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

‘TTTLIH’, Alan Cracknell and ‘The Railway Children’

This weeks Hans Helweg artwork is for one of the many covers for the Monsarrat title ‘The Tribe That Lost Its Head’ I was interested to see there was a Monsarrat collection at The Athenaeum, Church Alley, Liverpool. On the site it shows a bookcase and within are some PAN editions. On close scrutinisation I think that ‘TTTLIH’ is there and if you want some help click on the photo.

Maybe I should have saved this one for Christmas but I was pleased to get a vintage Advent Calendar designed by Alan Cracknell from the States.

The weekend before last we had our first coach trip since lock down. I know a coach trip is not everyones idea of ‘fun’ but as my wife doesn’t drive I am happy for someone else to take on the responsibility. I can just switch off safe in the knowledge if something goes wrong I don’t have to sort it out. You also get good value for money as we had a comfy COVID aware coach with seats at the front, a excellent hotel with spa bath in our room, visits to several places and an included trip on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway’. Now you may be wondering what has this to do with PAN Books? Although they didn’t actually publish the book by Edith Nesbit at the time of the film. that was Penguin, they did publish two film tie-ins. One was a papersculpture ‘make two engines from the film’ book and the other The Story of the Railway Children’ was the book of the film, which was largely shot on this heritage railway.

Juliette Benzoni, ‘Fanina’, The Pop Up Bookshop and ‘Flog It’

Having mentioned Linda and the Juliette Benzoni appreciation website when we speculated on book cover artists, I feel honoured to have received an award from her. It is the Catherine de Montsalvy trophy which of course as you all know is the full name of Catherine, the heroine of many of JB’s books. PAN published several titles in different editions some of which  can be seen HERE.

This weeks Hans Helweg’s artwork is for two titles by Pierre Sabbagh and Antoine Graziani, namely ‘Fanina’ and ‘Fanina, Child of Rome’ As far as I can tell these are the only two titles in the series. Pierre Sabbagh, born Lannion on the 18th July 1918 and died 30th September 1994,  was a major personality in French television, as a journalist, producer and director.

The pop-up bookshop made a welcome return to Wolverhampton but I nearly missed it as I wrote down the end date and not the start date! It was there for three weeks and hopes to return again later in the year. I bought a couple of duplicates that were in very good condition as upgrades.

Luckily there was an announcement that Ian Fleming was going to be mentioned during ‘Flog It’ otherwise I might have missed that as well as the pop-up bookshop. Paul Martin visited Fleming’s house, Whitecliffs, at St. Margarets Bay and then interviewed Graham Rye of 007 Magaine’ I’ve added five screen shots from the programme featuring PANs at the bottom on the ‘As Seen on Television’ page.

Paperback Parade #109,’Classics’? and Juliette Benzoni

Thanks to Jules Burt and one of his very informative videos I was able to get hold of a copy of ‘Paperback Parade #109’ from Gryphon Books which featuted an article on Sam Peffer with one of his covers featuring Kitty on the front cover. I was pleased to see I have the reference photos for at least twelve of the covers featured in the article.

While loking through Hans Helweg’s sketches and his ledgers I was pleased to get confirmation the eight  titles in the series issued by PAN in the mid 60s with a sort of border around the title making them ‘Classics’ were by Hans for which he got paid £25.40 for each one. I was pleased to see ‘The Time Machine’ was included as this image was used for several editions and I can now credit it. PAN included an image of the authors on the back apart from Edmund Clerihew Bentley so to put that right I’ve included him here.

Having been in communication with Linda, who runs the excellent website dedicated to Julitte Benzoni, I’m pleased to say she has got confirmation of three covers by Gino d’Achille from Gino’s daughter, Simona. Simona said how she and her mother were often used as models and it is her mother on the cover of ‘Catherine and a Time for Love’ 

Cecil Vieweg, ‘As Seen at …..’ and Alfred Hitchcock.

Having been in communication with Cecil Vieweg recently he sent me additional images of the original artwork he has for some Arrow and Fontana covers with the promise of a lot more, I’ve added them to his page so scroll down. I know they are not PAN but I do appreciate the artwork and especially like the style on his Howard Spring and Marie Joseph titles. It was ‘Shabby Tiger’ by Spring that was supposed to have been sent back in February and arrived the week before last. It just shows don’t give uip hope, maybe the three from Canada will appear one day soon, fingers crossed.Hi

Having recently visited the National Trust property of Nuffield Place I was hoping to be able to add another ‘PAN as seen at a National Trust property’ but had to settle for the next best thing, a book by Alan Bott. It was there in Lord Nuffield’s bedroom amongst a very eclectic mix of other titles. He also liked to ‘tinker’ at night and he had a wardrobe in his bedroom where he keep his tools etc, apparently Lady Nuffield slept in another room, I wonder why? I just wished now I had asked if it was possible to see if it was signed?

This weeks Hans Helweg sketches are for a classic cover used for two of Alfred Hitckcocks collections titled Stories That Scared Even Me’ oddly labelled Part One and Book Two!

Only just noticed this is my 500th WordPress blog.
Here’s to many more.