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

A Couple of New Additions, Anne Frank, ‘Book Day’ and a ‘Thanks’

I shouldn’t really say this as it might be a sign of my old age but it’s always a pleasant surprise to receive a book you’d forgotten you’d ordered from abroad as it was so long ago. A case in point was ‘The Building of Jalna’ in a TOTEM addition from Canada. I also got the Beagle edition of ‘The Third Ghost Book’ at last so page now shows front and back.

While looking through later copies of The Diary of Anne Frank’ I wondered why I thought I had duplicate copies on the shelf but of course it was because of the subtle differences than makes collecting all variants such a challenge. What I did notice was the prices starting at pre decimal 3/6 (17.5p), then 4/0 (20p) and after decimalisation 50p and then a short while later £2.50 which is why it is included.

Help celebrate ‘World Book Day’ this coming Thursday as the event has now being running for a quarter of a century in the UK. Not sure why the UK has it’s own day as in 1995, UNESCO decided that the ‘World Book Day’ would be celebrated on 23 April, as the date is also the anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare as well as that of the birth or death of several other prominent authors.

Thanks to Jules Burt for drawing my attention to Ian’s Tweet. Thank you for thinking of me and I know we’ll find a copy out there someday.

Tom Stimpson Artwork and More ‘Ghost Books’ X 2

I was pleased to hear from Sam Stimpson, artist Tom’s son, that he was collating Tom’s work and putting it on a Instagram page. It is a work in progress but if you’d like to see what Sam has put on so far HERE is the link. Keep visiting as he is adding all the time. For PAN examples click HERE.

Having mentioned ‘The Second Ghost Book’ and ‘The Third Ghost Book’ I thought I’d finish off with ‘The First Ghost Book’ and ‘The Fourth Ghost Book’  Volumes 1 to 9 were published individually but number 10 to 13 were published in two ‘Bumper’ editions. The First Ghost Book’ is a little different in that PAN didn’t publish an edition until 1970 and this was not from Barrie but from Hutchinson’s from 1926.

I ordered what I thought was a very cheap edition of ‘The Second Ghost Book’ in hardback but what arrived was unexpected as I hadn’t noticed they had published an Omnibus edition containing the 43 stories in the Second and Third ghost books. I think I have had enough of ghosts so I’ll give them a rest for now.

‘The Second Ghost Book’, ‘The Spy Who Came in from the Cold’ and Sam and Kitty Peffer

After featuring ‘The Third Ghost Book’ last week I thought I would continue with ‘The Second Ghost Book’ as I now have the Beagle edition.

Recently there was a posting in a James Bond Facebook group featuring a PAN copy of ‘The Spy Came in from the Cold’ by John le Carré because it included a quote from Ian Fleming to say it was ‘A very, very fine spy story’ I then got a message from Mark Young to ask if had noticed anything odd about it. To be honest I had just glanced at it but on taking a better look I could see what he meant. The logo on the front is wrong as it should have had a box underneath with the word ‘books’ and then  PAN’s book number or a letter as the price code or rarely blank. It looks like they took the 1965 version and just blanked that bit out hence it looks wrong. This version is from 1973 and may be the latest this logo has appeared on a book, something i need to investigate.  I found a signed 1965 copy on line that had sold at auction for £160 which was above the expected price.

While once again looking for covers I came across this photo of Sam Peffer  and Kitty Barber on their wedding day in Islington, London in 1949. I contacted Kathy, Sam’s great niece, and she wondered how it appeared on a Pinterest page as she has their wedding album. Anyone any ideas?

‘The Third Ghost Book’, Nicholas Monsarrat and Beagle Recycling.

I couldn’t resist buying another copy of ‘The Third Ghost Book’ as it included a letter from Elizabeth Jenkins who wrote one of the stories and also signed the page featuring it. What caught my attention was that it was addressed to Lady Mexborough of whom I can find little apart from she is Catherine Joyce Savile (née Hope) but the first sentence mentions Lady Hylton. Now Lady Hilton was Perdita Rose Mary Joliffe (née Asquith) whose mother was Katherine Frances Asquith (née Horner of the nursery rhyme ‘Little Jack Horner’ fame) I can’t find if Lady Hylton. as an Asquith. was related to Lady Cynthia Asquith but Cynthia does get mentioned in the letter so they may have known each other. In the photo left are Perdita and her sister Helen in the grounds of Mells Manor with St. Andrews Church behind where Frances and Helen are buried in the churchyard along with several of my ancestors on my Mother’s side! I don’t move in the exalted circles of the nobility so if any of this is wrong please let me know so I can correct it. The PAN edition is based on the 1955 hardback published by James Barrie, London.

In the above blog I have included a photo of a Beagle Books cover that has yet to arrive form the States. This made me look at other Beagle editions and I found a couple of Monsarrat titles where Beagle used the same photo as PAN had four years earlier. I’ve tried to search about Beagle Books but all I keep getting are books about beagles so if anyone has any information please leave a comment or email.

Also while looking at other Beagle covers I noticed they reused/recycled covers not just from PAN but from Corgi and Fontana as well. Click HERE to see a few examples of the titles I found on the web. This publisher reminds me of TOTEM Books I’ve featured before.