The Penguin Group Launches to Promote Classic Literature

Online Classics Community Extends Penguin Brand to the Internet to Feature Interviews, Research, Discussion Areas, Reader's and Teacher's Guides, and Original Essays

Combining the power of the Internet with its leadership position in classic literature, The Penguin Group today announced the worldwide launch of, the premier Internet site focused exclusively on literary classics. will be an important information source for general readers and educators through online interviews, discussion areas, cutting-edge research and original essays.

"With the launch of we are creating the modern-day equivalent of the old-fashioned salon in which the enduring values of the world's greatest literature are discussed, debated and passed on to a new generation of readers," said Michael Lynton, Chairman and Chief Executive of The Penguin Group. "We will bring to the same commitment to quality that has long been a hallmark of Penguin Classics and employ a full range of community-building features to make the Internet experience as rewarding as possible for our readers."

Mr. Lynton continued: "This state-of-the-art Web site enables us to extend the unique Penguin Classics brand to the rapidly growing online market and build an entirely new community of wired classics lovers. Penguin has already had experience promoting books through the Internet, and we are confident that a site devoted exclusively to the classics will greatly enhance this segment of our business. Through this site customers will be able to locate the widest range of classics, including hard-to-find works of literature, and educators will be able to select books for their courses."

The launch of is the latest expansion of the franchise of one of the world's most famous media trademarks and the building of the Penguin brand. Most recently, The Penguin Group, in conjunction with the PolyGram Entertainment Group launched Penguin Music Classics, a distinct and highly innovative new classical music label.

State-of-the-Art Site Continues Penguin Classics' Tradition of Leadership

For over fifty years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of the Classics of world literature and builds on this tradition of leadership. For the first time, the site provides classics readers with an online destination where they can build a like-minded community of Classics lovers and find a full range of opinion, commentary, and reference information.

The site has been organized around the general areas of Reference, Opinion and Commentary, Interactivity and Searching and is expected to feature the following activities for both the dedicated student of literature and the general reader:

  • Encyclopedic treatments for Classic titles, authors and historical periods
  • Regular columns from writers and academics
  • Bulletin boards and discussion areas
  • News about contemporary Classic performances
  • Readers' and Teachers' Guides
  • Recommended Web resources
  • Word games and puzzles

The web site will also feature unique interviews of prominent professors, which will then link to resource information discussed in the interviews. In addition, other well-known personalities outside of the academic world, but whose work involves the classics, will be interviewed. is also capitalizing on Penguin's tradition of quality introductions, commentary and translations by commissioning exclusive content for the site in the form of essays and opinion pieces from academics, contemporary authors, and celebrities. In addition, the design of the web site carries over the elegant and highly distinguishable design features of the Penguin Classics book.


The Penguin Group is one of the world?s foremost publishers of English-language consumer books, in both hardback and paperback, and owns a wide range of imprints and trademarks including Viking, G.P. Putnam?s Sons, Berkley Books, Riverhead Books, Penguin, Dutton, Plume, and Signet, among others. It also produces maps, audio books and other ?new media? products. The Penguin Group is owned by Pearson, plc, the international media group.

For further information

Penguin Classics
Maureen Donnelly
(212) 366-2272

Robinson, Lerer & Montgomery
Jeanine Smartt
(212) 484-6713