's probably one of the best stuff I've ever read... WOW.
This book does not even go back to the shelf.
Taking the first point first, this essay compilation includes far more of Orwell's writings than the other common compilations available. Shooting an Elephant and Other Essays is itself a fine compilation, but seems, after leafing through the Everyman's Library essay compilation, to be lacking some important essays: "The Lion & The Unicorn" and "Notes on Nationalism" to name just two though dozens more could be listed. Also, the Everyman's edition includes Orwell's writings for Tribune, namely his column "As I please".
To the second point then, this edition contains a little note from the editor on the inside sleeve and a little timeline of Orwell's life, along side which major political events and literary works of the time, are included. The essays themselves are printed in chronological order, which is a lovely touch
Lastly, it is a relatively dinky hardbound edition, with the typical Everyman's "Livery". It comes with a golden tassel stitched to it as a sort of in-house bookmark, and all is printed in a decent font, in a print which isn't too small.
To my mind, the most significant drawback is that this edition feels a little cramped, that is to say new essays are started without a page break, and the essays where a Orwell is setting out categories for things or subheadings,a line break would create a more spacious feel. Christopher Hitchens' equally brilliant essay compilation "Arguably" has these breaks, and looks more stylish for it.
To serious readers of Orwell then, I recommend this tome. I even recommend it as an introduction to his essays, for if one were to first buy any of the other essay compilations available, one will likely be buying this edition in end anyway.
The introduction is occasionally a bit sloppy. For example, Professor Crick makes the obvious point that the use of the first person does not mean a piece of literature is true autobiography, and I personally wouldn't care if some of Orwell's apparent "autobiography" were shown to be second-hand as the Professor implies, but don't we need a) evidence and b) the application of a bit of scholarship to it? As it is, Professor Crick says it is unlikely Orwell attended a hanging, or stayed in a hospital in Paris for as long as he implies, but doesn't say why. In his main text, he plays up heavily doubts about whether Orwell really shot an elephant, but again offers no sources and relegates to a footnote the comment that he has since encountered evidence for the view that Orwell did. He says an unnamed old man once told him that it was another boy who was caned in front of the whole school for bed-wetting, not Eric Blair, "as Orwell wrote in "Such, Such Were the Joys"": in fact none of the beatings for bed-wetting is described by Orwell as happening in front of the whole school and where location is given it is the Head's study, so this looks like a straightforward howler consequent on Professor Crick neglecting to verify his references. See me afterwards, Professor Crick!