Penguin's 80th Birthday: The Little Black Classic.


In celebration of Penguin's 80th Birthday, they have released eighty of their most popular titles into their new range of 'little black classics'. And they are all available at the bargain price of 80p each. Yes, you read that right - you can buy each book for 80p.  Penguin was established in 1935 by, Sir Allen Lane and V. K. Krishna Menon, as a way to publish and sell quality books, inexpensively. Since then, the company has gone on to create the subsidiaries, Pelican and Puffin, which feature affordable non-fiction texts, and texts for children.   I am a firm believer in that books should be cheap, well made, and easily accessible, which is one of the many reasons why I love Penguin. my childhood memories are full of me reading books and saying to my mum: 'look mummy, its one of those books with a penguin on!' They have had a great and memorable eighty years, heres to next eighty!

They have a great selection in the range, which I will list below, but first I want to show off the ones that I managed to get my hands on Yesterday afternoon. 

  I have read some of the ones that I bought in the past, and many of the others have been on my wish list for years at 80p each, I could hardly say no to finally buying them!

Waterstone's Uxbridge didn't have many of them in stock, so I only managed to pick up fourteen - but fourteen is better than none, right?  The fact that they are numbered is driving me crazy, because I know there is so many more of them to collect and I really want the full collection.

I think I am most happy about buying The Tell Tale Heart. It's a book I always keep coming back to, and it never ceases to bore me! I get something new from it every time I read it. 

These books are so great, each one is about 60 pages long, contains a few points about the author on the flyleaf, a contents page, and of course the novel/poetry itself. The fact that they are 80p each, is mind blowing to me, the average paperback book is around £8/9.00 and has maybe 300 pages more than these classics, so surely if penguin can get away with selling these for 80p each, other publishing companies could easily get away with selling their books for a tad cheaper. 

You can buy these books wherever books are sold, but you can also buy them from their official website, which has an interactive penguin to help you choose which one to buy.  You can find the full list of Little Black Classics below! 

Which ones would you love to get your hands on, and why?


Complete list of Little Black Classics

1. Boccaccio, Mrs Rosie and the Priest

2. Gerard Manley Hopkins, As Kingfishers Catch Fire

3. The Saga of Gunnlaug, Serpent-tongue

4. Thomas de Quincey, On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts

5. Friedrich Nietzsche, Aphorisms on Love and Hate

6. John Ruskin, Traffic

7. Pu Songling ,Wailing Ghosts

8. Jonathan Swift, A Modest Proposal

9. Three Tang, Dynasty Poets

10. Walt Whitman, Alone on the Beach at Night

11. Kenko, A Cup of Sake Beneath the Cherry Trees

12. Baltasar Gracian, How to Use Your Enemies

13. John Keats, The Eve of St Agnes

14. Thomas Hardy, Woman Much Missed

15. Guy de Maupassant, Femme Fatale

16. Marco Polo, Travels in the Land of Serpents and Pearls

17. Suetonius, Caligula

18. Apollonius, of Rhodes Jason and Medea

19. Robert Louis Stevenson, Olalla

20. Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto

21. Petronius, Trimalchio’s Feast

22. Johann Peter Hebel, How a Ghastly Story Was Brought to Light by a Common or Garden Butcher’s Dog

23. Hans Christian Andersen, The Tinder Box

24. Rudyard Kipling ,The Gate of the Hundred Sorrows

25. Dante, Circles of Hell

26. Henry Mayhew, Of Street Piemen

27. Hafez, The nightingales Are Drunk

28. Geoffrey Chaucer, The Wife of Bath

29. Michel de Montaigne, How We Weep and Laugh at the Same Thing

30. Thomas Nashe, The Terrors of the Night

31. Edgar Allan Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart

32. Mary Kingsley, A Hippo Banquet

33. Jane Austen, The Beautifull Cassandra

34. Anton Chekhov, Gooseberries

35. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Well, They Are Gone, and Here Must I Remain

36. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Sketchy, Doubtful, Incomplete Jottings

37. Charles Dickens, The Great Winglebury Duel

38. Herman Melville, The Maldive Shark

39. Elizabeth Gaskell, The Old Nurse’s Story

40. Nikolai Leskov, The Steel Flea

41. Honore de Balzac, The Atheist’s Mass

42. Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wall-Paper

43. CP Cavafy, Remember, Body...

44. Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Meek One

45. Gustave Flaubert, A Simple Heart

46. Nikolai Gogol, The Nose

47. Samuel Pepys, The Great Fire of London

48. Edith Wharton, The Reckoning

49. Henry James, The Figure in the Carpet

50. Wilfred Owen, Anthem for Doomed Youth

51. Wolfgang, Amadeus Mozart My Dearest Father

52. Plato Socrates’ Defence

53. Christina Rossetti, Goblin Market

54. Sindbad the Sailor

55. Sophocles, Antigone

56. Ryūnosuke Akutagawa, The Life of a Stupid Man

57. Leo Tolstoy, How Much Land Does a Man Need?

58. Giorgio Vasari, Leonardo da Vinci

59. Oscar Wilde, Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime

60. Shen Fu, The Old Man of the Moon

61. Aesop, The Dolphins, the Whales and the Gudgeon

62. Matsuo Bashō Lips Too Chilled

63. Emily Bronte, The Night Is Darkening Round Me

64. Joseph Conrad, To-morrow

65. Richard Hakluyt, The Voyage of Sir Francis Drake Around the Whole Globe

66. Kate Chopin, A Pair of Silk Stockings

67. Charles Darwin, It Was Snowing Butterflies

68. Brothers Grimm, The Robber Bridegroom

69. Catullus, I Hate and I Love

70. Homer, Circe and the Cyclops

71. DH Lawrence, Il Duro

72. Katherine Mansfield, Miss Brill

73. Ovid, The Fall of Icarus

74. Sappho, Come Close

75. Ivan Turgenev Kasyan, from the Beautiful Lands

76. Virgil O Cruel, Alexis

77. HG Wells, A Slip under the Microscope

78. Herodotus, The Madness of Cambyses

79. Speaking of Śiva

80. The Dhammapada

I can't wait to go out and buy more of these, next time I am in town! 

Kirstie xoxo


  1. This is brilliant. I wonder if they will be available everywhere?

    Beauty Isles | An Island Girl's Beauty and Lifestyle Blog

  2. So far, I have only seem them in Waterstones and on Amazon. I am guessing other places will have them, but I haven't seen them anywhere.

  3. Thanks, I'll keep a lookout!


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