Images from George Orwell’s 1984 manuscript (Part 1)

Preliminary drafts representing about 44% of the published text of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four have survived and were reproduced in a facsimile edition published in 1984. As Sonia Orwell wrote on 28 August 1974 to Daniel G. Siegel, who now owns the manuscript, “it is such a rare document” for “unfortunately George always threw away all his mss. letters etc., so his actual working methods are very badly documented.”


Opening paragraph of 1984:

Draft version: It was a bright/cold, blowy day in early April and a million radios were striking thirteen.

Final version: It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.

Opening paragraph of 1984 from Orwell's manuscript

Opening paragraph of 1984: It was a bright cold day in April …


Big Brother is Watching You:

Hand written in blue ink by Orwell.

Big Brother is Watching You (handwritten from Orwell's 1984 manuscript)

Big Brother is Watching You (handwritten by George Orwell)


The three slogans of the Party:

War is Peace
Freedom is Slavery
Ignorance is Strength

The slogans of the Party (from Orwell's 1984 manuscript)

The three slogans of the Party on the Ministry of Truth building


Winston Smith opens his diary:

Draft version: April 4th, 1980 2 [hand written]. 1984 [hand written above 1980]

Final version: 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.

Winston opens his diary (from Orwell's 1984 manuscript)

Winston Smith opens his diary and writes: April 4th, 1984

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

Continued here: Part 2, Part 3.

Source: Orwell, George. Nineteen Eighty-Four: The Facsimile of the Extant Manuscript. Ed. Peter Davison. London: Secker & Warburg, 1984.

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