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Tony Godwin

Tony Godwin

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Anthony James Wylie "Tony" Godwin (c.1920-1976) was a British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 publisher of the 1960s/1970s. His contribution to the publishing industry is recognized in the form of the Tony Godwin Memorial Trust.

He started the avant-garde
Avant-garde means "advance guard" or "vanguard". The adjective form is used in English to refer to people or works that are experimental or innovative, particularly with respect to art, culture, and politics....

 bookshop Better Books
Better Books
Better Books was an independent bookstore. It was founded by Tony Godwin and was located at 94 Charing Cross Road, London.-History:It was founded by British publisher Tony Godwin who took over the premises at 94 Charing Cross Road, London, in 1946....

 in Charing Cross Road
Charing Cross Road
Charing Cross Road is a street in central London running immediately north of St Martin-in-the-Fields to St Giles Circus and then becomes Tottenham Court Road...

, where author Barry Miles
Barry Miles
Barry Miles is an English author known for his participation in and writing on the subject of the 1960s London underground. He has written numerous books and his work has also regularly appeared in left-wing papers such as The Guardian...

He also ran Bumpus Books and the City Bookshop in London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...


In May 1960, Godwin was recruited to join the senior editorial group at Penguin Books
Penguin Books
Penguin Books is a publisher founded in 1935 by Sir Allen Lane and V.K. Krishna Menon. Penguin revolutionised publishing in the 1930s through its high quality, inexpensive paperbacks, sold through Woolworths and other high street stores for sixpence. Penguin's success demonstrated that large...

 and rose to Chief Editor. He sought to update editorial and design policies. With this aim in mind, he hired Germano Facetti
Germano Facetti
Germano Facetti was an Italian graphic designer who headed design at Penguin Books from 1962 to 1971.Born in Milan he was arrested in 1943 for putting up anti-Fascist posters...

 in January 1961, who replaced the original Penguin cover design system with the grid layout. He also brought in another designer Alan Aldridge
Alan Aldridge
Alan Aldridge is an English artist, graphic designer and illustrator.-Personal life:Born in 1943 in east London, he currently resides in Los Angeles...

 who pushed for a more radical transformation. Godwin established the Penguin Modern Classics subseries in 1961 and The English Library series in 1965.

In 1965, an attempt by him (i.e Tony Godwin) and the board of directors to remove founder Lane was unsuccessful. Lane fired Godwin, and retained control of Penguin.

In 1967 Penguin's edition of acclaimed French cartoonist Siné
Maurice Sinet , known as Siné, is a French cartoonist.As a young man he studied drawing and graphic arts, while earning a living as a cabaret singer. After his military service he started publishing his drawings and also worked as a photo-retoucher for porn magazines. His first published drawing...

Massacre was published. It contained anti-clerical cartoons and Foyles
W & G Foyle Ltd. is a bookshop at 113–119 Charing Cross Road, London, England. Foyles was once listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the world's largest bookshop in terms of shelf area and number of titles on display...

 refused to stock the book.

Tony Godwin had a brief transatlantic career in hardcover publishing as an editor at Weidenfeld & Nicolson Publishing.


Godwin died suddenly in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 in 1976, aged 56. Novelist John Berger
John Berger
John Peter Berger is an English art critic, novelist, painter and author. His novel G. won the 1972 Booker Prize, and his essay on art criticism Ways of Seeing, written as an accompaniment to a BBC series, is often used as a university text.-Education:Born in Hackney, London, England, Berger was...

said of Godwin, "[N]ow that he is dead I feel like an orphan."