Friday, 1 April 2011

A-Z & All Fools Day!

My A-Z will feature first letter of a literary-minded person's name: or not, as may be the case with Z. 

First off nostalgic image of 1930’s English steam train: bear with me, it has purpose!




Allen Lane, director of Bodley Head (publisher) - after a weekend visit to Agatha Christie - found himself on the platform at Exeter railway station (Devon) . He fancied something to read on his journey home and searched a nearby bookstand. Stunned by the crap selection of crude paperback magazine type novels on offer, Lane decided good quality contemporary fiction at an attractive price was in short supply. So, he decided to set up a new cheap paperback line.



The first "Penguin" paperbacks appeared in the summer of 1935, with unique Penguin logo and eye-catching covers. Ernest Hemingway, André Maurois and Agatha Christie led the Penguin flock. All books were colour coded per genre, their cost just sixpence. The paperback revolution had begun and Penguin soon became a separate company: in 1936 its HQ located in the oddest of places, the Crypt of Holy Trinity Church on Marylebone Road.

A "must see" new species of penguin!

This clip removed! I don't want my blog going into crash mode!
To check new blogs folow the A-Z apple in side bar.

25 comments:

Madeleine said...

What fun, yes I'd forgotten about that. I saw something on it on TV once. Love the penguins and you can tell how cold it must be by his red raw face. :O)

Eliza said...

I love penguins :-) they have the comedy factor.

Paula Martin said...

Love the penguins!
And I still have some of the old-style Penguin books, mainly the blue ones but a few orange ones too.
Good luck with the A-Z Challenge. No theme to mine, I'll just pantser my way through it!
http://paulamartinpotpourri.blogspot.com

KatieO said...

Love this post! Creepy about the Penguin HQ located in a crypt - I assume it's since moved ;-)
Good luck with A to Z!

Ellie said...

I so love the Penguin Books story, especially as Exeter station is not far from me!

Ellie Garratt

Manzanita said...

This is one clever post. So interesting and well thought out. Great job. Video is fun too.

L'Aussie said...

Love the penguins honey child! They're such cool creatures woo hoo. (Yep, I've been on my Friday night sortie again!)

Denise<3

Emily White said...

Great post! I'd never actually heard that story. Thanks for the little lesson! :)

Rosalind Adam said...

Those old penguin covers are so evocative... and as for penguins, they're great.

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

What an interesting and enlightening post! Great kick-off to the blogfest!!

Margo Kelly said...

Great post! :) Happy blog-fest!

Ann said...

Just love the penguins! Great fun and made me smile on this snowy April first.

Talli Roland said...

Interesting - I had no idea!

Elizabeth Mueller said...

How fun! I love how the daddy penguins stay on land to raise the fuzzlings while the mommies go out and 'work'

;)

♥.•*¨ Elizabeth ¨*•.♥

Liz Fichera said...

I love that bit about Penguin paperback history. I wonder if he realized how impactful that change would be??

alberta ross said...

one of the great things about life is learning something new everyday - penguin books being conceived on Exeter station of all places - back when it was small, small,small. Amazing - thanks

like the April Fool

Myne Whitman said...

This is a great post, and nice one to start off the challenge.

Raquel Byrnes said...

I had no idea about Penguin being that old. And the video was neat.
Edge of Your Seat Romance

NiaRaie said...

I believe that about Penguin books. I love hearing backstory of companies. Thanks for sharing.

Michael Di Gesu said...

What a great story. I didn't know that's how Penguin books started.

Francine Howarth said...

Hi Guys & Dolls,

Yeah, I just love rooting about in literature and all things books: inclusive history of publishing! That said, history in general gets my vote. Hence I love writing historical romances, more than more modern works. ;)

best
F

Kari Marie said...

Interesting story. I lurve penguins too! So cute and dressed up all the time.

Trisha said...

This was a great read! Nice job for "A", and man I LOVE those Penguin classics :D

Lisa said...

Very educational post. I most definitely learned something. Love the penguins.

Lisa
InspiredbyLisa

Susan Kane said...

Who knew!! What a great post. Thank you for sharing some literary history!