Person NameGodwin; Tony (1921-1976)
ActivityJoined Penguin Books Ltd in 1959 after a successful and radical career in bookselling and as managing editor brought a vigorous modernism to the firm. He reorganised fiction, introducing Modern Classics and the English Library, and published many of the new generation of international writers. Peregrines, Modern Poets and the African Library also flourished under his encouragement and Specials took on a new lease of life with subseries like 'What's Wrong with Britain?' Young artists like Alan Aldridge brought a fresh look with controversial covers and heightened the growing tension between Godwin and Allen Lane. The furore over Sine's 'Massacre' precipitated Godwin's departure in 1967 even though in his time with the firm turnover increased by 300 per cent. He joined Weidenfeld & Nicolson then, in 1973, moved to New York where, in chronic ill health he died three years later. 'The Times' obituary described him as 'probably the single most influential personality in British publishing since the war'.
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