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

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.