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

Kitty Peffer RIP, F. F. E. Yeo-Thomas and few more ‘PEFF’ photos.

I was really sorry to hear from Kathy. Sam Peffer’s Great Niece, that Kitty had passed away peacefully in her sleep last Thursday. Kitty Barber was born in September 1922 in London and married Samuel John  Peffer on the 1st January 1949 in Islington. Kitty went on to become the ‘star’ of so many of the Sam’s book covers. We pass on our condolences to all family members.

I have a friend who volunteers at the local heritage railway, Chasewater, which unfortunately has had to close at the moment but normally they get a lot of railway and model railway related magazines. Ian kindly sorts me out a random bundle which I peruse and then take them into our local library where there is a stand for any magazines to be passed on. In the last batch was a copy of ‘Best of British’ from May 2010 but with that sort of thing age is not really that important. It was the mention of the installation of a ‘Blue Plaque’ for Wing Commander Forest Frederick Edward “Tommy” Yeo-Thomas GC, MC & Bar.

PAN published at least four editions of book The White Rabbit by Bruce Marshall telling of ‘Tommy’s’ operations behind enemy lines during World War II. 

Still sorting through all the negatives I got from Kathy. Sam’s Great Niece, and although a lot of them are for publishers other than PAN I have managed to find a few more including ‘Love and Marriage’ with Kitty and Sam and Powder and Patch’

Gavin Scott, Mrs. Thrift and Eric Tenney

I’ve talked about fellow PAN Books fan Gavin Scott before and I recently contacted him again in the US to say how much I had enjoyed his “Age of…..” series and asked if there was a possibility of having some sort of signed label to put in them? (It’s well worth visiting his BLOG to see what he is up to) Well, Gavin rose to the occasion and not only sent me three labels but also a card (as above) from a talk he gave in 2017 at the Lois Lambert Gallery about another of his many and varied interests. Modesty prevents me quoting from the labels but I’ll put them here so you can read them.

As Gavin mentioned Duncan Forrester, his hero of the three books (with three more to come when Gavin has found a new publisher) possibly seeing them on a station book stall  I’ve suggested Duncan could muse of how attractive the PAN covers are next to their rather bland rivals? I would love there to be a mention of PAN as my ‘PAN as mentioned in Books‘ is decidedly thin at the moment!

As I  said last week I bought four books signed by Julian May to Celeste Parsons and Peter Tjienten above but didn’t know who the lady on the right was. I have heard back from Peter who says;
“That delightful lady is Emma Espley who was our secretary. Emma’s Mum was very friendly with her neighbour Mrs Thrift who we discovered was Douglas Adams’ Mum which gave us the idea of using her on the display material because Douglas hadn’t written the latest book as usual and Sonny Mehta was holding him captive somewhere or other until the book was writ. The flower on the badge is a THRIFT plant (hence T-Day) and the bin header was Mum at full size holding a tray of badges. Mum was trying to make some money because Douglas was suffering from writer’s block and was therefore short of dosh!!! The only pictures I have of what remains of this promotion are crap (attached) which is a shame ‘cos the finished thing looked great”

The challenge now of course is to find a badge as I know I might have more of a chance with that than a cut out of Mrs. T!
Footnote; Janet Thrift, died on the 24th February 2016. Douglas was 5 years old when his mother and his father (Christopher Adams) divorced. Douglas stayed with his mother and his younger sister, Sue. Janet worked as a nurse in the local hospital. She then remarried in 1964 with a local vet, Ron Thrift. Together they had two kids, Jane and James. The picture above of Janet was used as an ad for the promotion of the second book of Dirk Gently “The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul” (1988).
Footnote T(ea)-Day is March 11th, DA’s birthday while T(owel)-Day is May 25th two weeks after DA’s death.

I mentioned buying an original artwork by Eric Tenney of a bush baby a couple of years ago. Having picked up the Hamlyn book of ‘Pottery’ and noticing the illustrations were by Eric I thought I’d update the bush baby painting story. I think it was only a few pounds on eBay and when it arrived the glass was smashed but luckily the painting was undamaged. The seller was most apologetic and refunded a third which allowed me to buy new glass and a new frame which I was going to do anyway as it was not to my taste! I had an email from Susan, Eric’s daughter who said;
“The bush baby was called Charlie and he lived in Dad’s studio. DD rescued him from a pet shop – he was very sick and we nursed him to better health but sadly he died – not sure how long we had him?”

Signed Julian May titles, 3 from Peter Townend and a Picador

I’ve just bought four Julian May titles off eBay and they look as though they have never been read. Although I do already have them all I was interested in these as they are all signed to either ‘Peter Pann’ or ‘Celeste’ who worked at PAN in the 70’s. I knew who ‘Peter Pann’ was but I had to look up ‘Celeste’. They are the two on the left in this photograph namely Celeste Parsons and Peter Tietjen. I’ve mentioned Peter before as I have other titles inscribed to ‘Peter Pann’

UPDATE Just heard back as to who the third person is on the right and also some very interesting information concerning her link to Douglas Adams. More next after I’ve done a bit of research.

As usual I missed a date this time for Peter Gascoyne Townend, writer and photographer who was born in London on the 6th March 1935. He married Kate Moffat in 1973 and died in the London on the 6th June 1999. PAN published three of his four Philip Quest novels about a one-eyed photographer in 1973/74/75 but not ‘Triple Exposure’ which was published in the States by Pinnacle in 1979.

I’m inpressed with ‘Out of Focus’ as the photographer looks as though he went to extra mile and project a strip of film on her which includes the edge saying it’s Kodak Plus X PAN film. Just wondering who is in the photo?

I do have a soft spot for Picador titles and their covers which are often of a quirky nature and when I spotted one with a cover by John Holmes. I thought it was great and then I found I had another three which you can see HERE.  John, artist and art director was in London on the 13th February 1935 and died on the 17th August 2011. In his obituary it says;

  1. “A photographer friend introduced him to Dave Larkin, the art director at Granada Books, for whom he did covers for the 1969 edition of Vladimir Nabokov’s Despair and for The Female Eunuch (which Greer loved). A commission from Larkin for Pan’s UK paperback of Peter Benchley’s Jaws (1974) was followed by jackets for Ballantine’s editions of HP Lovecraft’s horror and fantasy novels and artworks for Fontana’s Horror Stories series. The dark complexities of horror stimulated a rich seam of imaginative and disturbing images, especially of the mutability of the human face”
    I needed to do a  quick check with Ken Hatherley and he confirmed that John was the artist for the iconic ‘Jaws’ cover version with the swimmer.
    I love those creepy Ballantine covers of his and note there was a link between PAN and Ballantine and also David Larkin in the above who moved from Granada to PAN.

An Ad, ‘Lost Horizons’, ‘England Their England’ and a few more Kaye Hodges.

I always like to come across bits and pieces linked to PAN Books and this time it’s the Press Book for the 1973 production of ‘Lost Horizon PAN published many edition over the years but this is the only fim tie-in. The merchandise supplement mentions joint promotions between PAN Books and Bell Records plus window and in-store displays at W H Smith, Boots and Menzies. The Bell Records soundtrack was moderately more successful than the film, peaking at No. 58 on the Billboard Hot 200!

Sorting through some early titles made me wonder how many different editions PAN published over the years of England Their England‘ by A(rchibald) G(ordon) Macdonell. I think the answer is six but having said that I will now come across a seventh which strangely seems to be often the case.

…. and a quick final note I’ve added more of Kaye Hodges non PAN covers to her page HERE including some Monica Dickens and Catherine Cookson titles.