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

Tom Stimpson, Anne Frank Again, ‘Guns’ and a thick Bond at last.

I recently had a great talk with Sam Stimpson, son of artist Tom Stimpson, and at the end he promised to scan and send me images of the printer’s proofs that his father had. He said it would probably be a few days but I was amazed to get them the next day. I have added them onto the end of the page and the next challenge is to get a copy of each which will take time but hopefully not too heavy a burden on the pocket. Most of them are available fairly cheaply from the ‘stack ’em high, sell ’em cheap’ online sellers but it’s always pot luck as to which edition one may get.

Having featured the later editions of ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ a few weeks ago I’ve now rescanned the earlier ones and they can all be found on the one page plus individually under their numbers.

I’m always on the look out for proof copies and recently picked up ‘Guns’ by Ed McBain. Often proof copies don’t have markings in them but this one has quite a few. Here is an example from page 145.

There was a whole line omitted.

I’ve been on the lookout for a ‘thick’ copy of Live and Let Die’ from 1957 for a while but the price is usually more than I’m happy to pay. I eventually gave in to temptation and I put in a bid for a copy on eBay for which nobody else bid on so makes me wonder if I did pay too much? It’s in acceptable condition with nice white pages but looking at my ‘thin’ 1957 copy that is probably only acceptable as well. To make up for these two I have a 1960 edition which looks as though it has never been read. The ‘thin’ one is about 11mm while the ‘thick’ one is nearer19mm

Bill Tidy, Margaret Irwin. the return of the Pop Up Bookshop and a ‘Sorry’

Having mentioned the passing of Bill Tidy I said I would include any PAN titles using his drawings and HERE are some I found. Bill Tidy was born in Liverpool in 1933, did not receive any formal artistic training growing up but among Tidy’s greatest works in a decades long career were The Fosdyke Saga for the Daily Mirror and The Cloggies for Private Eye. Over the years he also appeared on television shows such as Watercolour Challenge, Countdown, Blankety Blank and Countryfile and he illustrated more than 70 books.Tidy was awarded an MBE in 2000 for services to journalism and helped to set up the British Cartoonists’ Association.

Margaret Emma Faith Irwin (27/03/1889 to 11/12/1967) was born in Highgate Hill, London and attended Clifton High School in Bristol and then Oxford University, where she took a degree in English. She began writing books and short stories in the early 1920s. In 1929 she married children’s author and illustrator John Robert Monsell who created the covers for some of her books. Her novels were esteemed for the accuracy of their historical research and she became a noted authority on the Elizabethan and the early Stuart era. One of her novels, ‘Young Bess’ was made into a film of the same title starring Jean Simmons as Elizabeth. The BBC made a six part series ‘Elizabeth R’ based on three of Irwin’s titles ‘Young Bess’, ‘Elizabeth Captive Princess’ and ‘Elizabeth and the Prince of Spain’ all published by PAN. Click HERE to see the covers. PS If anyone knows if there was a copy of ‘The Bride’ published with the same style cover as the four from 1971 as listed on the back cover could you please let me know as I’ve drawn a blank.

I’m pleased to report that after two years absence the Pop Up Bookshop has popped up in Wolverhampton again. This time it has moved from the Wulfrun Centre, which no longer had any suitable premises, to the Mander Centre where they have been told they can have the venue three times a year. I called in and picked up a few books with none of them being more than £2 which I’m happy to pay to support them and help keep this going. Unfortunately I forgot to put the memory card back in my camera so I only have a couple of poor shots using my phone.

Finally I must have had a ‘senior moment’ recently when I mixed up Bill Tidy and Terence “Larry” Parkes. Thank you to Stuart R. in Australia pointing out I said Bill Tidy had illustrated the hardback editions of James Herriot titles when in fact it was ‘Larry’ Having a quick look on the shelves I have found one PAN with a cover by ‘Larry’ namely ‘Shop Stewards’ which will probably not feature on my current ‘to read’ list.

Evan Hunter, Astley Book Farm, Not a PAN and RIP Bill Tidy

A while back I mentioned I though there was only one title by Evan Hunter published by PAN, and then I found another and now I have two more. Now wondering how many more there are still waiting to be found? Evan Hunter was one of the pen names of Salvatore Albert Lombino who is probably best know for the novels he wrote as Ed McBain. He also wrote the screenplay for the Hitchcock film pf the novel The Birds’ by Daphne du Maurier which was published by PAN with a cover by George Sharp.

It was good to make a return visit to the Astley Book Farm recently, something I’ve not done since the pandemic. It was certainly busy but mainly around the coffee shop. I came away with a dozen or so with a few from ‘The Ten Bob Barn’ (50p) which probably made the average price about £1.50. I’ll be adding them over the next few blogs but six I’ve already added to pages are Isvik’ with a cover by Tom Stimpson, three Colin Dexter titles when I thought I had them all including ‘Last Seen Wearing from 1977,  The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn’ from 1978 and Service of All the Dead’ from 1989, Eight-Some Reel with a cover by George Sharp, a later edition of Night Kites’ from 1989 in PAN Horizons series and ‘Prince Ombra‘ with a cover by Stephen Bradbury. The photo left shows one of the bookcases of PANs at Astley.

A long time ago I picked up a vintage standee made of wood with cutouts. I have been trying to find a copy of the book with the right Dust Jacket ever since and last week I finally succeeded. It’s probably from before 1938 as that’s when the artist, Charles Edmund Brock, died. UPDATE Just found it was 1935.

STOP PRESS Having been away I’ve only just heard that Bill Tidy died last Saturday (11th) He was the illustrator for a couple of PAN books but I can’t lay my hands on them at the moment so one for next week.

Faith Jaques & Leon Garfield, Artwork, ‘As seen on ….’ and RIP Christopher Fowler.

Having made a bid on some pen and ink drawings by Faith Jaques I was most surprised to find nobody else was interested. They were the illustrations for a couple of stories in Leon Garfield’s ‘London Apprentices’ series namely ‘The Fool’ and ‘Rosy Starling’ They were originally used in the Heinemann editions of 1976 and then in the four books published by PAN Piccolo in 1979. Her obituary in ‘The Independent’ stated …..

I was amused, or is that amazed, to see some of the prices being asked for Book 4.

Interestingly PAN spells Faith Jaques name incorrectly as Jacques.

A while ago I was sent photos of the artwork for two covers, one from Sam ‘PEFF’ Peffer featuring Kitty Peffer as confirmed by Sam and the other was by J Oval (ben Ostrick) I’ve added it to the pages for ‘The Case of the Negligent Nymph‘ by Erle Stanley Gardner and ‘Where The Boys Are’ by Glendon Swathout

Always on the look out for PAN covers in different places and this week we have two examples and one with a PAN connection. The first of the two from films is ‘Strictly For The Birds’ a 1964 British comedy film directed by Vernon Sewell and starring Tony Tanner, Joan Sims and Graham Stark The second is ‘Poor Cow’ a 1967 British kitchen sink drama film directed by Ken Loach and starring Carol White and Terence Stamp.

The third reference is to the ‘Hooded Swan’ as used in the three covers for the Brian Stableford trilogy by Angus McKee. The particular cover shown as  a backdrop for Ballet Zoom in Spain is the one used for ‘Promised Land

I was sorry to hear of the passing of Christopher Fowler (26/03/1953 to 02/03/2023) He was the multi award-winning author of many novels and short story collections and his first bestseller was ‘Roofworld’. Subsequent novels include ‘Spanky’, ‘Disturbia‘, ‘Psychoville‘ and ‘Calabash‘. He is probably most well know for his 20 or so ‘Bryant and May’ detective titles. He also wrote a story that appeared in The 28th PAN Book of Horror Stories’