Penguin Books  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Penguin Books is a British publisher founded in 1935 by Allen Lane. Lane's idea was to provide quality writing cheaply, for the same price as a pack of cigarettes. He also wanted them to be sold not only in bookshops but in railway stations, general stores and corner shops. Its most emblematic products are its paperbacks. The first Penguin paperbacks were published in 1935, but at first only as an imprint of Bodley Head with the books originally distributed from a church crypt.

Controversial publications -- Lady Chatterley to Denying the Holocaust

Just as Lane well judged the public's appetite for paperbacks in the 1930s, his decision to publish Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence in 1960 boosted Penguin's notoriety. The novel was at the time unpublished in Britain and the predicted obscenity trial not only marked Penguin as a fearless publisher, it also helped drive the sale of at least 3.5 million copies. Penguin's victory in the case heralded the end to the censorship of books in Britain, although censorship of the written word was only finally defeated after the Inside Linda Lovelace trial of 1978. Other controversial titles published by Penguin include Spycatcher and The Satanic Verses. In the same tradition of courting controversy, Penguin published Deborah Lipstadt's book Denying the Holocaust which accused David Irving of Holocaust denial. Irving sued Lipstadt and Penguin for libel in 1998 but lost in a widely publicised trial.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Penguin Books" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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