I first read George Orwell’s seminal anti-totalitarianism satire Animal Farm when I lacked the political sophistication to truly understand the significance of the story, but some how I managed to grasp the essential themes of idealism, power and corruption in the book. Growing up in the latter half of the twentieth-century political allegories such as Animal Farm: A Fairy Story helped to make some sense of the dark side of modern history.
In Orwell’s illuminating fable, the animals at Manor Farm have had enough of Farmer Jones. He’s a drunken, reckless lout who cares little for their welfare. When the boar, Old Major, shares his revolutionary plans, the farm’s animals are convinced they can thrive on their own once the despot Jones is overthrown. The barnyard animals revolt against their vicious human master only to submit to a tyranny created by their own kind. For as the pigs vie for power, they begin to bear an uncanny resemblance to the tyrants they have overthrown.
Orwell’s original title for his novel was Animal Farm: A Fairy Story, and it was first published as such by Secker and Warburg in London, England on August 17, 1945. U.S. publishers subsequently dropped Orwell’s subtitle when publishing the novel in 1946, and only one of the translations during Orwell’s lifetime kept it.
In a 1946 letter from George Orwell to Dwight Macdonald, the author discusses his intent in writing Animal Farm. Orwell writes, “What I was trying to say was: You can’t have a revolution unless you make it for yourself; there is no such thing as benevolent dictatorship.”
I recently discovered that Suntup Editions released a signed limited edition of Animal Farm. The edition features a new exclusive introduction by Richard Blair, adopted son of George Orwell, and six oil painting illustrations by Omar Rayyan. Also included are over 50 pages of bonus content including Orwell’s proposed preface to Animal Farm, Orwell’s preface to the Ukranian edition and a photograph of Orwell feeding his pet goat Muriel. The edition is highly limited with a low print run.
The signed limited edition of Animal Farm by George Orwell is presented in three states: Artist, Numbered and Lettered. The editions measure 6” x 9” and feature six full color oil painting illustrations by Omar Rayyan as well as a new exclusive introduction by Richard Blair, adopted son of George Orwell. The Numbered and Lettered editions are signed by Richard Blair and Omar Rayyan, and the Artist edition is signed by Omar Rayyan. All three editions are printed letterpress on a Heidelberg Cylinder Press by Norman Clayton in Ojai, California.
The Artist edition is limited to 1000 copies, and is the only edition to feature a wraparound dust jacket illustrated by Omar Rayyan. It is a smyth sewn, quarter cloth binding with Zanders Elephant Hide paper sides and hot foil stamping on the cover and spine. Endsheets are Hahnemühle Bugra, and the edition is printed letterpress on premium Mohawk Via Vellum paper. It is housed in an embossed wood grain paper covered slipcase and is signed by the artist.
The Numbered edition of 350 copies is a quarter vellum flatback binding with custom designed patterned paper sides by Laura Serra, which are printed letterpress on Hahnemühle Bugra. The spine is foil stamped in gold, and the edition is housed in a velour lined slipcase wrapped in Hahnemühle Bugra, which is printed letterpress and features European cloth ends. The edition is printed letterpress on premium Mohawk Via Vellum paper and is signed by Richard Blair and Omar Rayyan. Less than 30 copies of the Numbered edition remain.
The Lettered edition is limited to 26 copies lettered A-Z and is bound as a concave spine binding sewn on paper stubs, which have been attached to a handmade ring structure covered in goatskin at the back of the book. The front and back boards are covered in custom made spotted calf vellum with goatskin rings attached, interlocking at the spine, and finally hinged using an acrylic rod passed through each of the rings.
The hinged rod structure allow the boards total flexibilty and ease of opening, whilst the sewn stub also provides the textblock with greater functionalilty and protection. The concave has been in use since the 1980s in one form or another, know as either piano hinge or door hinge bindings; and examples of rod bindings date back as far as the Renaissance period.
Endpapers are hand marbled by Claire Guillot in Southern France. The book is housed in a Chemise-étui covered in leather and Hahnemühle Bugra paper, and placed in the well of a lipped tray locking quarter leather clamshell enclosure, lined in Japanese cloth and flocked velour. The rounded spine of the enclosure is stamped in 22 Carat genuine gold foil.
An original signed drawing as well as a set of six giclée art prints are included and housed in a custom handmade portfolio with a leather cover label stamped using 22 Carat genuine gold foil.
The edition is printed letterpress on Somerset Book Moldmade paper and is signed by Richard Blair and Omar Rayyan. It is handbound by bookbinder Gavin Dovey in Pound Ridge, New York.
For more information on all editions, visit: https://suntup.press.