Penguin Classics is an imprint of Penguin Books under which classic works of literature are published in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Korean among other languages. Literary critics see books in this series as important members of the Western canon, though many titles are translated or of non-Western origin; indeed, the series for decades from its creation included only translations, until it eventually incorporated the Penguin English Library imprint in 1986. The first Penguin Classic was E. V. Rieu's translation of The Odyssey, published in 1946, and Rieu went on to become general editor of the series. Rieu sought out literary novelists such as Robert Graves and Dorothy Sayers as translators, believing they would avoid "the archaic flavour and the foreign idiom that renders many existing translations repellent to modern taste".
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|Parent company||Penguin Books|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|Headquarters location||London, England|
In 1964 Betty Radice and Robert Baldick succeeded Rieu as joint editors, with Radice becoming sole editor in 1974 and serving as an editor for 21 years. As editor, Radice argued for the place of scholarship in popular editions, and modified the earlier Penguin convention of the plain text, adding line references, bibliographies, maps, explanatory notes and indexes. She broadened the canon of the 'Classics', and encouraged and diversified their readership while upholding academic standards.