I did something I rarely get the chance to do last Saturday, and got to browse among some second hand books (this was on one of the second hand book stalls near the NFT on London’s South bank). I came away with one book, a 1937 Penguin copy of Evelyn Waugh’s Decline and Fall. I paid an arm and a leg for it, but I’d been meaning to properly re-read this book for ages, and I do like the old original Penguin books. At the risk of coming over all Obi Wan Kenobi on you all, these old Penguins seem to me to be reminders of a more civilised age. Certainly they were produced during a less corporate and more soulful one.
Anyway, a short review of Waugh’s book will be to follow, but in the meantime I couldn’t resist posting a PDF file of the book’s back cover (see link ‘New Doc’ below). It’s the 1937 list of Penguin titles in print. I can’t claim to have read more than a few of them, but the striking thing is just how many of the titles and authors I’ve NEVER heard of at all. An Ozymandias moment indeed.
If you’ve read any of the more obscure titles, or even own an original 30’s Penguin copy, drop me a line. I’d love to hear from you.