I recently bought a copy of Moby-Dick belonging to the Penguin English Library Series. I found that at the end of the book, there are no annotations as other versions of the same book commonly do, such as Penguin Classics or Oxford World Classics. There are indeed a couple pages of Natural Terms but they are different from some helpful explanatory notes. I haven't started reading it but I feel a bit disappointed for having bought it.

Does this (no notes) happen to all Penguin English Library books? Is yes, why do they cut notes off?

Or does it only apply to Moby-Dick? If yes, why?

  • @GarethRees - something strange is going on with your tag edits- do you have any idea why the system says you removed [moby-dick] and replaced it with... [moby-dick]?
    – CDR
    Oct 27, 2023 at 21:18

1 Answer 1


Although the Penguin English Library Imprint was originally introduced to issue ‘critical editions’ of works as a sister series to ‘Penguin Classics’ which at that time only dealt in translated works, the two streams were merged under ‘Classics’ in the 1980s.

According to Wikipedia:

The imprint was resurrected in 2012 for a new series of titles. The present English Library no longer seeks to provide critical editions; the focus is now 'on the beauty and elegance of the book'.

Therefore notes are unlikely to be included in new editions, but they will have fancy covers.

  • 1
    If this is the case, I would have to stay away from the fancy covers!
    – Ethan
    Nov 21, 2022 at 15:04
  • 1
    What a real shame.
    – cmw
    Nov 21, 2022 at 16:52

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.