Tony Godwin

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Anthony James Wylie "Tony" Godwin (c.1920-1976) was a British 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 bookshop Better Books in Charing Cross Road, where author Barry Miles worked. [1] He also ran Bumpus Books and the City Bookshop in London.

In May 1960, Godwin was recruited to join the senior editorial group at Penguin Books and rose to Chief Editor. He sought to update editorial and design policies. With this aim in mind, he hired Germano Facetti in January 1961, who replaced the original Penguin cover design system with the grid layout. He also brought in another designer Alan Aldridge who pushed for a more radical transformation.[2] Godwin established the Penguin Modern Classics subseries in 1961 and The English Library series in 1965.[3]

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's Massacre was published. It contained anti-clerical cartoons and Foyles refused to stock the book.[4]

Tony Godwin had a brief transatlantic career in hardcover publishing[5] as an editor at Weidenfeld & Nicolson Publishing.


In 1961, Godwin married his second wife, Fay Godwin, who became a successful landscape photographer after he left her in 1969.


Godwin died suddenly in New York City in 1976, aged 56. Novelist John Berger said of Godwin, "[N]ow that he is dead I feel like an orphan."[6]