Katie Gill

I am in my second year studying English Literature. Poetry is one of my biggest passions and I enjoy writing (and occasionally performing) my own poetry, as well as attending spoken word nights and watching exciting new poets perform. I love studying in London because,...

Sumptuous Gems: 80 Years of Penguin, 80 Little Black Classics

Penguin's Little Black Classics. Image by Daniel Dalton: https://www.flickr.com/photos/126522904@N02/ (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Book lovers everywhere, rejoice! To celebrate Penguin’s 80th anniversary, the publishing house has launched a Little Black Classics range. You may have seen the promotional posters on the Underground, which, I have to say, have made rush hour much more bearable. Each simple poster includes a quote from a text, which remains unnamed, prompting a delightful game of ‘Guess the Book’ as you’re swept along the platform with the disgruntled 5pm crowds. Even more exciting is the price of the Little Black Classics – they’re only 80p each! A glorious bargain. I can just hear the grateful roars of Literature enthusiasts everywhere.

Where can you get your hands on these sumptuous gems? Foyles in Charing Cross Road, the Chocolate Factory of the book world – and we all hold a golden ticket! I certainly felt like Augustus Gloop when I trekked there earlier today. The Little Classics are displayed along all of the shop’s staircases, so up I climbed, elbowing my way past bemused customers and gorging myself on these delicious offerings. I picked up Anthem for Doomed Youth by Wilfred Owen, Woman Much Missed by Thomas Hardy, The Eve of St Agnes by John Keats and Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti. At 80p a pop it was like daylight robbery! Other titles up for grabs include It Was Snowing Butterflies by Charles Darwin, Circe and the Cyclops by Homer and Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime by Oscar Wilde, among many others. What is also so great about this range is that it is taken from Penguin’s Wider Classics, so you get to sample some perhaps more obscure texts by some of our best-loved authors, and broaden your knowledge of their work. Also, on a purely aesthetic level, their simple black and white design is slick and classy, they can easily slip into a handbag and they are, like, so cute. To check out the range for yourself, just go to www.littleblackclassics.com.

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