Volume 8 of The Complete Works of George Orwell
Rejected by such eminent figures as Victor Gollancz and T.S. Eliot (for Faber & Faber), and by Jonathan Cape (influenced by 'an important official at the Ministry of Information'), Animal Farm was published to great acclaim by Martin Secker & Warburg on 17 August 1945 in an edition of 4,500 copies. Orwell's immortal satire - 'contre Stalin' as himself wrote to his French translator - is as vivid and pungent today as it was on its first publication, and can be read on many levels. Orwell subtitled the book 'A Fairy Story', a genre in which he was keenly interested. It combines the poster-paint clarity of fable with the dark and mordant tones of a bitter political allegory.
Animal Farm is indisputably a masterpiece, and places Orwell firmly in the great satirical tradition of Swift and Defoe. This edition incorporates all Orwell's changes and reproduces his introduction, 'The Freedom of the press', which in the event he withdrew, and the preface to the Ukrainian edition, in its complete form, written at the request of the Ukrainian Displaced Persons Organisation in Munich. Also published here for the first time is Orwell's dramatisation of Animal Farm for BBC Radio (1947).