Burmese Days - George OrwellLondon: Secker & Warburg, 1997, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Good Dust Wrapper. Unlaminated dust wrapper a little edgeworn and faded with a small nick to the head of the upper panel.
Number 2 in the series. Contains: Ribbon markers ; Appendix; Maps ; Illustrated endpapers and blanks; Frontispiece;
From the cover: “Burmese Days was first published in the United States by Harper & Brothers in October 1934. It was Orwell’s second book to be published and his first novel. It draws on his experiences serving in the Indian Imperial Police in Burma (some preliminary sketches survive on Government of Burma paper). He resigned from the Burma Police in autumn 1927 ‘because he disliked putting people into prison for doing the same things which he should have done in their circumstances’.
Orwell was convinced that publication of his novel in England would be impeded by the India Office because of his exposure of the evils of colonialism — his title, so appropriate to a volume of conventional memoirs, is subtly ironic — but his difficulties proved quite different. Victor Gollancz, though keen to publish Burmese Days, feared action for defamation and libel.
After modification, an English version was brought out in June 1935. Although at the time Orwell considered the changes required to be ‘trifling’, he later rejected the English edition as ‘garbled’. However, as well as forced changes, it does include genuine authorial revisions, something which Orwell had forgotten.
There also survives from 1936 a sketch-map of the village of Kyaukta-da made by Orwell to facilitate the process of revision. This has never been published but is now, over sixty years later, made the frontispiece of this new edition.
The textual problems of Burmese Days are very complicated. This new edition attempts to reproduce for the first time what Orwell really wanted to have published and in a style that gives weight to the separateness of the two cultures, Burmese and English, which provide the setting for Flory’s disenchantment with his work and for his tragic love story. The text is supported by detailed notes which list the changes made, and there is an Appendix explaining the provenance of Orwell’s sketch-map and its relationship to the novel.”