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The Lion and the Unicorn


George Orwell.

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Orwell, George. The Lion and the Unicorn. London: Secker and Warbug; Searchlight Books No.1, 1941. First edition, first printing. Duodecimo, [8], 128pp. White boards, green title on spine, illustrated dust-jacket.

Very Good/Very Good. Boards slightly yellowed along edges, corners and foot of spine gently pushed, very minor lean, unclipped dust-jacket sunned along spine and showing minor edge-wear.

The Searchlight series of essays published in book form by Secker and Warburg were edited by T.I. Fyvel and George Orwell. The series was projected to run to seventeen titles, but only ten were published before the bombing of Warburg’s office and his printer’s paper stock. Of the 12,500 copies of The Lion and the Unicorn printed in February and March 1941 over 10,000 sold before the remaining stock was destroyed by bombs. At the time it was Orwell’s most commercially successful book, suggesting his thesis – that the English class system was hampering the war efforts and that England needed a socialist revolution – struck a chord with his audience.