PAN Fans Club

Let's talk about PAN paperbacks, the blog for those that do judge a book by its cover. Main site is at or

PAN Fans Club - Let's talk about PAN paperbacks, the blog for those that do judge a book by its cover. Main site is at or

Signed Jackie Collins, James M Cain and more royalty.

I’m still sorting the different editions of Jackie Collins (currently by typeface for her name) and notice at least two were signed. One is to Celeste who was Celeste Parsons and worked at PAN while the other is to Steve (?) who was a ‘rep supreme’ apparently. Click HERE to see them.

Looking at ‘The Five Great Novels of James M Cain’ published by PAN as a Picador I checked if PAN had published all five titles separately as I couldn’t remember seeing ‘Mildred Pierce’ on the shelf. It seems my memory was correct so to make up for its absence I’ve scanned in my three US Penguin copies of the title although not in the best of condition. I’ve also included the Guild Books edition of ‘The Postman Always Rings Twice’ as Guild Books was another of Alan Botts companies. Cain wrote over 20 novels plus short stories and plays. James Mallahan Cain was born on the 1st July 1892 in Annapolis, Maryland and died on the 27th October 1977 at University Park, Maryland. Click HERE to see the covers.

At the time of the coronation of King Charles III last month I scanned in some titles with a vague royal connection and now realise there was another one I had missed so better late than never I’ve added ‘The Reality of Monarchy’ by Andrew Duncan from 1970. Dipping into it I don’t think it will be joining my ‘to read’ pile anytime soon!

Arthur William Upfield

There seems to have been a lot on this week with days out to BIFoR (nothing to do with books but very interesting) and nights away in the camper so there is only one post for author Arthur William Upfield. I’ve been scanning in his PAN covers from 1954 to 1984 making it a total of 67 and including backs was not only time consuming but a bit boring as well hence a few done at a time. I have put the individual covers under their PAN numbers and all of them on one page HERE which might take a while to load in! As usual, pleased let me know of any I might have missed.

Arthur William Upfield was born in Gosport on 1st September 1890 and was registered under the name of William Arthur Upfield but his names were later reversed to avoid the diminutive ‘Little Bill’ apparently. He moved to Australian in 1911 and fought with the Australian military during the First World War. following his war service he travelled extensively throughout Australia obtaining a knowledge of Australian Aboriginal culture that he would later use in his written works. He is best known for his books of detective fiction featuring Detective Inspector Napoleon “Bony” Bonaparte of the Queensland Police Force, a mixed-race Indigenous Australian. In addition to writing detective fiction Upfield was also a member of the Australian Geological Society and was involved in numerous scientific expeditions. After living at Bermagui, New South Wales, Upfield moved to Bowral where he died on the 12th February 1964. His last work,The Lake Frome Monster‘, published in 1966, was completed by J.L. Price and Dorothy Strange.

PAN didn’t publish all his 29 titles but ETT Imprints did in uniform editions from 2019. They can be found on the Arthur Upfield website.

While looking through literally hundreds of different editions I couldn’t help but notice the resemblance between the Heinemann hardback edition of 1959 and that by James McConnell for the 1962 PAN edition of ‘Bony and the Black Virgin’. I can’t find a name for the artist of the Heinemann edition.

It’s also interesting to see ETT Imprints used the same TV series photo in 2020 as did PAN for ‘The Barrakke Mystery’ while all the other 28 covers from ETT appear to use artwork.

‘OHMSS’, Jackie Collins, Barbara Lofthouse and a Jules Burt video.

Not quite PAN but a sort of link via James Bond as I’ve just received my signed and numbered copy of On His Majesty’s Secret Service’ which included 12 feet of bubble wrap around it! My copy is numbered 794 of 1,000 and here is Charlie Higson actually signing it, well you never know, it could be.

Now I know this isn’t much but I was really pleased to get a copy of ‘Hollywood Wives’ by Jackie Collins where is states over a million copies have been sold. I did have it on the page but it was from the web as all those for sale seemed to be stock images. I found it on the 50p table in the secondhand bookshop at Shugborough Hall, the elusive edition which has now been added to the page. I have several more Jackie Collins titles to add and I’ll feature them in a upcoming blog.

While at Shugborough I also picked up a couple of ‘thick ‘PANs with ‘Omamori’ at 878 pages while ‘Brazil’ weighs in at over a1,000. It was a coincidence that both covers are by Barbara Lofthouse of which I can find very little so far apart from;

I know she also designed stamps so if anyone knows of any more PAN covers she painted or details about her including a contact email I would be very grateful.
UPDATE Just found THIS LINK with a bit more information. Christine Isteed at Artist Partners told me Barbara has given up commercial work and doesn’t embrace the digital world! 

Jules Burt is continuing to work his way through his PAN collection and this time he’s looking at his Science Fiction and Horror titles from 1945 onwards in chronological order.. You can watch the video by clicking HERE.

‘Unease’ Titles, John Burke and Another Pastiche Cover

This week the John Burke contract is for ‘New Tales of Unease‘ which was listed as ‘Tales of Unease III’ on it. There is also a couple of items of correspondence regarding two of the stories. I think John Burke was not happy with one where there is a wad of letters between him and the writers agent who wants some sort of written statement which John says is not something usually requested hence he is ‘cheesed off’ I’ve also rescanned the earlier two related titles ‘Tales of Unease’ and More Tales of Unease’ , the latter with the really creepy cover!

John Burke was a PAN stalwart and wrote under many pen names including J. F. Burke, Jonathan Burke, Jonathan George, Robert Miall, Martin Sands, Owen Burke, Sara Morris, Russ Ames, Roger Rougiere, and Joanna Jones; and co-wrote with his wife Jean Burke under the pen name Harriet Esmond. This is a full page advertisement  for his books in a PAN leaflet.

I recently had an email from Colin Larkin, author of Cover Me’ who ask about ‘Crime Fiction: A Reader’s Guide’ which reminded me of all the other pastiche PAN covers, some for real titles and some with covers than might have been. There are several examples on the website. No idea if this is a recycled cover from a differnt title but I see it is available as a poster from HERE

Royal Connections, Shakespeare and ‘Moon Zero Two’

I meant to. post this last week but it got over looked so better late than never. It was the local elections last Thursday but the closest PAN tie-in I could find was Piper XP59 A Guide to the General Election’  from 1964. Harold Wilson of the Labour Party won that year. The other titles are regarding monarchs of the last century including Queen Victoria, King George V and Queen Elizabeth II.

I have mentioned the PAN Shakespeare titles before which used some of the artwork from a series that appeared in ‘The Sunday Times’ You could subscribe and get posters featuring the characters and description plus a painting by a well know artist. These are not easy to find at a price that I’m happy to pay so when a bundle turned up on eBay within my budget I couldn’t resist. There were 29 and I though this was all of them but it turns out there are 36 listed as Lady Macbeth, Prospero, Henry V, Falstaff, Mark Antony, Nurse, Macbeth, Shylock, Richard II, Richard III, Mistress Quickly, Viola, Hamlet, Desdemona, Ophelia, Othello, Banquo, King Lear, Henry IV, Touchstone, Rosalind, Cleopatra, Antony, Julius, Caesar, Isabella, Caliban, Iago, Cordelia, Leontes, Polonius, Romeo, Juliet, Sir Toby Belch, Malvolio, Titania, Henry VIII. Now to work out which seven I don’t have yet. They are double crown paper size (30″x20″) and I now need somewhere and some how to flatten them out.

Having obtained several PAN contracts and other correspondence mainly for titles by John Burke I thought I would start putting them on a page with a scan of the relevant cover. This week it’s for ‘Moon Zero Two’ which was written as a book of the film in 1969. This was a 1969 British science fiction film from Hammer, directed by Roy Ward Baker, and starring James Olson, Catherine Schell, Warren Mitchell, and Adrienne Corri. The film takes place on the Moon in the year 2021. The film script was written by amongst others, PAN stalwart, Gavin Lyall. John got paid £525 plus royalties for his version.

PAN V Corgi, Bonhams Catalogue and Original Artwork

I have a sheet of paper where I jot down ideas for the blogs and noticed I had three with a Corgi/Roger Hall connection so I’m lumping them together this week. I’ll say sorry to PAN purists but back to normal(!) next week.

Looking at the PAN Romance covers and then the Corgi Romance ones I was intrigued by the similarity in styles over the years. Corgi started with a full cover painting and then so did PAN. Later both PAN and Corgi went for a smaller painting in a frame and then PAN went for a photo followed by Corgi a little later. I’ve been puzzling over the one Corgi which has the monogram that looks like CD which I’m sure I’ve seen before but can’t recall a name. There are a couple of familiar names used by both publishers. I’ve added a couple more Corgis just because I had them on the shelf. Click HERE to see the comparisons.

Before Bonham’s held their auction of PAN book covers in 1991, which turned out to be very controversial, they auction original artwork from CORGI in 1990. This was from the collection of Mr. And Mrs. John Munday and includes many familiar names such as Roger Coleman, Roger Hall,, James McConnell, Harry Hants, Edward Mortelmans, and of course Sam Peffer. The cover features artwork by Josh Kirby. At the moment it is just sitting on the shelf but if anyone is interested then I can scan its contents and put them on the site?

The third CORGI related post is for the only original piece of CORGI artwork I have. It is by Roger Hall, who of probably better known for painted the 1955 PAN ‘Casino Royale cover plus several in PAN’s Romance series, has a lot of his artwork included in the CORGI catalogue. The artwork if for the Conrad Richter title ‘The Lady’ number SW731 from 1959.

Monsarrat addition, ‘Gilt Edge’, a coincidence and another JB video

Having acquired eleven Nicholas Monsarrat covers from the 80’s I thought I had them all until a twelfth popped up on eBay. It was sold as a library copy being covered in sticky back plastic with a lot of creases and a label under the plastic. I thought it would be easy to find a better copy but I was wrong so I bought it. Luckily the sticker was under another layer of plastic but on top of the main covering. With a knife I was able to remove the sticker and with PaintShop Pro, most of the creases so I’m still on the look out for a belter copy or any other titles in this series I may have missed. I always remember George Sharp being adamant that ‘The White Rajah’ in this series was NOT by him although his name is on the back.

Isn’t it the way, you get one library copy with a label under the sticky plastic cover and then along comes another. This time it was for ‘Gilt Edge’ by Ian Moffitt. I’ve had an overprinted copy for a while where the word PAN on the front and spine is changed to Hinkler but which a bit of careful knife work I managed to get the label off.

Having mentioned the sad news of the death of George Sharp very recently there was a odd coincidence in that I got a members email from English Heritage regarding Blue Plaques in Fitzroy Square in London. It was in Fitzroy Square I first met George where he lived before moving to Hampstead. I hope they are going to put up a plaque to him.

Jules Burt has posted another of his excellent videos and this time it was a return visit to Dorset Bob who has a lot of PAN books although he specialises in Science Fiction (they start about 7 minutes 30 seconds in)

Chris Molan, 3 from Hans Helweg, trying out ‘BARD’ and a bonus video.

Having been emailing Chris Molan recently I sorted out several more examples of her work which I have put on a page HERE. This is a work in progress and I’ll add others as I find them as there are undoubtably more. To find out about Chris and her work visit her website at

I’m still going through the several folders of preliminary drawings and paintings from Hans Helweg and have found two which are definitely the right titles and one possible.  The two I’m sure of are ‘The Sterile Cuckoo’ by John Nichols and The Fifth Point of the Compassby Miles Tripp with the ‘maybe?’ being ‘Miaby Derek Monsey. Now to go through all the Sam ‘PEFF’ Peffer negatives again to see what I might have missed there.

As Google asked me if I’d like to try ‘Bard’ I thought I would ask it ‘What is the history of’ to which it replied;

“The website was created in 1996 by a group of Pan Books enthusiasts. The site was originally intended as a forum for fans of Pan Books to share their thoughts and experiences, but it quickly grew into a comprehensive resource for information about Pan Books.

The site features a searchable database of Pan Books titles, as well as information about authors, illustrators, and other Pan Books-related topics. also hosts a number of forums and discussion groups, where fans can discuss their favorite Pan Books titles and share their own artwork and stories.

The site has been praised by Pan Books fans for its comprehensiveness and its friendly community. is now one of the leading resources for information about Pan Books, and it continues to be updated with new content on a regular basis.

Here is a more detailed history of the website:

* 1996: is created by a group of Pan Books enthusiasts.
* 1997: The site is expanded to include a searchable database of Pan Books titles.
* 1998: The site hosts its first online Pan Books convention.
* 2000: is redesigned with a new look and feel.
* 2001: The site launches a new forum for fans to discuss their favorite Pan Books titles.
* 2002: hosts its second online Pan Books convention.
* 2003: The site launches a new section for fans to share their own artwork and stories.
* 2004: is nominated for a Webby Award.
* 2005: The site wins a Webby Award for Best Arts and Culture Website.
* 2006: hosts its third online Pan Books convention.
* 2007: The site celebrates its 10th anniversary.
* 2008: launches a new blog for fans to stay up-to-date on the latest news and events related to Pan Books.
* 2009: The site hosts its fourth online Pan Books convention.
* 2010: celebrates its 15th anniversary.
* 2011: The site launches a new section for fans to purchase Pan Books merchandise.
* 2012: hosts its fifth online Pan Books convention.
* 2013: The site celebrates its 20th anniversary.
* 2014: launches a new section for fans to watch Pan Books-related videos.
* 2015: The site hosts its sixth online Pan Books convention.
* 2016: celebrates its 25th anniversary.
* 2017: The site launches a new section for fans to listen to Pan Books-related audio recordings.
* 2018: hosts its seventh online Pan Books convention.
* 2019: The site celebrates its 30th anniversary.
* 2020: launches a new section for fans to play Pan Books-related games.
* 2021: hosts its eighth online Pan Books convention.
* 2022: celebrates its 35th anniversary. is a valuable resource for fans of Pan Books. The site is comprehensive, informative, and friendly, and it continues to be updated with new content on a regular basis. If you are a fan of Pan Books, then I highly recommend checking out”
It’s a good effort apart from several errors including all the conventions, selling mechanize and the anniversaries being wrong etc.
I asked ChatGPT the same question and it said this after I argued with it to say it was not a financial software company
Unfortunately, I don’t have any information on the history of as a website for PAN paperback book collectors. However, it’s possible that the website was created to provide a platform for collectors to discuss and share information about their collections, as well as to buy and sell PAN paperback books. The website may also serve as a resource for collectors who are interested in learning more about the history of PAN Books and its publications.

…. and finally a bonus feature, one of Jules Burt’s excellent videos and this time he is cleaning some more of his Great PANs.

Lookalikes, More ’39 Steps’ and a 1966 Book List

A recent email from Rog P. mentioned the cover below left which is a pastiche but made me wonder what was the original title? Castle in Spain’ from 1963 came to mind but was not quite right, then I spotted’ Tomorrow is Theirs’ from 1958 as the correct original. It got me thinking was the later cover a makeover of the first one as they are so similar or just based on it? Is it a coincidence both titles are by Anne Duffield and painted by Sam Peffer?

Having rescanned and added several different editions of ‘The Thirty-Nine Steps’ last week this week I am finishing off the later ones. It appears there were only three more so HERE they are. I thought it was more like half a dozen but realized I’d put them on a pile of George Underwood covers. I’ve included a Longman cover which also used the artwork by Vic Fair for the movie poster.

While watching another of Jules Burt’s excellent videos, this time called ‘A Step Back in Time’ looking a publisher’s catalogues, contracts and ephemera. etc. I love all this as much as I do the covers so if any one has any bits and pieces they don’t want then just add a comment or email me. Jules video reminded me of a 1966 PAN leaflet I picked up recently.