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

‘Hot For Certainties’, ‘To Live In Danger’ and Barbara Cartland!

This weeks Hans Helweg artwork was a surprise as I was replacing a book on the shelf next to it when I realised I had some preliminary sketches for it. It was ‘Hot For Certainties’ by Robin Douglas-Home and after looking at the blurb on the back I think I might have to read it! I’ve included artwork for the boy and three versions for the girl but looking at the others I think there might be more in the dozens in the folders. Cecil Robin Douglas-Home was born on the 8th May 1932 and died on the 15th October 1968 and was a British aristocrat, jazz pianist and author. He was the eldest son of the Honourable Henry Douglas-Home from his first marriage to Lady Margaret Spencer. His uncle was the former British Prime Minister Sir Alec Douglas-Home and his younger brother Charles Douglas-Home was the editor of The Times. He was first cousin of John Spencer, 8th Earl Spencer, father of Diana, Princess of Wales.

After showing a maquette for the cover for To Live  In Danger’ by Bryan Magee back in January I have since found a prelimianry sketch for the cover as well and have now added it to the page.

It’s good to see a new series featuring Michael Portillo on his Great British Railway Journeys’ again albeit with a mask and social distancing. Last Wednesday he visited Camfield Place, the home of Barbara Cartland. She wrote over 700 books of which I think PAN published 130 and a lot the books in cases and artwork for covers can be seen on her walls. Apparently she was not poupular with artist, especially Francis Marshall, as she thought she was entitled to keep the artwork as her own.

‘I Have Friends in Heaven’, Shute 1,000 and ‘PAN as seen in photos’

Amongst the sketches and preliminary paintings I have in Hans Helweg’s folders are two and a half covers for Max Catto titles. The reason I say half is that I’m not sure if one was used although the characters look vaguely familiar but I’ll get to that in a couple of weeks after a bit more reasearch. Todays painting is for ‘I Have Friends in Heaven’ numbered M257 from 1968. It is interesting in that it is paintings on two card cut outs for the boy and the horses but I’ve not found a background yet.

Having mentioned Nevil Shute and his plaque in Sydney last week I was looking through my copies of the PAN Record and on the cover of number 32 from May 1961 they celebrated the 1,000th title published by PAN which just happened to be ‘A Town Like Alice’, the one title mentioned on the plaque. PAN certainly gave it a good ‘plug’ as it gets mentioned not only on the cover but on two pages inside.

Here is a question “Which PAN titles are shown in these photos of famous people”

Click on the photo to enlarge and click HERE for the answer to Sir Edmund Hillary

Click on the photo to enlarge and click HERE for the answer to Vivien Leigh

Farley Mowat, Nevil’s Plaque and ‘The Nun’s Story’

Farley McGill Mowat was born on May 12, 1921 and died on May 6, 2014. He was a Canadian writer and environmentalist and his works were translated into 52 languages, He sold more than 17 million books and achieved fame with the publication of his books on the Canadian north, such as ‘People of the Deer’ (1952) and ‘Never Cry Wolf’ (1963). PAN published 11 of his titles  but didn’t publish ‘People of the Deer’ but did ‘Never Cry Wolf’ of which PAN also published the film tie-in in 1984. I’m still waiting for one title to arrive from the States but I suspect. although listed as Piccolo, it will be the wrong edition as I’ve yet to find one ‘in the wild’ To see the 10 of the 11 titles I have so far click HERE Unusually, up to the film tie-in, PAN were reasonably consistent with the cover style especially the authors name.

After mentioning Nevil Shute Norway and his plaque in Sydney on a Facebook ‘Shutist’ page a lady kindly mentioned there was a book about the 60 writers with an Australian connection with plaques along the harbour waterfront. I then noticed my niece’s husband, Wade’ was down from Darwin in Sydney on business and I jokingly asked him if he was around there was ther any chance of a photo? Well he came up trumps but then again he is a photographer so I’m sure it was an offer he couldn’t refuse and some of his photos have appeared on Australian Tourist Board posters. I’ve put them on a page HERE

This weeks Hans Helweg artwork and sketches are for the Kathryn Hulme title ‘The Nun’s Story’ I’ve also included the earlier editions with covers by Sam ‘PEFF’ Peffer with film reference stills. I also found another painting of the castle to go with last week’s cover of ‘Death in the Castle’

Lorna Doone, ‘Chitty Chity Bang Bang’ and ‘Death in the Castle’

I picked up a copy of the 1967 edition of Lorna Doone’ by R. D. Blackmore in the ‘Bestsellers of Literature’ series with a cover by John Raynes because it had a sticker on the front. Now normally stickers are a ‘no no’ especially vintage prixce ones that will not shift even with the old stanby of lighter fuel but this was different. In 1969 it was the Centenary of the publication of this classic and sveral items appeared with the same design. I’ve found a few and put them on the page.

I’ve added a third varrient for the 1968 edition of ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ with a cover by John Burningham. The Ist and 3rd being differing not only in price on the back but the featured ‘sticker’ says “Fabulous Film Coming” on the 1st but changes to “Now A Fabulous Film” on the later edition. The third varient doesn’t have prices on the back but now has the Scholastic Press logo for copies printed in Canada. 

Back to Hans Helweg’s works from his folders and this week the  preliminary painting is for the Pearl Buck title Death in the Castle’ from 1966. It is clearly signed which is always a bonus when trying to attribute covers. Pearl Sydenstricker Buck was born on June 26, 1892 and died on March 6, 1973. She was an American writer and novelist and her novel ‘The Good Earth’ was the best-selling fiction book in the United States in 1931 and 1932 and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1932. In 1938, she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature “for her rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life in China and for her biographical masterpieces”. She was the first American woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. Although PAN published many of her titles over the years I don’t think they actually published ‘The Good Earth’ I will put toether a page to show the editions I have soon.

‘An Otter’s Tale’, ‘Wuthering Heights’ and more videos from Jules Burt.

Last year when I went to visit Sam ‘PEFF’ Peffer’s Great Niece Kathy I took a photo of the original artwork she had for ‘The Otter’s Tale’ by Gavin Maxwell which featured a prominent otter. This bore a remarkable similarity to the otter on the Maxwell covers by William Francis Phillips. It turns out my supposition about the cover being a composite was right and was confirmed by what Sam had written on the back of the artwork kindly photographed for me by Kathy.

Looking at my duplicate copies of titles I’m sorted to take to a National Trust secondhand bookshop when they reopen shortly I nearly missed a later copy of ‘Wuthering Heights’ with a cover by John Raynes (pictured left) I knew I had two from 1967, one with a TV programme tie-in sticker but then spotted the 1970 edition with a different title section and no letter on the spine, just a blank where there was one on the earlier edition. I’ve also included three others none of which have a visible name or credit to an artist on the back which is a disappointment. Does anyone have any idea?

I’m please to say Jules Burt continues to upload his excellent videos to ‘YouTube’ They cover a very wide and varied range of topics several of which relate to PAN Books so here are a few that you might have missed.

Original Book Cover Artwork

PAN Record Magazine

PAN Giants X101 to X200

PAN Giants X201 to X350

Constance Heaven, Pan/Pavane and a Poster.

Just checking up on titles by Constance Heaven who also wrote under her maiden name of Constance (Aimee) Fetcher and Chritina Merlin. She was born on the 6th August 1911 in London and died on the 12th April 1955 at Kingston Upon Thames. I found I was one short of the five titles done as a wrap around cover by artist unknown namely The Astrov Inheritance’ from 1977. I eventually found an image on Gumtress in Australia where it was in a bundle of other books. Luckily Carmen, the lady who was offering them, kindly agreed to sell me just the one for a very low price which became quite a bit higher after postage. I cannot understand how some sellers only want 3 Australian dollars via Skippy Post when other ask nearly 30 to post the same item using Australia Post?

A while ago I was looking for the few titles that Pan published with their usual red, pink and black logo but rather than the word PAN underneath it says Pavanne. Later editions drop the PAN log and just have the word Pavanne. The title I added was ‘Wanting’ by Angela Huth with a cover by Paul Sample who did so many for PAN including many of the Tom Sharp novels.

Thanks to Alysoun at PAN who managed to find me a postcard and double sided poster (24″x16″) for the 42nd anniversary of the ‘Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy’ being first broadcast on the radio last year. This year in October it will be 42 years since PAN published the paperback edition and I’m just wondering if they will produce anything special for this?
 Click HERE to see side one and click HERE to see side two of the poster.

Pat Owen, ‘Angelique’ and Will’s Cigarette Cards.

While identifying which Nevil Shute covers were by Hans Helweg I found the original artwork for a couple by Pat Owen. Looking at others in the same edition they are so similar they probably are by Pat but I can’t attribute them all yet although a few are signed, these are ones I’ve included on the page. Sue, Pat’s widow, has promised me a list of all the artwork she knows about so hopefully a few more might be included there. The painting above hangs on the wall in the attic (it has been covereted to a bedroom I hasten to add) and was painted by Pat in 1980 as a member of the Guild of Aviation Artists

This weeks Hans Helweg sketches are for the 1968/69 editions of ‘Angelique’ by Sergeanne Golon (Serge and Anne Golon) Amongst the printers proofs was a cover for The Countess Angelique’ featuring one of Hans paintings but I don’t have a copy myself and couldn’t find a copy listed for sale. The only one I have with this ISBN is the Canadian edition. I contacted Alysoun at PAN who assures me that there are copies out there so I’ll just keep looking.
UPDATE Alysoun has now looked at their file copies in the archives and found they are the Canadian editions so maybe the printers proof is a one off and an edition was never issued with this cover, anyone got a copy?

After featuring Storm Jameson on a Will’s cigarette card card I managed to get an album for the set. There are forty cards altogether and feature some well know names from the PAN library of authors.
Here is the list →

Yvonne Gilbert, ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ and the last ‘Horizon’!

Having mentioning that I had been in contact with Yvonne Gilbert and her Piccolo covers in a previous blog  I saw one of her original artworks for sale on eBay at a reasonable price. It was for a page in her four book series ‘Me and My Pets’ and I recognised it as from ‘Me and My Rabbit’ I ordered a copy and was surprised to find I received ‘Me and My Kitten’, another copy ordered and this time ‘Me and My Puppy’ It was then I realised all the titles had the same ISBN and from sellers where they have ‘too many books to check editions” I bought three more hoping I would strike luck and this time got two copies of ‘Me and My Rabbit and one reply “we can’t find it” All I need now is ‘Me and My Pony’ to complete the set! I framed the artwork with a scan of the cover and appropriate page and was going to give it to my Grandson but then the seller said “I’ve got another eight pages, are you interested?” After thirty seconds of negotiating a very favourable price, well it was for me, I will now frame these the same but they may stay with me!

After all the publicity for The Queen’s Gambit’ by Walter Tevis on Netflix I got my copy off the shelf and found it was a 2nd printing from 1984 with a slightly different cover to a 1st. I think the 1st. is better with the PAN logo not to the side. I thought I look around for a 1st only to find the it’s silly prices time again. The cheapest seems to be £86 while the Australia edition’s price is eye wateringly silly. PAN published a couple of Tevis titles as a matching pair you can see HERE.

After trying to get all the PAN Horizons series I have been one short for a long time. I had a scan of the page thanks to a very nice librarian in Australia who had a copy and very kindly scanned it and sent it to me. Every now and again I go through my list of  wants to see if I can find a copy yet  (Yes, I do have automatic searches set up but they don’t always deliver) and for ‘Those Summer Girls I Never Met’ it is always seemed to be the Random House edition and illustration so when I spotted a copy on Amazon that said it was not as illustrated and was PAN I was really pleased. Now it has arrived I don’t think it has ever been opened let alone read. Perseverance pays off, now if I could just find that ‘Junior Crosswords Book 3’ …..!

‘The Werewolves of London’, ‘Leviathan’ and ‘The Aristide Case’

I was really pleased this week to be able to get the original artwork for  Brian Stableford’s ‘The Werewolves of London’ painted by Keith Scaife. I’ve added it to Keith’s page so you’ll need to scroll down to find it. The problem is now deciding what sort of frame to choose and which will leave the label stuck at the bottom still visible. I think these bits are all part of the attraction especially when it says ‘Don’t strip’ While looking for a PAN copy with a good cover I came across a French edition with a cover by Matthieu Blanchin and I couldn’t resist buying a copy for the weirdness

After mentioning the copy of ‘Leviathan’ that I had bought from a Hungarian bookseller not being sent because they were worried about them getting COVID from the UK – no I still don’t understand  – it arrived eventually. The cover is by Stuart Bodek but is not a dustjacket like I hoped it might be.

A while ago I was lucky enough to have been be given the original artwork for the book the  The Aristide Case’ by Storm Jameson. This was by Hans Helweg and was given to me by his wife Sue. It was Sue who also gave me folders of Hans sketches of which at least two relate to this title and I’ve put them together on the page. I can only find one other title by Storm Jameson published by PAN, namely ‘The Early Life of Stephen Hind’ from 1968
It was while I was trying to find a image of Storm Jameson that I came across a set of 40 cards featuring ‘Famous British Authors’ issued by W.D. and H.O. Willis in packets of cigarette of which one was Jameson. I couldn’t resist getting it and several more of the cards might appear at later dates as there are a lot of familiar names amongst them.
Apart from just the two books she also wrote forewords for PAN editions  of The Diary of Anne Frank’ and ‘Jane Eyre’
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‘Bind Your Own’ Again, ‘Owls in the Family’ and ‘Deliverance’

After mentioning ‘BYO’ last week as a way to ruin your PAN paperbacks by making them into tacky hardbacks I hadn’t noticed that these had a write up in ‘PAN Record’ number 19 from May 1958.

This week the Hans Helweg sketches are from PAN’s children’s imprint Piccolo namely ‘Owls in the Family’ by Farley Mowat. It’s nice to see a clear full signature.

Just looking at how many editions PAN published of ‘Deliverance’ by James Dickey. I have four with two of them being linked to the film with the first tie-in edition being shown on some of the film posters. While checking if there were any more PANs this one came up, the 1973 Swedish edition published by Pan/Norstedt ISBN 9117321913. Norstedt used the PAN imprint but later dropped it, maybe it caused confusion?