PAN Fans

Let's talk about PAN paperbacks – the blog for

PAN Fans - Let's talk about PAN paperbacks – the blog for

A Keith Scaife Taster plus …..

KSITAs I mentioned a few weeks back Keith Scaife was kindly looking out some of his original artwork for Jack Higgins covers and here is the first one. Keith writes;
“I was born in Hampshire in 1960 before moving up to Staffordshire where from quite an early age it was evident I would follow art as a career in some shape or form. I spent six years at college, first at Leek School of Art and Crafts getting a superb grounding in all aspects of art and design, then to Sunderland to study model making. In the mid 1980’s I produced a number of pre-production paintings for a proposed T.V. series ( which sadly never came to be ), but this then led me directly into book jacket illustration, working freelance for many of the major UK publishers”
 hope to include several more of Keith’s covers over the next few weeks.


I had a surprising email this week from Penguin asking for MY help! They had some original artwork by Neville Dear and wanted to return it. As I was the only useful link they could find they asked if I had contact details? I last met Neville in London in 2013 when I took down an email address but must have got it wrong as all emails bounced back but I did remember them saying something about the M4 and how long a journey it had been. After a quick search or two I located a Neville Dear in South Wales and rang. As luck would have it I got Neville’s wife first try but it wasn’t good news as Neville can no longer draw and paint as he is not at all well. I gave Penguin his number so hopefully they will get things sorted. 

Here are a few of my latest additions. I had 4 of the 5 Piccolo ‘Picture Puzzle Books’ and have now managed to get a copy of the elusive number 5. I also mentioned in a past blog ‘Falling Through Space’ the US edition (with dedication to D M W) of The Last Enemyand have added it at the bottom of that page. Just when I though there couldn’t be that many more Daphne du Maurier covers I’ve found another, the TV Tie-in for ‘Jamaica Inn’ where you can hear the words being spoken.

…. and finally what will probably be a weekly item, a few bits and pieces added to the Golden Pan Awards page which eventually will have scans of all the covers of the featured titles.


Up to now I’ve not really mention much about PAN’s imprint Picador which  came into being in 1971, the same time as Piccolo. Ralph Vernon-Hunt, Clarence Paget, Simon Master and Caroline Lassalle (the firm’s chief in-house reader) tried to find a name and eventually Caroline came up with the name Picador (Paget wanted Primrose!) and she became its first editor of what was intended to be a showcase for international writers

On the 6 October 1972 Picador launched with eight paperbacks: ‘Rosshalde’ by Hermann Hesse, ‘A Personal Anthology’ by Jorge Luis Borges, ‘Trout Fishing in America’ by Richard Brautigan, ‘The Naked I’ edited by Frederick R. Karl and Leo Hamalian, ‘The Bodyguard’ by Adrian Mitchell, ‘Heroes and Villains’ by Angela Carter, ‘Les Guérillères’ by Monique Wittig, and ‘The Lorry’ by Peter Wahloo.TitlesSonny Mehta became Editorial Director for Pan and Picador in 1974. He is shown below at PAN’s 50th birthday party along with Simon Master, one time MD of PAN, who died last year.Image1
Alysoun at PAN got back to me regarding the ‘Golden PAN Award’ and gave me several more names and details so I’ve added them to the list, thanks Alysoun and I’ve altered the Herriot dates. At least three Picador titles have won the award namely ‘Unreliable Memoirs’ by Clive James, ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest’ by Ken Kersey and ‘The Lovely Bones’ by Alice Sebold. The latter was republished along with 11 other titles in 2012 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Picador. For more information go HEREBones40

I shall be adding random Picador titles over the next few blogs so keep looking.

A Couple of Misses with ‘The Last Enemy’

Now I know I must miss lots of things PAN related but it’s nice to find a couple when it’s not too late thanks to a reader for one and a lucky Google search from me for the other but weirdly both sort of linked.

Just before Christmas I got a letter from fellow PAN fan, Jeremy Birch, asking if I had spotted the article in ‘The Times’ from 6th August 2015 regarding Denise Maxwell Woosnam who was the D M W referred to on Page 4 in the first two PAN editions of ‘The Last Enemy’ by Richard Hillary? My ‘Times’ spotter had let me down on this but luckily Jem sent me a copy of the article.
SpitfireAs you can see I have found five different editions published by PAN from 1956 to 1976 in the UK while in the States it was published by Dell as ‘Falling Through Space’ in 1958.MedalThe second miss was on eBay where all my saved searches let me down and I missed a copy of the PAN catalogue from September 1969 which featured on the cover titles from the ‘Battle of Britain’ series of which ‘The Last Enemy was’ one.Battle‘The Last Enemy’ is the book in the middle bottom row of the display stand and if  d***o ever wants to sell, you know where to find me! It was a bargain as they were the only bidder so it went for £5

And just to show I wasn’t immediately jumping on the Bowie bandwagon last week here is ‘The Man Who Fell to Earth’ by Walter Tevis from 1976. Actually it was because I haven’t been able to find my copy so until I do here’s one from the net.Bowie

Golden PANs, boring covers, a couple of updates plus a name check!

Thanks to Stuart Radmore in Melbourne who now holds the record for the fastest comment in response to a blog. I asked if anyone knew any more names/titles to add to the ‘Golden PAN Award’ role of honour and he came up with ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’ and he also let me know where I could find a photo of Le Carré holding it. I’ve added it to the page. Any more suggestions?

As a site that does ‘judge a book by its cover’ I am offering this couple as contenders for the ‘Most Boring PAN Cover Award’ that I have just instigated.


NaiveAs PAN published at least two editions of these titles with different covers I am puzzled as to why they thought these would catch the eye. Click on them to see an alternative. Any more suggestions would be gratefully received!

Back in May 2015 I mentioned the books of mazes by Vladimir Koziakin and how I was waiting for Mazes for Fun 4′ to arrive in the post – well guess what turned up last week? I’ve also added ‘Gumbles on Guard’ with the Desmond Digby cover I picked up recently. I thought the Barbara Cartland nightmare was all behind me having found 129 titles but amazingly have now discovered another to bring the total up to 130. I’ll get around to rejigging the list one day but for now I’ve just stuck it on the end.

Finally every now and again I ‘google’ myself (doesn’t everyone?)  but nothing new comes up until just recently when I was most surprised and a bit chuffed to find I had been mentioned at the ‘Inclusive Learning Technologies Conference’ in Brisbane, Australia as follows ;
‘Back in 1976, pioneers like Steve Gensler in San Francisco and Paul Schwejda in Seattle were playing around with build-it-yourself kits which were to become the Apple, Commodore and Tandy computers released late the following year. Kitchen[1]This is how, as soon as these “micro-computers” arrived, Steve had an early “Unicorn Board” (later called “IntelliKeys”) ready for the Apple and Paul had cracked switch access for the Tandy. There were also switches and overlay keyboards ready for Apple with the “adaptive firmware card” Meanwhile in the UK, an old colleague of mine, Tim Kitchen of Walsall, had a working overlay keyboard paving the way for the enormously successful Concept Keyboard on the BBC computers of the 80s and early 90s which even outsold America’s IntelliKeys’
Now normally I’m just too modest to talk about my past (!) but I am left wondering, if this was true, where all the  money went? Just think of all those books I could have bought. Seriously they were good times really feeling as if you were making a worthwhile difference to those with varied special needs allowing them to access computer technology. That is the one part of my old job that I do miss.

A Quartet of Bits and Pieces

PANI have heard back from Nicholas Blake from PAN/Macmillan who tells me unfortunately there isn’t a definitive list of Golden PAN Award winners so I see that as a challenge. I have started to make a list on a page which can be seen HERE or use the link at the top. If you know of any more that we can add then please email suggestions to or add them as a comment.

I’m going to add photos. press cutting etc to the page and here is one as a starter about Peter Benchley and ‘JAWS’ from 1975Jaws

I mentioned ‘The Iron Tiger’ with a cover by Keith Scaife about which Keith said

“The one thing I do remember clearly is a sense of embarrassment over the cover for The Iron Tiger……  The publishers didn’t supply me with the whole novel to read whilst I was working out my rough ideas, just a couple of photocopied pages of the relevant passage they wanted illustrating – a Bedford truck on a mountain pass. Unfortunately, out of context I didn’t realise the time the story was set in and picked a 1970s Bedford to paint. It wasn’t until after the book was published that I found out it was WWII era…..  Readers must have wondered what on earth I was doing!!”
Well I’ve cheered Keith up in researching the truck he used and finding it was actually from 1952 and as the story line is set in the time of the Chinese invasion of Tibet he was only really a couple of years premature.
I mentioned PAN publishing their book of party games for Golden Wonder crisps and then found an article in ‘The Times’ which mentioned PAN publishing books as promotions for Gibb’s toothpaste, Nestlé’s chocolate, Beecham’s powders and White Satin gin but no luck searching all the usual sources. Does any of these ring a bell with anyone?

Finally one more for the “As Seen on Television” section. On the ‘Celebrity Antiques Roadtrip” last Tuesday they visited ‘Fanny’s Antiques’ in Reading and firstly showed a bookcase in the distance and then a close-up but fast scan down it. The Dick Francis titles are fairly obvious but I’ve given up trying to work out what some of the others on the lower shelves are. I’ve actually got around to sorting out the crazy formatting on this page. I eventually change the font from Arial to Verdana and all was OK and no I don’t understand why this affected the picture spacing either!

Jack Higgins etc.

Here’s hoping for a great 2016 and that we can all fully experience the feeling of a new word I’ve just learnt after watching ‘University Challenge’ The word is VELLICHOR and means “the strange wistfulness of used bookstores, which are somehow infused with the passage of time”

JackFor the last few months of 2015 I’ve been trying to track down as many Jack Higgins covers that were published by PAN in the 70’s and 80’s. So far I’ve got 25 different titles with 42 different covers showing variants. I’m left wondering why there are 3 different versions of ‘SOLO’ all dated 1981? I’ve included 3 that are scans of the very small covers shown on the inside of the double editions. I have all the others shown but no luck Exocet1with these.

Right –  an PAN/Rupa Indian edition from 1983.

In a few weeks I’m hoping to include some material from Keith Scaife who painted 6 of the Jack Higgins covers including ‘The Iron Tiger’ which shows a 1970’s Bedford when it should be a WW11 one! I’m also trying to find out if Higgins won a Golden PAN Award for selling over a million copies of any one title. ‘The Eagle Has Landed’ has sold over fifty million copies worldwide but how many were actually sold by PAN? I have contacted Alysoun Sanders, archivist at PAN/MacMillan and hope she can provide some answers when she is back in her office after the festive break.

Talking of Golden PAN awards I see there is a bit of controversy over The Diary of a Young Girland copyright issues. The 70 years should have expired on the 1st January this year but the Ann Frank Fund claim it was jointly written by Ann and her father Otto  and so the 70 years is extended until 70 years after his death. You can read the full details in ‘The Guardian’ article HERE which includes the picture of Otto holding a Golden PAN and if you want to read the online version of the diary as was promised by Isabelle Attard  you can find it HERE (the only problem is that it is in the original Dutch)

Happy New Year

HarrySmallThis year I became a patron of the arts actually commissioning artwork. A while back I mentioned Colin Wyatt and how he drew for Playhour Comic taking over drawing ‘Harry Hamster’ from Peter Woolcock. I jokily asked Colin if he would be interested in resurrecting Harry for me and he replied he was more than happy to do so hence the new picture on the website front page. I’ve still not made a real connection between Harry and PAN but I’ve a good imagination!

Amongst my Christmas presents were two pieces of artwork by Glenn Steward namely the front and back covers for ‘That Magnificent Air Race’ the novelisation of the film ‘Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines’ by John Burke. I am still trying to work out how best to scan them as they are framed and under glass and I’m reluctant to cut it open. Here they are photographed through the glass, more on this book in a later blog.

I was also in communication with John Raynes just before Christmas asking if an anonymous cover was his? It was interesting it that it was the first time I’ve known PAN use the same artwork twice but for completely different titles, one from 1966 and the other 1976. John replied

What a cheek, to use the same artwork for completely different books – I’m amazed. I wonder which was first and whether the chap in the background is still there, just cut off in the Byrd cover – what can be seen of the free brush work looks the same. Anyway it’s not mine’

The answer to John’s question is ‘Yes’ the hand is still there and I’ll do a better scan of both covers soon. Does anyone know the artist?SameArt

Finally I’d like to say Happy New Year and here’s to many more blogs in 2016, keep those questions and comments coming.


Golden WonderAs this will be the last blog before Christmas I thought I’d join in the festivities by looking through my book(s) of party games written by Joseph Edmundson. The problem arises as to which one as PAN actually published nine variations over the years from 1958 to at least 1974 with some as PANs, some as Pipers and one for Golden Wonder crisps. Later versions became amalgamations of the first and second books. Click HERE to see all the versions I’ve found so far.
Image1Joseph Edmundson, according to the cover blurb, was Director of Physical Education at the London Polytechnic and was an expert of many branches of entertainment and the author of ‘The PAN Book of Health’ PAN did publish another book of party games but under the Piccolo imprint but this was not by Edmundson but by Deborah Manley and Peta Ree ‘The Piccolo Book of Party Games’

I was watching ‘O What I lovely War’ when I noticed in the credits the name Charles Chilton and found it was the same writer as featured in a previous blog. There is also a connection in that Brian Sanders painted the original film poster as well as many PAN covers. There is a third tenuous link in that Len Deighton is also credited as a writer and Raymond Hawkey designed three of Deighton’s book covers including ‘The Ipcress File’ as well as ‘Thunderball’ for PAN who then used Hawkey’s format for the other thirteen Bond titles.Lovely War

Happy Birthday to TiKiT and an Anniversary?

bg16age[1]I ‘googled’ to see what happened on the 16th December 1999 and I can find no mention of one momentous occasion in the last century namely the birthday of this website so Happy Birthday to which will be 16 years old on the 16th this week.

SpankingTalking of birthdays reminded me of a puzzle that has literally been around for years and that is ‘When should PAN be celebrating its anniversaries?’ In 1957 the PAN Record magazine claimed that year was the 10th anniversary so they had decided to count from the year PAN title numbered one was published and not from 1944 when PAN Books was established or from 1945 when PAN actually published its first book.

It is made more confusing by PAN publishing in conjunction with CQ magazine ‘Native Tongue’ by Carl Hiassen with PAN 50 Years on the spine. Inside it states it was published in 1992 but it could be old text with a new cover but on the last page it shows 8/95 which ties in with my assertion but not PAN’s who celebrated 50 years in 1997.


After mentioning Wikipedia deleting David Tayler’s page last week I’m pleased to report I have since found this site Deletionpedia which I hope means he’ll live on in cyberspace. He is on my list of artists whose work deserve their own page.

Finally here is another newspaper clipping that mentions an author receiving the ‘Golden PAN Award’Ken Kesey

Carl Wilton etc.

Very little is known about Carl Wilton apart from the fact he was a prolific cover artist painting numerous covers for PAN amongst others in the early 1950’s. Searching on-line I found several references to a Carl Wilton living at 8a Wentworth Studios, Manresa Road, Chelsea in the mid 30’s (where Dylan Thomas lived during the war) This Carl Wilton appears to have moved in the late 40’s and early 50’s to 5c Chenil Studios, Kings Road, Chelsea. Click HERE to see the original artwork for 23 Wilton PAN titles.

The reason I mention Carl was that I have just picked up some original artwork by him from 1960 though not for PAN but Hodder and Stoughton. There is a link between these two companies because as from the 3rd May 1947 PAN had the financial backing and titles it needed to expand thanks to help from these three major publishers, Collins, Macmillan and Hodder & Stoughton. Shortly afterwards a fourth, William Heinemann, joined them. Hodder had been reluctant until Alan Bott finally persuaded Hodder & Stoughton’s Editorial Director Leonard Cutts to join and Ralph Hodder-Williams was nominated to the Pan Board.

If anyone can add any information about Carl Wilton a lot of people would be very pleased especially post 1957 when he seems to have disappeared, possibly died, but I can find no record of this event.

HaileyJust found the following cutting from the Sidney Morning Herald from July 21st 1976 mentioning the ‘Golden PAN Award’ set up in June 1964 by PAN Books for authors selling over a million copies of a title. I’m currently attempting to compile a list of all award winners with their book titles but I think I’m going to have to bite the bullet and consult PAN to see if they have a definitive list.

The main problem is that several other organisations also have awards with the same name for things like gold panning, food banks etc. plus there is also a Golden PEN Award for new writers but again used as a name by several organisations including the Nigerian Brewing Company.

I do have a standing invitation from The British Museum to let them know when I am next in London and able to visit as they will get the original Roman bronze, used by PAN as the basis for their award, out of storage in the Hamilton Collection.

Tailpiece – Just found that David Tayler has been deleted from Wikipedia. He was marked for this for some time and we tried to keep his page but it went yesterday. I’m left wondering why, when you see how many pages of dross are still on there! I’ll make a page for him on this site ASAP.