Penguin seems sure that the self-education urge is still strong. Hood has himself pointed out that while university education is, unlike in Lane's day, open to many (at least for the time being it has become more utilitarian: a more rounded education has, more often than ever, to happen around the edges. Wikipedia, however excellent, isn't enough. According to penguin the hope is that readers will once again "turn to pelicans for whatever subjects they are interested in, yet feel ignorant about pelicans can be their guides". It's the latest incarnation of the unofficial university, and of the optimistic belief in the appeal and influence and profitability of "Good books cheap". Psychopathology of everyday life by Sigmund Freud (Pelican in 1938) Perhaps Freud's most popular book, this is a study in part of everyday "faulty actions" such as forgetting names that illuminate the workings of the unconscious. The common reader by virginia woolf (1938) A collection of essays on literary subjects.
The, art of, fiction by, virginia, woolf - read Online
Plus the cover was cool. I was a bit late to the party, but I was definitely a pelican sort of person. Three of the new Pelican titles. And now they are back, in a new series of originally commissioned books. The first volumes language come out in may, and the opener (No 1) seems very pelicanish: Economics: a user's guide by the heterodox economist ha-joon Chang (whose 23 Things They don't Tell you about Capitalism was a bestseller it is a "myth-busting introduction" written "for the. Also forthcoming are The domesticated Brain by the psychologist Bruce hood, essay revolutionary russia by Orlando figes and Human evolution by the anthropologist Robin Dunbar (who caused a splash in our Facebook age with How Many Friends does One person need? Non-fiction sales have been falling in recent years, and no doubt Penguin's aim is to capitalise on the now-fetishised Pelican brand. The new books will be turned out in a shade of the famous pale-blue livery and the pelican logo itself has been updated for the relaunch. Given the lucrative nostalgia market in Penguin mugs, postcards and tea-towels not to mention a roaring collectors' trade and art-world homages such as Harland Miller's beaten-up paintings the publishers can hardly be unconscious of the importance of design. And, as with Allen Lane in the 1930s, there is more to the relaunch than financial opportunism.
As an imprint it was officially discontinued in 1990. The reasons are murky. The sunday times suggested it was "for the most pedestrian of reasons: the name was already copyright in America and was not so well known in foreign markets". A penguin spokesman also mentioned at the time that the pelican logo gave the message: "this book is a bit worthy". They were, perhaps, out of sync with the times. But they remained in second-hand shops. A splurge of Pelican blue on your shelves or in your pocket could still define the person you were, or wanted. I remember myself in my late teens, posing around with a copy of The contemporary cinema by penelope mini houston I had picked up on a stall for small change (it came out in 1963). I knew absolutely nothing about Antonioni and Bergman, resnais and Truffaut, but i knew I should know about them, and I liked the imaginary version of me in a polo-neck, very fluent in such matters.
Martin Luther King's Chaos or Community? Came out in 1969, as did Peter laurie's Drugs. Peter mayer's The pacifist Conscience was published as lbj escalated the vietnam war. As neill wrote about his lawless progressive school Summerhill while roger Lewis published a volume on the underground press. In terms of history there was Christopher Hill on the English revolution and, to mark the 1,000th Pelican in 1968, ep thompson's The making of English Working Class, a book admirably suited to a left-leaning imprint flavoured by nonconformist self-improvement. (The guardian published a special supplement to celebrate the landmark.) In less than a decade it had gone through a further five reprints. Owen Hatherley has described the pelicans of the late 60s as "human emancipation essay through mass production hot-off-the-press accounts of the 'new French revolution' would go alongside texts on scientific management, with Herbert Marcuse next to fanon, next to ajp taylor, and all of this conflicting. The pelican identity seems to have become diluted in the late 70s and 80s, and 25 years ago the last book appeared ( The nazi seizure of Power by william Sheridan Allen, 1989, no 2,878).
His Pelicans had a central white panel framed by a blue border containing the name of the imprint on each side. In the 60s the books changed again, to the illustrative covers designed by germano facetti, art director from 1961. Facetti, a survivor of mauthausen labour camp who had worked in Milan as a typographer and in Paris as an interior designer, transformed the penguin image, as John Walsh has written, "from linear severity and puritanical simplicity into a series of pictorial coups". The 60s covers by facetti (eg The Stagnant Society by michael Shanks and by the designers he took on jock kennier (eg Alex Comfort's Sex in Society derek birdsall (eg The naked Society ) are ingenious, arresting invitations to a world of new thinking. Jenny diski has written of subscribing in the 60s to "the unofficial University of Pelican books course which was all about "gathering information and ideas about the world. Month by month, titles came out by laing and Esterson, willmott and young, jk galbraith, maynard Smith, martin Gardner, richard leakey, margaret mead; psychoanalysts, sociologists, economists, mathematicians, historians, physicists, biologists and literary critics, each offering their latest thinking for an unspecialised public, and the blue. Anti-psychiatry, social welfare, economics, politics, the sexual behaviour of young Melanesians, the history of science, the anatomy of this, that and the other, the affluent, naked and stagnant society in which we found ourselves." Pelicans reflected and fed the countercultural and politically radical 60s. Two books by Che guevara were published; Stokely carmichael 's Black power came out in 1969. Noam Chomsky and Frantz fanon were both published in 1969-70.
The, humane, art : Virginia, woolf on What Killed Letter
Young, with Peter Willmott, also wrote the dessay seminal Family and Kinship in East London, another Pelican, and at one time known affectionately by sociologists as tukaram "fakinel pronounced with a cockney accent. Raymond Williams's Culture and Society (No 520, march 1961) was another of the countless Pelicans at the centre of a revolution in thinking. The books were also an important conduit of American intellectual life and progressive thought into Britain. The sea around Us by rachel Carson, who had yet to write silent Spring, had been an acclaimed bestseller in the us, and was published as a pelican in 1956. Jk galbraith's The Affluent Society was published in 1962; Jane jacobs's The death and Life of Great American Cities came out in Britain three years later. Vance packard's The naked Society and The hidden Persuaders questioned the American dream. Erving Goffman and Lewis Mumford appeared under the imprint, as did Studs Terkel 's report from Chicago, division Street: America.
Penguin founder Allen Lane holding a copy of dh lawrence's controversial Lady Chatterley's lover. Photograph: Central Press/Getty Images The fashionability of Pelicans, which lasted at least into the 70s, was connected to this breaking open of radical new ideas to public understanding not in academic jargon but in clearly expressed prose. But it was also because they looked so good. The first Pelicans were, like the penguins, beneficiaries of the 30s passion for design. They had the iconic triband covers conceived by Edward young in Lane's words, "a bright splash of fat colour" with a white band running horizontally across the centre for displaying author and title in Gill Sans. A pelican appeared flying on the cover and standing on the spine. After the war, lane employed as a designer the incomparable jan Tschichold, a one-time associate of the bauhaus and known for his weimar film posters.
The wartime years were good ones for autodidacts. Orwell wrote that a "phenomenon of the war has been the enormous sale of Penguin books, pelican books and other cheap editions, most of which would have been regarded by the general public as impossibly highbrow a few years back." One of the driving forces behind Pelican was. Koestler called these self-improvers the "anxious corporals".) A 1940 book on town planning went through a quarter of a million copies. Richard Hoggart later wrote of his time in the forces that "We had a kind of code that if there was a penguin or Pelican sticking out of the back trouser pocket of a battledress, you had a word with him because it meant he was. Photograph: Penguin After the war, as Penguin collector Steve hare has recognised, the idea of a pelican home university became more explicit; the number of "Pelican originals" increased, and the commissioning editors were astute in often choosing young scholars on the rise. (The books were also expertly edited, notably by the tattoo-covered Buddhist asb glover, a former prisoner with a photographic memory who had memorised the Encyclopedia britannica behind bars.) so if you wanted to find out about ethics or evolution or sailing or yoga or badgers.
The volumes came thick and fast, and were classy. In the 10 months between August 19, for instance, pelican titles included Kenneth Clark's study of leonardo, hoggart's The Uses of Literacy, the Exploration of Space by Arthur c clarke, one of the studies in Boris Ford's highly influential and bestselling Pelican guide to English Literature. And this selection is fairly typical. Hoggart's book, one of the founding texts of cultural studies, which taught, among other things, that popular culture was to be taken seriously, was a good seller for Pelican: 33,000 in the first six months and then 20,000 copies a year through the 1960s. It has been suggested that one of the impulses behind Hoggart's criticism of commercialised mass culture was his sense that the opportunity to build on the autodidactic legacy of the pelican-style legacy, as it were was at risk. But the imprint itself thrived, and published other books that were to become cultural studies classics: Michael young's The rise of the meritocracy (No 485, september 1961 later misunderstood by tony Blair, who didn't grasp that it was an argument against meritocracy "education has put its seal.
Selected, essays (Oxford World´s Classics New Edition
"The pelican books bid fair lane wrote in 1938, "to become the true everyman's library of the 20th century bringing the finest products of modern thought and art to the people." They pretty much succeeded. Some were, as their publisher admitted, "heavy going" and a few were rather esoteric (. But in their heyday pelicans hugely influenced the nation's intellectual culture: they remote comprised a kind of home university for an army of autodidacts, aspirant culture-vultures and social radicals. In retrospect, the whole venture seems linked to a perception of social improvement and political writings possibility. Pelicans helped bring Labour to power in 1945, cornered the market in the new cultural studies, introduced millions to the ideas of anthropology and sociology, and provided much of the reading matter for the sexual and political upheavals of the late 60s and early 70s. The film writer, david Thomson, who worked as an editor at Penguin in the 60s, has recalled that as an employee "you could honestly believe you were doing the work of God we were bringing education to the nation; we were the cool colours on the. Similarly, in Ian Dury's classic song, one of his "Reasons to be Cheerful" is "something nice to study and his friend Humphrey ocean has said the lyrics sum up "where he was at The earnest young Dury pelican books, intelligent aunties, the welfare state, grammar. It's nothing to do with rock'n'roll really, it's all to do with postwar England at a certain, incredibly positive, moment.". The leftish association with improvement self and social had always been part of the pelicans.
Nearly 3,000 Pelicans took flight during the following five decades, covering a huge range of subjects: many were specially commissioned, most were paperback versions of already published titles. They were crisply and brilliantly designed and fitted in a back pocket. And they sold, in total, an astonishing 250m copies. Editions of 50,000, even for not obvious bestsellers, were standard: a 1952 study of the hittites the ancient Anatolian people quickly sold out and continued in print for many years. (These days a publisher would be delighted if such a book made it to 2,000.). The Greeks by hdf kitto sold.3m copies; Facts from Figures, "a layman's nutrition introduction to statistics sold 600,000. Many got to the few hundred thousand mark.
was a staunch socialist and teetotal vegetarian who drank 100 cups of tea a day and slept for only two hours a night.) The whole print order. Freud 's, psychopathology of everyday life, pelican No 24, sold out in the first week. These books were like an education in paperback form for pennies. The title of Virginia woolf's, the common reader, another early bird, was apposite (though it has since been misinterpreted as snooty in the essays, woolf attempted to see literature from the point of view of the non-expert, as part of what Hermione lee has called her "life-long. It flew off the shelves. Reading on a mobile? Click here, it was the beginning of an illustrious era.
He acted fast to create a new imprint. The first Pelican was. George bernard Shaw 's, the Intelligent Woman's guide to socialism, capitalism, sovietism and Fascism. "A sixpenny edition" of the book, the author modestly suggested, "would be the salvation of mankind." Such was the demand that golf booksellers had to travel to the penguin stockroom in taxis and fill them up with copies before rushing back to their shops. It helped of course that this was a decade of national and world crisis. For Lane, the public "wanted a solid background to give some coherence to the newspaper's scintillating confusion of day-to-day events". Shaw wasn't a one-off.
Essays, woolf, virginia - heureka
"The really amazing thing, the extraordinary eye-opener that surprised the most optimistic of us, was the immediate and overwhelming success of the pelicans." so wrote. Allen Lane, founder of Penguin and architect of the paperback revolution, who had transformed the publishing world by selling quality books for the the price of a packet of cigarettes. Millions of orange penguins had already been bought when they were joined in 1937 by the pale blue non-fiction Pelicans. "Who would have imagined he continued, "that, even at 6d, there was a thirsty public anxious to buy thousands of copies of books on science, sociology, economics, archaeology, astronomy and other equally serious subjects?". His instinct was not only commercially astute but democratic. The launching of the penguins and Pelicans good books cheap caused a huge fuss, and not simply among staid publishers: the masses were now able to buy not just pulp, but "improving high-calibre books whatever next! Lane and his defenders argued that owning such books should not be the preserve of the privileged class. He had no truck with those people "who despair at what they regard as the low level of people's intelligence". Lane came up with the name so the story goes when he heard someone who wanted to buy a penguin at a king's Cross station bookstall mistakenly ask for "one of those pelican books".