Penguin Books is a British publishing house. It was co-founded in 1935 by Allen Lane with his brothers Richard and John, as a line of the publishers The Bodley Head, only becoming a separate company the following year. Penguin revolutionised publishing in the 1930s through its inexpensive paperbacks, sold through Woolworths and other stores for sixpence, bringing high-quality fiction and non-fiction to the mass market. Its success showed that large audiences existed for serious books. It also affected modern British popular culture significantly through its books concerning politics, the arts, and science.
|Parent company||Penguin Random House (as of 1 July 2013)|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|Headquarters location||City of Westminster, London, England|
|Distribution||United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, India, United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, Spanish-speaking world, Brazil, Germany, Portugal|
|Imprints||Penguin Classics, Viking Press|
|No. of employees||10,000|
Penguin Books is now an imprint of the worldwide Penguin Random House, a conglomerate formed in 2013 by its merger with American publisher Random House, a subsidiary of German media conglomerate Bertelsmann. Formerly, Penguin Group was wholly owned by British Pearson plc, the global media company which also owned the Financial Times. When Penguin Random House was formed, Pearson had a 47% stake in the new company, which was reduced to 25% in July 2017. Since April 2020, Penguin Random House has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Bertelsmann. It is one of the largest English-language publishers formerly known as the "Big Six"—now the "Big Five", along with Holtzbrinck/Macmillan, Hachette, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster.