A collection of 100 postcards, each featuring a different jacket from Pelican Books, Penguin's iconic non-fiction series.
Covering subjects from socialism to sex, psychoanalysis to atomic physics, and written by great thinkers ranging from Sigmund Freud to Martin Luther King, Pelican brought accessible, intelligent books to a generation, making knowledge everybody's property.
In 1936 Allen Lane, the founder of Penguin, overheard a woman at a King's Cross Station bookstall asking for 'one of those Pelican books'. She meant Penguin, but Lane, concerned a rival might snatch up the name, decided to launch a new range of non-fiction books. Pelican was born.
Allen Lane said he 'believed in the existence in this country of a vast reading public for intelligent books at a low price, and staked everything on it'. The gamble paid off. Customers queued in the streets for the first Pelican, George Bernard Shaw's The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Socialism, which sold a million copies in six weeks.
In the years to come Pelican Books - including H. G. Wells's A Short History of the World, Freud's Psychopathology of Everyday Life and J. K. Galbraith's The Affluent Society, as well as guides to everything from jazz to witchcraft, guerrilla warfare to smashing atoms - would educate a generation. They became, in Lane's words, 'the true everyman's library for the twentieth century'.