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

R.I.P Anna Ludlow, R.I.P. Dervla Murphy and Edenbridge Letter

I was very sorry to hear from Anna Ludlow’s family that she had passed away peacefully last month. Anna and I emailed regularly regarding ‘Angelique’ speculating as to who the cover artists might be. Anna ran the ‘World of Angelique’ website which is a veritable treasure trove of all things Anne Golon  I just hope it will be possible to keep it as a lasting legacy to all her hard work over the years.
UPDATE I have just heard from Andrew to say “Anna paid for the site to keep going for some time and I will seek to retain it – if I can find a way to access it. Anna left me five pages of detailed passwords – but my IT skills were never as good as hers”

It was also sad to hear that Dervla Murphy had died last Sunday at the age of 90.  She was born on the 28 November 1931 and was an Irish touring cyclist and author of adventure travel books, writing for more than 50 years. Dervla is probably best known for her book ‘Full Tilt:’ about an overland cycling trip to India.  This cover hasn’t been miss scanned , it really was trimmed to a much smaller size than normal! She followed this with work helping Tibetan refugees in India and Nepal which she wrote about in ‘Tibetan Foothold’ also in PAN.

I was really pleased to get an email from Joan of the Eden Valley Museum in Edenbridge who, a while ago, wrote an article in their newsletter about PAN as they had a dispatch centre in the town. Joan said she had had a letter from a gentleman who worked there in the 50’s writing about sending the books all over the country from Edenbridge Mainline Station. She said the writer is more than happy for me to include it here so click on the small letter to get a larger version.

Below is a photograph of Edenbridge Station in the 1950’s

‘Hornblower’, Julek Heller and ‘Animal Stories’

I was pleased to be able to pick up the artwork for the 1970 edition of Hornblower and the Crisis’ but wasn’t sure of the artist until I got it. I was even more pleased  to see, on turning it over, the name David Tayler on the back. I’ve wanted an example of David’s work to go in my small collection for quite a while. I asked Colin Larkin if he could confirm it was by Tayler’ which he did, plus that the late and very much missed, Ken Hatherley had another one he said. Funnily enough the first PAN ‘Hornblower’ was by Tayler back in 1957 and this was one of his last. I’ve put all the PAN ‘Hornblower’ covers on one page HERE I’m still trying to check if there was a 1972 edition of ‘Lieutenant Hornblower’

Simon emailed to ask a question about the cover of ‘The Songs of Summer’ by Robert Silverberg with cover by Julek Heller. He wondered what was going on in the top inch or so. I will confess I had not noticed but said I would email Julek to ask him. It was just after I sent it I noticed this.

Sad to say we have lost yet another great book cover artist in the last decade. Julek was born in Jerusalem on the 1st October 1944 to Polish parents who moved to the UK. He studied art at the Chelsea College of Art and the Royal Academy. His career as an illustrator began in the mid-1970’s, working on children’s television programme Jackanory for the BBC and book covers for many different publishers including PAN. As for the cover I think it is the serpent looking up at the buildings from underwater at the waterline. I sent belated condolences to the family and got a lovely message back.

Just for a change I’m including scans of the three Piccolo True Animal Stories’ series by Eric R Delderfield. I think PAN only published one other title by Delderfield namely, ‘Introduction to Inn Signs’ I’ve also included another Piccolo tile The World of Wolves by Jacquelyn Berrill as I think it’s a great cover.

Josephine Bott, JB’s Bond Video and Sophia Loren

A while ago I was lent a photo album belonging to Simon Bott, Alan Bott’s son and I scanned all the photos for future use. Unfortunately these were stored on a drive that died completely and I thought I had lost them but weirdly I’ve just come across one on another drive. It features Josephine Bott nee Blumenfeld holding at a guess Simon although the Bott’s had three children, one boy and two girls. I may have to grovel and ask if I can borrow the album again.

Jules Burt has produced another great video and this time looking at James Bond books of which over half are PAN editions. Click HERE to watch it. Jules mentions that ‘The Life of Ian Fleming’ by John Pearson is not a true first (around 19 minutes 30 seconds in) He is right in that a true first edition first printing is numbered E12 and not just E as on copies so many sellers claim is a first. The problem is the printing history is identical in both printings. It did take me a while to find a copy of with E12. Also there is a difference on the back cover including where the price has gone up 5c in New Zealand!

Looking at ‘The Flood‘ by John Creasey published by Hodder and Stoughton I thought the lady on the front cover looked familiar. She must be based on Sophia Loren as has already appeared on ‘The Boy on a Dolphin’ in similar pose.

Berkley Horror, Jean Plaidy and Women Pilots

I think I may have asked this before but does anyone know if there was ever books 1 and 2 in the Berkley series ‘Selections from the PAN Book of Horror Stories’? I have the Fawcett selection published in 1966 in their Gold Medal series which is sometimes listed as number 1 but they didn’t do any others as far as I can ascertain.

I’m sure this must be the last Jean Plaidy trilogy but I’ve said that before. This time it’s the Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain series. As to covers artists it would be a guess. Jean Plaidy was one of the pen names of Eleanor Alice Hibbert (née Burford; 1 September 1906 – 18 January 1993) who was an English writer of historical romances. She was a prolific writer who published several books a year in different literary genres, each genre under a different pen name: Jean Plaidy for fictionalized history of European royalty, Victoria Holt for gothic romances, and Philippa Carr for a multi-generational family saga. She also wrote light romances, crime novels, murder mysteries and thrillers under pseudonyms Eleanor Burford, Elbur Ford, Kathleen Kellow, Anna Percival, and Ellalice Tate.

It was only four blogs ago I mentioned Jackie Moggerridge, who was a Spitfire pilot during the war, and told her story in ‘Woman Pilot’ Now I don’t know if it is just a coincidence or that Royal Mail read my blog (ha ha) but last week on the 5th they issued a set of four stamps to commemorate the ladies who did such sterling work under arduous conditions.

Lizzie Moyes, ‘World’s End’ and ‘Raintree County’

Trying to find cover artists can be quite a challenge sometimes but luckily Macmillan and PAN are from the same company and have been know to share the same artwork. I had a PAN copy of ‘Harvest of the Sun’ by E. V. Thompson but it didn’t give a cover credit but on looking at the same artwork on the hardback edition it gave me a familiar name, Liz Moyes. I emailed Brian Sanders to ask if he knew of any other Thompson covers Lizzie might have painted but we drew a bank although he did tell me it was Clare Davies on the right centre cover of Lizzie’s trilogy. With ‘Cassie’ it was reversed in that the PAN edition named Cecil Vieweg while the Macmillan didn’t but it did have a wrap round cover. Just to complete the set as it were Chase The Wind’ credits Gordon Crabb on both editions. I have 20 issues of the E. V. Thompson newsletter and clicking on the roundel will show the first page of issue one. 

After mentioning ‘The House at World’s End’ last week I came across the hardback edition which had very long inscriptions by both Monica Dickens and her daughter Pamela. I’ve put the scan on the same page as the Piccolo edition with the cover by artist Peter Charles of whom we still know nothing apart from he might have been American. This could account for why there are so few covers by him on UK editions. Any PAN Fans in the States know anymore?

I like it when I find a cover I haven’t seen before and this time it was for the 1977 edition of Raintree County’ by David Tayler. It uses the same artwork as the 1958 edition with a few tweaks, so recycling nearly 20 years later.