Valuable first edition of Orwell's 1984 found in charity bin

14th October 2010, Comments 0 comments

A rare first edition of George Orwell's grim totalitarian novel "1984" worth several thousand dollars has been found in a charity donation bin in Australia, reports said Thursday.

The 1949 British hardback was found at the bottom of a 200-book heap in a bin at Wollongong south of Sydney with its red dustcover still intact, said the volunteer who discovered it, Paul Hol.

"It's in a remarkably good condition for a book that's 61 years old," Hol told the AAP news agency.

Bruce Elder, a 1984 scholar, said the unusual find was a collector's dream, and he hoped it would fetch several thousand dollars at auction over the weekend.

The proceeds will go to Lifeline, an Australian crisis support hotline staffed by volunteers.

"It's likely that this is the only copy that's for sale in Australia," said Elder.

First editions of 1984 sell for thousands of dollars, with an initial print run of just 25,000 copies by Secker and Warburg. It was published with both red and green covers, and the red is reportedly the rarer of the two.

© 2010 AFP

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