PAN Fans

Let's talk about PAN paperbacks – the blog for

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

PAN Classics and a couple of updates.

With the ‘library’ room actually finished I now need to order the shelving, well enough for two thirds as I need floor space to sort the jumbled stacks of books into alphabetical order before putting them on the shelves. I’m also hoping to catalogue them all at the same time but I’ll see how long that takes.

Amongst the first piles were several titles in the 1970’s series of ‘PAN Classics’ which was the successor to the ‘Bestsellers of Literature’ series from the 1960’s (another page that really does need updating) I usually like to show the actual cover I have but I seem to be several short so I’ve resorted to images off the web which will be updated as I go along. Click HERE to see them so far. I’m also looking at the later series from around 1980 as they often used the same artwork and some of these list the artist.
t’s interesting in that when I bought my boxed set it was very cheap as it only had five of the six titles. I knew I had a copy of ‘Pride and Prejudice’ which I could put in it but try as I might I couldn’t squeeze it in with the others. I’ve just noticed on eBay someone selling a set and asking £50 but I’m more interesting working out if they are the same thickness as mine, where’s that ruler?
A couple of updates including a scan of a copy of Daphne du Maurier’s ‘The Progress of Julius’ which I’ve shown as a web image for quite a while but have now got one of my own,

As with these things I just said I’d not added to my “PAN as seen on Television” section for quite a while and then add one a couple of weeks ago and followed by two in the last week

‘The Totem’, Jooce Garrett and some newspaper clippings.

Last week the UK ground to a halt because of Siberian wind and snow dubbed the ‘Beast from the East’ by the papers or ‘Winter’ as we call it. No post here for days but a rack and pinion railway engine I bought off eBay in the States arrived in just over a week! 

Last week I mentioned finding another George Sharp cover, ‘The Totem’ by David Morrell. I emailed George and he replied that it is actually him modelling and the shot was taken by a photographer at Artists Partners.

I’ve also been trying to make sense of all the PAN Classics titles and editions and found six Austen titles from 1981 were painted by Jooce Garrett who now lives in Switzerland. I sent him an email and he very kindly replied;

“I will gladly add what I can to your fine website. First off, as you will see when I dig out the artwork and take the photo you want, that I am a chap. I have put together a list of the jobs I did for Pan, mostly for David Larkin, but latterly with Gary Day-Ellison. I was with Artist Partners and, though I did occasionally make the pilgrimage out west from Soho, mostly they took the briefs and did the running around. I was impressed with the freedom David gave me. The instruction back then was to leave the top third of a book jacket free for the type, but David let me do those little vignettes on the Jane Austens. I think the red is his scribbles on my roughs. I’ll be in touch again when I’ve taken that photo”

I’m not sure what happened, typing mistake possibly, but I addressed Jooce as Ms, looks like he has forgiven me. Jooce also included a list of other covers he did for PAN and I’ll try and track them down to add later, luckily he included the year as well so that will help. As for getting hold of the six Austen titles, that’s proving difficult due to my constant complaint of sellers not showing the actual coves, just stock images. Any way here is one of them plus the rough Jooce mentioned.

As Jooce mentioned Artist Partners as did George I asked if they knew each other but seems they only knew of each other.

Lastly HERE are a random selection of press cuttings featuring ‘The Botts’, Alan founder of PAN Books and his wife Josephine.

More from Robin, a couple of covers and another from George.

As promised last week here are more pages from the film exhibitors campaign books I scanned from photocopies Robin Harbour had from Anthony Southall.
There are several large pages that all mention PAN Books. They may load slowly but they can be found HERE.

Again while sorting I’m left pondering “Was it really worth it?” when I see covers a couple of years apart looking very similar. They were both for ‘The Spy Who Came In From The Cold’ one from 1974 and the other 1979. All I can think is that the 1979 edition was designed to look like the other Carre covers with the stylised name.

….. and yet another cover from prolific artist George Sharp which I’ve emailed to him as he says he can’t remember a lot of them but they bring back memories of the time. This is another Morrell cover from 1979. I’m awaiting his response.

A Visit from Robin plus another PAN/Ballantine

I was really pleased to get an email from James Bond aficionado Robin Harbour to say he had just acquired the exhibitors campaign book for ‘You Only Live Twice’ and as it mentioned the PAN edition published to coincide with the film release, was I interested? As it was A3 and Robin doesn’t have a scanner big enough he offered to pop round with it and luckily he doesn’t live that far away.

One of the pages not only shows the book but also extra display pieces. To see them click HERE. The photo of the rocket was one Graham Rye of “007 Magazine” sent me a while back while the other two are from Nick Bennetts collection. Over the page were details of a competion run by W H Smith for window displays, the accompanying photo was a mock up showing all the bits being used. To see previously shown displays click HERE.

I’m always on the look out for PAN/Ballantine joint publications and have now got another one to add to the list. It is “The Basic Book of Organic Farming” with a cover by David Larkin who was art director at PAN at the time.

While Robin was here he also brought photocopies of other campaign books featuring PAN’s which he got from Anthony Southall. I’ve scanned them in and although the quality is not as good as they would be straight from the originals I’ll shown them next week.

…. and finally the answer to last weeks puzzle was less than a centimetre.

William Goldman, a signed copy by Alexander Cordell and a puzzle.

While looking at images of PAN books I spotted a copy of “The Princess Bride by William Goldman I’d not see before. I thought this would be easy to get but was surprised at the price someone wanted on AbeBooks.After another search I found this on Amazon ……
…… but in the end I got a copy for the penny plus postage from Amazon. What I always wonder is “Does anyone really buy books at the over the top prices?”

I was pleased to see PAN had included the name of the artist for “The Princess Bride” and it was a familiar one, Brian Sanders. I emailed him and he replied:
“Another blast from the past. Thank you. Yes I certainly remember making the artwork commissioned by Dave Larkin for Princess Bride, although it was in another life, when I lived in the lower reaches of Highgate. The young lady who modelled for me was the daughter of a neighbour. They lived less than fifty yards away. Warren Michel and family were in between; before he made it big time and moved up to Bishop’s Avenue. Forty years on the child princess bride must be in her late 50s”
Click HERE to see this and other Goldman covers from PAN.

I also picked up a signed copy of “Rape of the Fair Country” by Alexander Cordell and then spent the next half hour looking at his signature in other books and I think it could be a genuine one. Click HERE to see it and the original artwork from one of my favourite cover artists, Hans Helweg.

Not PAN but book related. BBC Radio 4’s Today programme has a ‘Puzzle of the Day’ and here’s the one from last Friday which I got wrong – again!
“I have an encyclopaedia of animals on my shelf, which comes in two volumes. On the left is the Aardvark to Lynx volume, and next to it on the right is the volume for Mackerel to Zebra. Each volume is 5cm thick. The covers are 2mm thick. I have bookmarked two pages, Aardvark and Zebra. How far apart would you say the two bookmarks are, to the nearest centimetre?”
Answer next week.

Found them, plus RIP Peter Wyngarde and another ‘As seen on TV’

Not sure our few days away were that restful with the gale force winds and rain but on the plus side it did get to 15 degrees, not bad for this time of year.

I found the books I’d put on one side but I’m still one and possibly two to find to go on the shelves. The title was ‘Tim’ by Colleen McCullough and I’ve got five examples plus one that only seems to be show as ‘Stock photo’ but I suppose it exists? The other is one that I’m sure I have somewhere that I was sent as a review copy when I worked in Special Ed. In my mind it was just a plain yellow cover with the writing in white but after forty years it might just be a figment of my imagination. See the covers HERE

I know it is a bit morbid but I do look at obituaries, hence spotting Peter Mayle on the 18th January but I missed the passing of Peter Wyngarde three days earlier. I think most people will remember him from his role as ‘Jason King’ and PAN published two titles featuring King. They were written by Robert Miall AKA John Burke who received £525 for each of them for the first 40,000 titles. Click HERE to see the covers and contracts.


….. and finally another screen capture for the ‘PAN as seen on TV’ page with a copy of ‘For Your Eyes Only’ appearing on Bargain Hunt where all the latest captures seen to have come from.

PAN Book Week

Sorry there is only one item this week for two reasons. The first being that we are taking advantage of the better weather and having a few days away in our camper (luckily has a great diesel heater in the back) and secondly I’ve put the  different versions of the title that I was going to feature somewhere safe! Hopefully I’ll have found them by next week.

This weeks page is about PAN Book Week which apparently, according to the newspaper article, first started in Birmingham in 1959 which is a bit odd as I have a cutting announcing a PAN Book Week in Falkirk in 1955. I’ve also included cuttings for Aberdeen from 1961 and 1962. Click HERE to see them. I’m currently trying to find what happened to 1960 and did it continue after 1962? Keep reading the blog as I’ll update if anything turns up or please let me know if you have anything to add.

Another Battles Boxed Set, one that got away and RIP Peter Mayle

Having mentioned a couple of boxed sets in the 1968 ‘British Battles Series’ I  seem to have found I have a third namely ‘British Naval Battles of World War Two’
As I can’t find this listed in catalogues so far I’m presuming the four titles in it are the correct ones? They range in date from 1969 to 1973 and interestingly have three different PAN logos between them.

An interesting item appeared on eBay last week but unfortunately was quite a bit above my budget especially up against James Herbert fans. It was a proof copy of ‘Domain’ published by NEL in 1984. It was the letter with it I was particularly interested in having a reference to PAN. It would have been nice to be able to add it to the PAN Horror archives I have but on checking on Herbert’s publications list it looks like nothing came of it or am I wrong?

We lost a Golden PAN Award winner last Thursday namely Peter Mayle who was 78. I can’t find a photo of him with the award but here as a couple of the books he is most famous for. One day I might get around to reading one of the ‘Wicked Willie’ series but it’s not that high on my list.

With a major overhaul of the later titles definitely due this year I’m pondering on how to list them all on the website. I was cataloguing those that still had the yellow rectangular logo on the spine but later ones only got mentioned on the blog. I think I’ll start to list them by author and show all the titles per page instead of a separate one for each title as now. The original ones with PAN’s eclectic numbering will stay the same although I do intend to rescan them all at a much higher resolution than when I first started back in 1999. I also need to sort out the search and make it more selective as it appears to give multiple returns from everywhere when all we need is the location of the cover.

A Scottish feel this week?

I’ve learnt a new word this week namely ‘quair’ which is the Scots word for ‘book’ a variant of the English word ‘quire’ This was because I came across ‘A Scots Quair’ by Lewis Grassic Gibbon published by PAN in 1982 to tie-in with the BBC Scotland production of ‘Cloud Howe’ one of three titles published as an omnibus. In 2016 ‘Sunset Song’ the first title in the trio was voted Scotland’s favourite book of all time!
Click HERE to see the covers, any idea of the artist?

I also came across another couple of books with a Scottish theme, a pair of titles by Lea MacNally. They are shown HERE

The third Scottish sounding item is in fact not Scottish and nothing to do with books. Our campaign to reopen the old railway line between Walsall and Lichfield now has an official name for the greenway. It is the ‘McClean Way’ which sounds Scottish but in fact John Robinson McClean was born in Belfast and was one of those really famous Victorians nobody’s heard of these days. He built and ran the railway back in the 1850’s and also built a pipeline which ran alongside it. Now looking for a printer to print a few hundred way markers so we can officially label it. Waiting for ructions from a few NIMBY’s next week as we are bringing in a digger as the clearing of the drains etc. has got beyond our capabilities!I’m to modest to actually say who designed the logo but I am rather pleased with it!

A new cover and a holiday opportunity with a difference.

Just when I thought I’d got all but the one elusive title (X705) I spotted an earlier version of X305 “The Shoes of the Fisherman’ by Morris West which I didn’t have. Click HERE to see the editions. Now wondering how many others there might be out there that I could have missed and so now feel the urge to check all the different editions with PANs eclectic numbering system. This may take some time!

If you find yourself at a lose end and would like to run your own second-hand bookshop for two weeks it is possible in the Scottish book town of Wigton although apparently there are no vacancies until 2020. This made the BBC News and showed several interior shots of this  and other shops in the town but try as I might I couldn’t spot a PAN anywhere, how remiss of the film crew.

Finally found another title to add to the Piccolo Craft BooksMaking Presents’ from 1977. Looks like all the presents for Christmas 2018 are sorted!