Stuart Kells’ Penguin and the Lane Brothers wins prestigious Ashurst Business Literature Prize
“We were impressed by the quality of all the short listed books, but we found the winner was a delight to read – informative and entertaining at the same time.”Alan Cameron
WHAT THE CRITICS SAY
“Kells’ story is informative and entertaining and will appeal to anyone with the slightest interest in the world of books. In more than 30 years at Penguin Australia, I never got this close to the truth about Penguin.”Robert Sessions | August, 2015
“Penguin and the Lane Brothers is written in a conversational style, wearing the enormous amount of Kells’ research lightly. It will be essential reading for all those fascinated by “books about books” and about the foundation stories of great businesses.”Tim Coronel | July 2015
Relying on unprecedented access to Lane family sources, including Richard’s diaries, Penguin and the Lane Brothers sheds new light on the relationship of Allen, Richard and John, so crucial as a driver of Penguin’s spirit and success. By turns hilarious and tragic, moving and insightful, this is a groundbreaking counter-history of an unlikely publishing triumph.
Author: Stuart Kells
Imprint: Black Inc.
Publication date: 26/08/2015
Format: Hardback, 320 pages
The Lane Brothers
An intimate partnership of three brothers – Allen, Richard and John Lane – lay at the heart of Penguin Books, the twentieth century’s greatest publishing house. In a spirit of daring and creative opposition, the brothers issued quality books on a massive scale and at minuscule prices – and achieved a revolution in publishing.
The Lane boys did their best thinking together in bathroom board meetings, where at least one director would always be ‘mother naked’. They innovated in countless ways – in the early years, a church crypt served as their office and warehouse. Penguin was an unconventional upstart, bringing literary giants such as Agatha Christie, George Bernard Shaw, Virginia Woolf and Graham Greene to vast new audiences, and it seemed unstoppable.
Yet the 1942 death of John Lane brought the troika to a halt. Allen, the enthusiastic frontman who relied on his younger brothers to drive Penguin’s success, became more erratic and suspicious over time. Ultimately, he would force Richard out of the company he had cofounded and built.
A portrait of a remarkable family and a publishing powerhouse, Penguin and the Lane Brothers also explores the little known story of Richard Lane – the heart and backbone of Penguin, and its strongest influence. Richard’s experiences as a youth in Australia shaped his character and outlook; his dedication to the business was matched only by his devotion to his brothers.
Penguin and the Lane Brothers. A new insight into the Penguin story from Stuart Kells, largely told through the eyes of Richard Lane, one of the three brothers, Allen, Richard & John, who founded Penguin Books. Sibling rivalry, brotherly love, a passion for books, double dealing, an everyday tale of a publishing empire! #penguinbooks #thepenguinstory #allenlane #richardlane #johnlane @stuartkells #bodleyhead #penguinandthelanebrothers
Some Penguin memorabilia courtesy of The Lane Press. Stuart Kells' Penguin and the Lane Brothers tells the story of the publishing house while Outback Penguin brings us Richard Lane's Barwell Diaries. Both books present engrossing stories - people who had a profound influence on the history of publishing; a man, in Richard's case, who journeyed across the world as a young man and went on to lead a diverse and interesting life. #penguinbooks #richardlane #thelanepress #lanepress #stuartkells #barwelldiaries #memorabilia #penguinmerchandise #booksofkells #publishing #publishinghouse #publishingcompany #southaustralia
Can't wait to get stuck into this new history of Penguin Books and the Lane brothers by Stuart Kells. Just published in Australia by Black Inc. ISBN 9781863957571. Absolutely amazed that no UK publisher has picked this up, especially @penguinukbooks ! Calling UK Publishers - distributors, if you would like to get this title out to a wider audience please contact me direct at firstname.lastname@example.org
MORE REVIEWS & ARTICLES
August 29, 2015
Penguin and the Lane Brothers review: The story behind the popular paperback
October 27, 2015
The Penguin Books story laid bare (even the naked board meetings)
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Anna Task reviews ‘Penguin and the Lane Brothers’
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September 7, 2015
Book and Arts Daily: The Untold Story of Penguin Books – radio interview
September 10, 2015
Stuart Kells reveals real story of 3 brothers ~ not one ~ who created successful Penguin Books empire