Collecting Penguin Pocket Hardbacks

Although rather smaller than the rest of Penguin’s clothbound classics collection  (about 10 cm x 17 cm), and made of a finer weave linen cloth binding, the mostly philosophical titles included in the original Pocket Pocket Hardback Classics collection (selected because they have “changed the history of thought”) may be considered a very closely related series.

The first 10 titles in this series were released in 2014 , with two more following in 2015, featuring two toned linen covers, including matt foil decorations by the ever-talented Coralie Bickford-Smith stamped onto the binding. The text block is glued (not sewn) but the pages are acid-free and they include coloured endpapers, head & tail bands, and a bound-in ribbon bookmark. The cover designs featured geometric patterns, intended to be symbolic of the nature of the texts as timeless pieces of literature.

However, for later printings of these first books, as well as the later titles in the series that were released in 2020, the linen bindings were replaced with similar cover designs that use only a single block of colour. Therefore, make sure to track down a first printing of the initial 12 titles if you are after the highest quality edition.

The Books List

The Art of War by Tsu Sun

Nov 6, 2014. Introduced and translated by John Minford. ISBN 9780141395845, 544p.

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A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf

Nov 6, 2014. ISBN 9780141395920, 144p.

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The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli

Nov 6, 2014. Translated by Tim Parks. ISBN 9780141395876, 240p.

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Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

Nov 6, 2014. Introduced by Diskin Clay, translated by martin Hammond. ISBN 9780141395869, 416p.

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Letters from a Stoic: Epistulae Morales Ad Lucilium by Seneca

Nov 6, 2014. Translated and introduced by Robin Campbell. ISBN 9780141395852, 352p.

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Essays and Aphorisms by Arthur Schopenhauer

Nov 6, 2014. ISBN 9780141395913, 352p.

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Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche

Nov 6, 2014. Introduced by Michael Tanner. ISBN 9780141395838, 352p.

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Fear and Trembling: Dialectical Lyric by Johannes De Silentio by Soren Kierkegaard

Nov 6, 2014. Translated and introduced by Alastair Hannay. ISBN 9780141395883, 256p.

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The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

Nov 6, 2014. Edited by Gareth Stedman Jones. ISBN 9780141395906, 432p.

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Civilisation and its Discontents by Sigmund Freud

Nov 6, 2014. Translated by David McLintock. ISBN 9780141395890, 192p.

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The Nature of Things by Lucretius

Penguin, 2014. Introduced by Richard Jenkyns, translated by A. E. Stallings. ISBN 9780141396903, 304p.

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Confessions by Saint Augustine

5 Feb, 2015. Translated by R. Pine-Coffin. ISBN 9780141396897, 576p.

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The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Matsuo Bashō

Feb 27, 2020. Translated by Nobuyuki Yuasa. ISBN 9780241382615, 192p. (*This paper cover design is inspired by Sashiko, a type of Japanese embroidery.)

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A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft

Feb 27, 2020. Introduced by Miriam Brody. ISBN 9780241382622, 512p. (*Earlier printings have a darker green paper cover.)

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Utopia by Thomas More

Feb 27, 2020. Translated by Dominic Baker-Smith. ISBN 9780241382684, 256p. (*Paper cover.)

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