Open Culture delivers a transcription of T. S. Eliot’s letter to Orwell declining publication of Animal Farm at Faber and Faber. I did think of reproducing the letter here, via copy and paste, those two incorrigible infringers, but decided against, knowing the reputation of the Eliot estate for tenacious control over rights.

Well of course no publisher has to publish any particular book. Eliot may be a little mechanical in his “two, one of whom must believe strongly” criterion, but like any publisher he’s trying to wriggle out of the problem that rejecting this book probably means rejecting all the author’s future books.

The letter was released by Valerie Eliot, the poet’s widow, for a 2009 BBC Two Arena documentary. This transcript has been available at Open Culture since November 2013 and has been “shared” 2000 times. The YouTube film of Animal Farm linked to in their post has been taken down though.

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