Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.
Penguin Special: The Story of Allen Lane, the Founder of Penguin Books and…
by Jeremy Lewis
References to this work on external resources.
Wikipedia in English
Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0141024615, Hardcover)The founding of Penguin Books in 1935 revolutionized the publishing industry with the idea that great writing ought to be made available for the price of a pack of cigarettes. In telling the story of Penguin and its founder, Allen Lane, Jeremy Lewis traces the changes the company wrought in cultural and political life in England and in the publishing industry worldwide, from the publication of Ulysses, with its attendant obscenity trial, to the Penguin Specials that alerted prewar Britain to the Nazi threat. Rich with anecdote and suffused with Lane’s larger-than-life personality, Penguin Special touches on the entire twentieth century in its portrait of a man and a company that have changed the way the English-speaking world reads.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:59:37 -0400)
A stocky, dapper Bristolian who left school at the age of sixteen and went on to found Penguin Books, Allen Lane was the greatest publisher of the twentieth century and a major influence on the cultural and political life of post-war Britain. He revolutionized our reading habits by his insistence that the best writing in the world should be made available for the price of a packet of cigarettes. Decked out in their livery of orange and white, the first Penguins were published in the summer of 1935 and were followed in due course by Pelicans, Puffins and Penguin Classics." "Though never a bookish man himself, Lane was adept at sensing the spirit of the age and always ready to follow his hunches: he commissioned Nikolaus Pevsner to write the Buildings of England, persuaded Kenneth Clark to mastermind the Penguin Modern Painters, and gave his backing to John Lehmann's Penguin New Writing, arguably the finest literary magazine of its times. He risked prosecution by publishing James Joyce's Ulysses for the first time in this country, and a quarter of a century later he appeared at the Old Bailey to defend Penguin's publication of Lady Chatterley's Lover, thereby anticipating the liberal reforms of the 1960s." "But his influence stretched far beyond the world of publishing: his pre-war Penguin Specials alerted the British public to the threat of Nazism; the books he published during the war helped to ensure a Labour victory in 1945; and Penguin itself came to be seen as a benign monopoly, akin to the BBC or the National Health Service." "By the end of his career, publishing was changing too fast for his liking, and his last years were blighted by illness and his battle with the mercurial Tony Godwin, brought to its climax when Lane set fire to the stock of a book he detested. Lane combined ruthlessness with affability, courage with moral cowardice, loyalty with unpredictability. Few publishers are remembered after their lifetimes: Allen Lane is a rare exception to the rule."--Book jacket.
Is this you?
Become a LibraryThing Author.