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

Happy Birthday Emily, H.H. update, ‘Totem’ and a new business card!

Tomorrow, July 30th, will be Emily Bronte’s 201st Birthday. All though she wasn’t a prolific writer at least PAN published one of her novels in several editions. Click HERE or HERE to see them. Here is an appropriate joke from the latest ‘Private Eye’ magazine.

This week has been mainly taken up with re-scanning book covers by Hans Helweg. As he did over 250 this will be a long term project. I’ve put together a page from my notes when we met Hans’ widow Sue and sent the URL to her. She was very happy with it, just a couple of tweaks and confirmations on details needed. It’s now back with her and waiting approval to launch it upon the world.

I spotted the above poster for ‘The Totem’ someone had posted on a Twitter feed and of course couldn’t help but spot the PAN logo, looks like another item to add to the ‘Wanted’ list. The book cover is another from George Sharp who says it’s modelled on himself.

For a long time my cheap and cheerful business cards have said the site celebrates 25 years of PAN Books when now that has been extended to 45+ years plus a newer tag line. You know sometimes an offer comes through that seems just too good to miss? Well this was that time and I’ve now got 1,000 cards for not much more than the price of 100. Gone for the minimalist look but double sided and this time no advert for Vistaprint on the back!

Candy Barr plus a couple of updates.

It has been interesting researching Candy Barr as I don’t think the three titles published by PAN are by the same lady who crops up when you Google the name (see above). I had to tell the wife it was for research purposes – honestly! Then I found a Google snippet that speculated it was Caroline Bridgwood but again no definitive proof until I actually read the printing history inside the book where it says ©Caroline Bridgwood! Click HERE to see the three covers.

A while ago I put on several versions of the Colleen McCullough title ‘Tim’ but annoyingly one was a very bad image from the net. I have now got a copy to scan and have added it to the page. It the really boring one with just the word ‘Tim’ on a white background.

I have also got a couple of omnibus editions of ‘The Herries Chronicle  by Hugh Walpole in that uses the same photographs as the individual titles.

Hans Heinrich Helweg

As I mentioned last week I had a visit planned for the Monday and I’m pleased to say it came to fruition. We travelled down to Hay-on-Wye on the Sunday in the camper and parked up at a lovely site just five minutes walk from the centre of Hay. Although it was Sunday the majority of the bookshops were open (unlike places to eat!) I was prepared to be disappointed and so I was not disappointed when I was if that makes sense? Several shops I remembered had gone, a lot are selling remaindered stock and a few actually have vintage paperbacks. I was really pleased, in the Cinema Bookshop, to pick up five Mazo de la Roche titles that look as though they have never been read. They were £3 each which was about three times what I like to pay but as they were so good even my wife told me to go ahead and buy them.

Monday’s visit was to meet up with Sue, widow of artist Hans Helweg, at her fantastically located mill cottage. She was really welcoming and still has a lot of pieces relating to Hans kept in his studio the roof of which can just be seen behind the section with the wooden conservatory. There is a bridge over the brook and the foreground is in Wales and the cottage in England.

Sue was interested to see the two Mazo de la Roche covers that Hans had painted as she’d not see them before (‘Whiteoaks’ and ‘Finch’s Fortune’) We found ‘Whiteoaks’ in the ledger Hans kept and it looks like he got paid £42 for it.

She also had hundreds of printers proofs of covers which show that Hans painted over 250 for PAN many of which I didn’t know were his. She has also lent me notes on Hans life and I’ll put together a section for him including some of that material.

Finally, and not Hans related, but strangely linked I received a comment from Kathy, Sam Peffer’s neice who had just noticed back in 2014 I mentioned after a computer crash I had lost her contact details. We have now remade contact and I’ll be arranging a visit to see her very soon.

An Australian Printings Trio of Mann, Barrett and Hall.

This week there are three links to authors whose books were printed in Australia although not all Australians. I’ve added only the Australian printings to their pages and which feature the PAN Man logo (except one from Richard Hall added just for completeness)

Paul Mann grew up in Northumberland in the 1950’s and became a journalist travelling the world. He now resides in the USA. 

Robert Barrett was an Australian and published several titles featuring his detective ‘Les Norton’

Richard Hall was also a winter and journalist travelling extensively.

The above is just because I found it on the shelf and is an Australian printing!

Short and sweet this week as travelling around in the camper but hopefully interesting news next week if a planned visit comes about.

From the archives, a signed ‘Borribles’ and the flag.

When we were down in the PAN archives I snapped away at different bits and pieces and here is one of them. A poster to announce an event for the launch of the three new look logos.

I’ve been trying to get a 1989 copy of ‘The Borribles’ (as above) for quite a while so when I saw one listed as 1989 (unfortunately no photo and a seller who always says they have too much stock to check a cover!) I went ahead and ordered it. When it arrived I was really annoyed to find it was the 1983 edition but then I opened it.

Not quite as annoyed now and not bad for a penny plus postage. The seller must have missed it as they never mentioned it. Maybe that is an advantage of buying from a bulk seller, ‘stack ’em high and sell ’em cheap’
Apparently the Bridge Lane Theatre was in Battersea and was demolished in 1994 to be replaced by houses.

When Alysoun, from the PAN Archives, called in to see Gordon Young to record his memories of his time on the Laloun he gave her the actually flag that flew from the mast over 70 years ago. It is now in the Archives and I took a photo of it.