“The eponymous Penguin is Richard Lane, one of the three Lane brothers who founded Penguin Books. In 1922 the 17-year-old Lane set off from his native Bristol in search of adventure and wound up in Renmark, South Australia, as a “Barwell Boy”… The diary he kept is classic archival material,  the writing strikingly mature for someone so young.”

Steven Carroll | April 2016

The Sydney Morning Herald


Outback Penguin was a joint effort between Elizabeth Lane, Fiona Kells, Louise Paton and Stuart Kells.

Elizabeth Lane

Elizabeth Lane, the daughter of Richard Lane, was born in England into a family of book lovers. She currently lives in Melbourne, where she manages The Lane Press. She was recently involved in the planning and researching of Penguin and the Lane Brothers.

Stuart Kells

Stuart Kells is the author of The Library, A Catalogue of Wonders (August 2017), Penguin and the Lane Brothers (2015) and Rare (2011). He has degrees from the University of Melbourne and a PhD from Monash University. With Fiona, Thea and Charlotte, he runs Books of Kells.

Louise Lane

Louise Lane is the grand-daughter of Richard Lane, a founder of Penguin Books, and she has worked in digital advertising, strategy, analytics and publishing. In 2015 she co-founded The Lane Press with her mother Elizabeth Lane.

Fiona kells

Fiona Kells studied art history at the University of Melbourne. She is a member of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Antiquarian Booksellers. She lives in Melbourne with her husband, Stuart, and their daughters, Thea and Charlotte.


Suriving serveral moves and a Red Cross jumble sale, the diaries and working papers of Richard Lane are soon to find a new home with The University of Melbourne Library.

If you would like to know more, please email Elizabeth Lane

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Barwell Boys, Adelaide, 1922

Richard Lane’s batch of Barwell Boys, shortly after their arrival on the Bendigo  in Adelaide, 1922. Richard stands at the right end of the third row.

June, 1922

Barwell Boys MIgration Agreement

August, 1923

Immigration Department letter to Mr Withers

January, 1924

Going for a ride: Jimmy and Nellie

October, 1924

“Myself taken down by the river in my motor coat”

June, 1925

S.S. Dimboola: Seasick diary entry

July, 1924

“Myself taken down by the river”

October, 1924

Request to leave the Farm Apprentice scheme

August, 1925

Rowland’s property, Millamalong, NSW


Publisher information

Edited by: Elizabeth Lane, Stuart Kells, Louise Lane & Fiona Kells

Imprint: Black Inc. & The Lane Press

Publication date: February, 2016

Format: Hardback, 448 pages

Price: $49.99

ISBN: 9781863958172

Richard Lane

Richard Lane was born in 1905 in Bristol, England. With his brothers, Allen and John, he founded Penguin Books in 1935. He spent a number of years running Penguin in Australia, and lived in Melbourne with his wife, Betty, and daughter, Elizabeth, until his death in 1982.

Anyone who stepped into a bookshop or library from the middle of the 20th century until today would instantly recognise the bright orange spine and the little penguin in an oval as an imprint of Penguin books…

Phillip Adams | March, 2016

ABC Radio National

Renmark, SA

Adelaide, SA