The very survival of this manuscript is itself remarkable. As Sonia Orwell wrote, "George was obviously not a very great manuscript keeper as there are none around of any of the books except this." Incomplete as it is, the facsimile and the transcript display not only the birth-pangs of a masterpiece, but the intense effort that underlies the simplicity for which Orwell's prose is justly admired. The facsimile pages are throughout reproduced to the same size as the original: Peter Davison's transcript is reproduced on facing pages to a scale which allows for line-for-line reference to the facsimile, and his introduction and notes, analysing the sequence of composition, lay the essential foundations for critical assessment. Davison's scholarly approach deliberately avoids speculative readings, but identifies the levels of drafting and locates the equivalent printed pages in current editions. The presentation makes visible the operation of the process of continuing refinement over a period of years. The facsimile pages are both revealing and moving: it is impossible to examine them without a poignant sense of the driving urgency that propelled the revisions, of the relent discipline with which Orwell strove to ensure that the final draft met the very highest standards of modern English prose: his own. --From the dust jacket.