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 www.tikit.net or www.panfans.club

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  www.tikit.net or www.panfans.club

A Penguin/PAN Link, Doris Leslie and Unused Covers.

I have been having an email conversation with Peter Miller regarding a link between the logos for Penguin and PAN. I knew I had read somewhere that this involved Edward Preston Young (11/17/1913 – 01/28/2003) and it eventually came to me. How could I have forgotten as it was mentioned in that excellent publication ‘Cover Me’ by Colin Larkin. Young worked for Penguin and was responsible for the Penguin logo and it was also Young, when he later worked for PAN, who was responsible for the simplified PAN logo so familiar from 1947 onwards, not as so often credited to  Mervyn Peake, Peake’s logos were only used on the first three unnumbered paperbacks. Edward Young’s book ‘One of Our Submarines’ was Penguins 1,000th title in 1954 and PAN published his book The Fifth Passenger’ in 1964.


Doris Leslie, née Oppenheim and later Lady Fergusson Hannay (09/03/1891 – 30/05/1982) had six titles published by PAN between 1951 and 1968. I’ve rescanned all her covers  and included the original artwork and a couple of roughs for Full Flavour’ The other titles are ‘The Perfect Wife, ‘I Return’, This For Caroline, ‘Paragon Street’ and ‘The Sceptre and the Rose’


Going through my DVD of original PAN artworks thanks to Colin Larkin I’m listing four titles that had alternative covers that were not used including a couple I’ve featured before. Looking at the artwork for ‘The Death of William Posters’ painted by Pat Owen I notice it is numbered M204 while it was actually T25 when published. M204 was used for ‘Sabre-Tooth’ The others are ‘The Spoletta Story;, ‘Sorrell and Son’ and ‘The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy

Sarah Shears, ‘Albert’ Bear and ‘Young Artists’

I picked up a PAN edition of ‘Tapioca for Tea’ by Sarah Shears as I was in Kent and it’s the first in her trilogy of her life in a small village there. This has a wrap around cover but no artist credited. In the States the book is titled ‘A Village Girl’ and uses the same cover and this time the artist is credited. I was very surprised to see it was by Karel Thole, the Dutch born artist, who I associate with science fiction and horror covers. Carolus Adrianus Maria Thole (20/04/1914 – 26/03/2000)  was born in Bussum, near Amsterdam, and was educated at State Drawing School of Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum. He illustrated the ‘Urania‘ magazine for many years. I’ve included a cover to show a more usual Thole one!


I posted three Piccolo covers a while back featuring ‘Albert’ in stories by Alison Jezard and I thought that was all of them but when I saw there was another published as a Young Puffin I had to bite the bullet and buy it. It was only then I noticed there were several more in the series so I now have the dilemma, shall I be a completist or just say as they are not PAN I leave it at that? Unfortunately I think I know what the answer might be. The cover artist was  Margaret Anna Gordon (19/05/1939 – 31/12/1989) She is probably better know for illustrating ‘The Wombles’ books.


I recently bought a copy of the 1980 ‘Young Artists’ brochure featuring the work of many well know names who have painted covers for PAN. Amongst them are Colin Backhouse, Jim Burns, Gordon Crabbe, Les Edwards, Chris Foss, John Harris, Angus McKie and Terry Oakes to name but a few. Quite a few examples of their artworks were reused for the ‘Anticipation’ series by Fleuve Noir of which I have collected many examples when on holiday in France as they are never very expensive.

Jules 2022 Review, Guinness Records and ‘The Penguin Collector’

In recent blogs I have linked to Jules Burt’s videos several times and although the ones mentioned may have been a little selective all of his are worth a look as they cover such a diverse range of collecting subjects and there has to be at least one for everybody. This time it’s a link to Jules reviewing his year and I was pleased to see his visit to me in September gets featured. Click on the photo to see the whole year.


Between 1980 and 1982 PAN brought out six(?) titles all stating with ‘The Guinness Book of …….’ under the Piccolo imprint. I don’t know how popular they were but all my copies appear to be unread. Five were very easy to find but the sixth was not. There appeared to be several copies available but on closer inspection, although listed on several sites, it was the same seller every time. Interestingly they all had different prices and in the end I saved nearly £3 as one also had free postage! It’s true when they say you need to shop around. In 1983 PAN reprinted ‘Most and Least’ for Heinz as a promotion possibly just so they could use the word ‘Souperlatives’!


Having bitten the bullet and joined the ‘rival team’ that is the Penguin Collectors Society last year I was pleased to see they were happy to give my site a plug at least three times in ‘The Penguin Collector’ magazine number 98 This has an article entitled ‘The Use of Imagery by Penguin and its Paperback Competitors’ by Elizabeth Skip liberally illustrated with PAN titles as above. In response fellow PAN Fan, Fred Cheetham from Vancouver, submitted his article for magazine number 99 and can I say a big “Thank you” to Fred for the plug for the site plus the article which is also lavishly illustrated with PAN covers.

Hugh Trevor-Roper, Kaye Hodges and ‘Murder Is Easy’

Last week while looking at the early Vallins covers by Val Biro I was reminded of how similar they were to early PAN editions of The Last Days of Hitler’ by Hugh Trevor Roper, probably because they also had covers by Val Biro. I’ve scanned these and later editions on a page and will update the pages where they are listed by number as I go along. Hugh Redwald Trevor-Roper (Born 15/01/1914 Glanton, Northumberland Died 26/01/2003 Oxford) was Regius Professor of Modern History at the University of Oxford. and wrote a range of historical topics, but particularly England in the 16th and 17th centuries and Nazi Germany. His most widely read and financially rewarding book was titled The Last Days of HitlerIt emerged from his assignment as a British intelligence officer in 1945 to discover what happened in the last days of Hitler’s bunker.


Having wished artist Kaye Hodges a Happy New Year I also mentioned a cover I had featured a while ago namely ‘Superior Women’ by Alice Adams with a cover by Kaye.. I asked her if she could recall it and she replied “I can vaguely remember the book was about a selection of women who grew up together, set in America and met occasionally over the years. One of the people who modelled for the cover was one of the artists daughters who I worked with’ Gary Keane’s daughter Francine. At the time of the illustration David Hockney was using coloured pencils in portraiture. This, I think, set a trend which was reflected in publishing, graphics and illustrations. I still have the original in my portfolio”


Having pulled PAN 162, ‘Good English’ by G H Vallins, off the shelf for last weeks blog I also collected 161 which was three editions of ‘Murder Is Easy’ by Agatha Christie. As far as I can tell PAN only published this once as a later edition in 1973 with a photo cover unlike other titles with numerous variants. I love the strange old woman on the cover of the 1951 edition but have no idea of who K. P. the artist might be, anyone help?