… of the book variety.
This was my absolutely awesome Christmas present from Steven this year – a reproduction set of the first ten Penguin paperbacks ever published, which was created for the 50th anniversary of their launch. Since the launch was in 1935, this means that the set is 25 years old!
The set is in almost pristine condition (especially for its age), just some minor fading on one end where it must have been sitting in the sun. The books themselves look like they’ve never been read. As well as the books, the set includes a pamphlet with short blurbs about each of the authors and press clippings of reviews from the launch.
The books are:
- Ariel: a Shelley romance, André Maurois
- A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway
- Madame Claire, Susan Ertz
- The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club, Dorothy L. Sayers
- The Mysterious Affair at Styles, Agatha Christie (her first novel and the first appearance of Poirot)
- Twenty-Five, Beverley Nichols
- William, E. H. Young
- Gone to Earth, Mary Webb
- Carnival, Compton Mackenzie
(Where I’ve included a link, the book is available from Project Gutenberg, but I should point out that both Agatha Christie and Compton Mackenzie are still under copyright in the UK, even if some of their work is public domain in the US.)
Amazingly, I had never read any of these, although I’m now well on the way to rectifying that.