Jeremy Lewis Life and Times of Allen Lane

ISBN 13: 9780141015965

Life and Times of Allen Lane

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9780141015965: Life and Times of Allen Lane

A stocky, dapper Bristolian who left school at the age of sixteen to work for his uncle at The Bodley Head and went on to found Penguin Books, Allen Lane was the greatest publisher of the twentieth century, and a major influence on the cultural and political life of post-war Britain. He did not invent the paperback, but he revolutionised our reading habits by his insistence that the best writing in the world should be made available for the price of a packet of cigarettes. Though never a bookish man himself, Lane was adept at sensing the spirit of the age and always ready to follow his hunches: he commissioned Nikolaus Pevsner to write the Buildings of England, gave his backing to John Lehmann's Penguin New Writing, arguably the finest literary magazine of its times, risked prosecution by publishing James Joyce's Ullyses for the first time in this country, and a quarter of a century later appeared at the Old Bailey to defend Penguin's publication of Lady Chatterley's Lover, thereby anticipating the liberal reforms of the 1960s. A mischievous, quixotic, oddly endearing figure who loathed meetings and paperwork a German visitor was shocked to find an editorial meeting taking place in a rowing boat, and well lubricated with gin Lane combined ruthlessness with affability, courage with moral cowardice, loyalty with unpredictability. Few publishers are remembered after their lifetimes: Allen Lane is a rare exception to the rule.

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From the Back Cover:

"Invaluable and fascinating."
—Nick Hornby, Time Out (London)

"Hugely enjoyable . . . Jeremy Lewis’s biography is an extraordinarily vivid portrait of an extraordinary man."
The Sunday Telegraph (London)

"The book is a triumph. His knowledge of the publishing world is unrivaled and this must be the best survey of the nuts-and-bolts of the industry ever devised."
The Sunday Mail (U.K.)

About the Author:

Jeremy Lewis worked in publishing for much of his life after leaving Trinity College Dublin in 1965. He was a director of Chatto & Windus for ten years, and the Deputy Editor of the London Magazine from 1990-'94. He has been the Commissioning Editor of the Oldie since 1997. He has written two highly praised volumes of autobiography, Playing for Time and Kindred Spirits, and edited The Chatto Book of Office Life. His authorised biography of Cyril Connolly was published by Jonathan Cape in 1997, and his life of Tobias Smollett in 2003. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, he is married with two daughters, and lives near Richmond Park.

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Jeremy Lewis
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ISBN 10: 0141015969 ISBN 13: 9780141015965
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