This year marks the 80th anniversary of Penguin Books and there are very few readers in the world who don’t own a copy of the iconic orange and white paperbacks showcasing some of the best classic literature, crime, sci-fi and path-breaking non-fiction treatises. Over the years, this publisher has come a long way both in terms of its business as well as its literary catalogue, becoming a purveyor of ideas generated by some of the best minds of the century.
In order to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the first Penguins, Penguin Books will be releasing a special series of 80 Little Black Classics priced at 80 pence each in the UK and `49 in India. The books will tweak the traditional orange for the occasion to create an eye-catching all-black series with titles and authors spanning history and geographies. From Aesop’s ancient animal fables that are relevant for every age of man to Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s evocative feminist work, The Yellow Wallpaper; from Ovid’s marvellous and lyrical retelling of myths to Samuel Pepys’ astute and insightful diaries; from Mozart’s life chronicled in his letters to his father to Plato’s seminal Socrates Defence; from Christina Rosetti’s mischievous and darkly sexual Goblin Market to Gogol’s satirical masterpiece, The Nose; from Jonathan Swift’s morbidly funny A Modest Proposal to an account of the excesses of Roman emperor Caligula as described by the ancient chronicler Suetonius, these books are truly collector’s editions.
The quirky website designed by Mathieu Triay has been especially created for this collection. It is dynamic and interactive, modelled on a game show wheel of fortune that spins and flips from cover to quote with the penguin as a marker. It lists the titles and offers you the option of buying it then and there. With little extracts from the books and a stark black and white palette, the website is like the books, a pleasure to thumb through and curates the works of some of the greatest writers of 20th and 21st century.
Check out the entire collection on www.littleblackclassics.com