Collecting King Penguin Books

The Penguin publishing abode was founded in 1935 and by the beginning of war in 1939 it was already actual successful. Walter Neurath, an Austrian Jewish refugee, had the abstraction of press a alternation of books, based on the archetypal of the German Insel Verlag series, consisting of adorable abridged books. Allen Lane of Penguin Books took up the abstraction and christened the alternation King Penguin, so as to analyze it from his added paperbacks. The aboriginal two titles British Birds and A Book of Roses were appear in 1939 and Lane knew anon that he had a winner.

The covers of the King Penguin alternation played a big allotment in the success of the alternation and some of the covers are little works of art. One of the actual accepted ones is English Ballet printed in 1944, the brand Penguin on the aback has been dressed up in a tutu. The actuality that a third of anniversary book was taken up by illustrations and images and that there were well-produced plates, generally in colour accepted actual accepted with the readers.

The alternation aboriginal editor, Elizabeth Senior, was acutely dead in a London air arrest in 1941 and Penguin appointed a adolescent German refugee, Nikolaus Pevsner, as the new editor. He recruited artists like Edward Bawden, John Piper and Barbara Jones to do the illustrations. Their plan is actual collectable and if you wish to aggregate King Penguin Books you should attending out for Bawden’s Life in an English Village, Piper’s Romney Marsh and Jones’ Isle of Wight.

The capacity covered sometimes belted on the aberrant – The Leaves of Southwell, a abstraction of the medieval carvings in the Chapter Abode at Southwell Minster, accounting by Nikolaus Pevsner with photographs by FL Attenborough, ancestor of David and Richard, was beautifully produced, but Pevsner accepted himself that it had been a spectacularly bad seller. The titles admitting seemed to amount beneath than the architecture of the books and humans would buy titles they would not contrarily accept read, because it was a King Penguin.

Although these books were accounting with accouchement from age 12 upwards, they were nonetheless discussed in bookish journals and even the American Shakespeare Quarterly gave a actual favourable analysis to Elizabethan Miniatures, which was one of the best affairs King Penguins of all times.

Unfortunately, ascent assembly costs eventually put an end to the King Penguin alternation and the final title, The Sculpture of the Parthenon, was appear in 1959. King Penguins were appear in ample numbers and none of them are absolutely rare, so it is not difficult to acquisition them. You should consistently acquisition several in acceptable additional duke or antique book shops. If you are advantageous enough, you ability acquisition a archetype active by the columnist or illustrator and that would advance the amount up a bit, but the acceptable account is that King Penguins are actual affordable. They hardly amount added than £15 and a lot of of them can be begin for beneath £10. You should apprehend to pay amid £100 – £200 for a active copy. If you anytime acquisition a abounding set of all 76 titles it would apparently amount about amid £600 and £700.

You should pay absorption to the action of the book and aswell whether it is a aboriginal copy or a reprint. If you attending on the aback of the appellation page analysis whether it says ‘second’ or ‘revised’ edition. If it does not, it is apparently a aboriginal edition. King Penguins printed afterwards 1949 were issued with a cardboard dust jacket, identical to the cover, so you should analysis that it is present. As always, analysis out your bounded car cossack sales and bargain rooms, as able-bodied as internet auctions and dealers. Acceptable luck in your coursing for King Penguin Books.

Read More