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

Monsarrat addition, ‘Gilt Edge’, a coincidence and another JB video

Having acquired eleven Nicholas Monsarrat covers from the 80’s I thought I had them all until a twelfth popped up on eBay. It was sold as a library copy being covered in sticky back plastic with a lot of creases and a label under the plastic. I thought it would be easy to find a better copy but I was wrong so I bought it. Luckily the sticker was under another layer of plastic but on top of the main covering. With a knife I was able to remove the sticker and with PaintShop Pro, most of the creases so I’m still on the look out for a belter copy or any other titles in this series I may have missed. I always remember George Sharp being adamant that ‘The White Rajah’ in this series was NOT by him although his name is on the back.

Isn’t it the way, you get one library copy with a label under the sticky plastic cover and then along comes another. This time it was for ‘Gilt Edge’ by Ian Moffitt. I’ve had an overprinted copy for a while where the word PAN on the front and spine is changed to Hinkler but which a bit of careful knife work I managed to get the label off.

Having mentioned the sad news of the death of George Sharp very recently there was a odd coincidence in that I got a members email from English Heritage regarding Blue Plaques in Fitzroy Square in London. It was in Fitzroy Square I first met George where he lived before moving to Hampstead. I hope they are going to put up a plaque to him.

Jules Burt has posted another of his excellent videos and this time it was a return visit to Dorset Bob who has a lot of PAN books although he specialises in Science Fiction (they start about 7 minutes 30 seconds in)

Chris Molan, 3 from Hans Helweg, trying out ‘BARD’ and a bonus video.

Having been emailing Chris Molan recently I sorted out several more examples of her work which I have put on a page HERE. This is a work in progress and I’ll add others as I find them as there are undoubtably more. To find out about Chris and her work visit her website at

I’m still going through the several folders of preliminary drawings and paintings from Hans Helweg and have found two which are definitely the right titles and one possible.  The two I’m sure of are ‘The Sterile Cuckoo’ by John Nichols and The Fifth Point of the Compassby Miles Tripp with the ‘maybe?’ being ‘Miaby Derek Monsey. Now to go through all the Sam ‘PEFF’ Peffer negatives again to see what I might have missed there.

As Google asked me if I’d like to try ‘Bard’ I thought I would ask it ‘What is the history of’ to which it replied;

“The website was created in 1996 by a group of Pan Books enthusiasts. The site was originally intended as a forum for fans of Pan Books to share their thoughts and experiences, but it quickly grew into a comprehensive resource for information about Pan Books.

The site features a searchable database of Pan Books titles, as well as information about authors, illustrators, and other Pan Books-related topics. also hosts a number of forums and discussion groups, where fans can discuss their favorite Pan Books titles and share their own artwork and stories.

The site has been praised by Pan Books fans for its comprehensiveness and its friendly community. is now one of the leading resources for information about Pan Books, and it continues to be updated with new content on a regular basis.

Here is a more detailed history of the website:

* 1996: is created by a group of Pan Books enthusiasts.
* 1997: The site is expanded to include a searchable database of Pan Books titles.
* 1998: The site hosts its first online Pan Books convention.
* 2000: is redesigned with a new look and feel.
* 2001: The site launches a new forum for fans to discuss their favorite Pan Books titles.
* 2002: hosts its second online Pan Books convention.
* 2003: The site launches a new section for fans to share their own artwork and stories.
* 2004: is nominated for a Webby Award.
* 2005: The site wins a Webby Award for Best Arts and Culture Website.
* 2006: hosts its third online Pan Books convention.
* 2007: The site celebrates its 10th anniversary.
* 2008: launches a new blog for fans to stay up-to-date on the latest news and events related to Pan Books.
* 2009: The site hosts its fourth online Pan Books convention.
* 2010: celebrates its 15th anniversary.
* 2011: The site launches a new section for fans to purchase Pan Books merchandise.
* 2012: hosts its fifth online Pan Books convention.
* 2013: The site celebrates its 20th anniversary.
* 2014: launches a new section for fans to watch Pan Books-related videos.
* 2015: The site hosts its sixth online Pan Books convention.
* 2016: celebrates its 25th anniversary.
* 2017: The site launches a new section for fans to listen to Pan Books-related audio recordings.
* 2018: hosts its seventh online Pan Books convention.
* 2019: The site celebrates its 30th anniversary.
* 2020: launches a new section for fans to play Pan Books-related games.
* 2021: hosts its eighth online Pan Books convention.
* 2022: celebrates its 35th anniversary. is a valuable resource for fans of Pan Books. The site is comprehensive, informative, and friendly, and it continues to be updated with new content on a regular basis. If you are a fan of Pan Books, then I highly recommend checking out”
It’s a good effort apart from several errors including all the conventions, selling mechanize and the anniversaries being wrong etc.
I asked ChatGPT the same question and it said this after I argued with it to say it was not a financial software company
Unfortunately, I don’t have any information on the history of as a website for PAN paperback book collectors. However, it’s possible that the website was created to provide a platform for collectors to discuss and share information about their collections, as well as to buy and sell PAN paperback books. The website may also serve as a resource for collectors who are interested in learning more about the history of PAN Books and its publications.

…. and finally a bonus feature, one of Jules Burt’s excellent videos and this time he is cleaning some more of his Great PANs.

Lookalikes, More ’39 Steps’ and a 1966 Book List

A recent email from Rog P. mentioned the cover below left which is a pastiche but made me wonder what was the original title? Castle in Spain’ from 1963 came to mind but was not quite right, then I spotted’ Tomorrow is Theirs’ from 1958 as the correct original. It got me thinking was the later cover a makeover of the first one as they are so similar or just based on it? Is it a coincidence both titles are by Anne Duffield and painted by Sam Peffer?

Having rescanned and added several different editions of ‘The Thirty-Nine Steps’ last week this week I am finishing off the later ones. It appears there were only three more so HERE they are. I thought it was more like half a dozen but realized I’d put them on a pile of George Underwood covers. I’ve included a Longman cover which also used the artwork by Vic Fair for the movie poster.

While watching another of Jules Burt’s excellent videos, this time called ‘A Step Back in Time’ looking a publisher’s catalogues, contracts and ephemera. etc. I love all this as much as I do the covers so if any one has any bits and pieces they don’t want then just add a comment or email me. Jules video reminded me of a 1966 PAN leaflet I picked up recently.

R.I.P. George Sharp, Lindsay Brown and ‘The Thirty Nine Steps’

I was really sad to receive an email from Ben Sharp last Friday to let me know his father, George Sharp, had passed away in August. I thought of artist George as a friend and I should have suspected something was not right when I didn’t get replies to my emails of scans of his covers I had found. He’d always come back with comments such as who posed, that one was turned upside down etc. Not only was he a fantastic artist but from 1972 to 1995 he served as Chairman of The English Sangha Trust and in late 1976 he initiated the invitation to Ajahn Chah to come to England and establish the first monastery in the West in the tradition of the Forest Sangha. This was Amaravati, a Theravada Buddhist monastery situated at the eastern end of the Chiltern Hills in south-east England.  The funeral for George took place there on the 8th September and I have watched it online, it is a serenely moving ceremony. George would have been 90 this week. R.I.P. George

Lindsay Brown (now MaCleod) was only twelve when she her first novel The Treasure of Dubarry Castle published by Hale in hardback in 1978 and and two years later in paperback by PAN as a Piccolo. It was the same with her second novel ‘The Secret of the Silver Lockets’ published by Hale in 1980 and Piccolo in 1982. I was particularly pleased to find the latter was one of the many paperbacks I got Val Biro to sign when I went down to visit him in Bosham. Val illustrated the pages inside ‘Treasure’ but Chris Molan painted both covers. I emailed Chris and was really pleased when she replied to say “Hello Tim, Yes I am the artist ,How delightful to see those paperback covers again and know that they are valued. Yes, the eighties and nineties were a golden age for ‘hand’ generated artwork. I absolutely loved it. It’s a while ago but I may be able to answer some specific questions. I freelanced for many publishers between 1976- 2010.and the turnover, as you may imagine, was huge. Scanning through those covers you sent, yes the top one, ‘The Treasure of Dubarry Castle’ was a favourite, and I have the artwork here. Regarding writers, you are right and it was always a thrill – and so much easier – to illustrate for fine writers (like the ones you show) but always much more difficult to whip up something enticing to sell a mediocre story! I used to belong to The Association of Illustrators, where we aired our griefs about not being able to reclaim artwork from companies like OUP, for whom we all jumped through deadline hoops. For 30 years I also taught young students on the Illustration degree course at UWE, and on their behalf- and for a few thousand others – a hearty ‘Well Done’ to you for making that journey! She very kindly sent me the photo of her holding the original artwork. Thank you Chris and I will make a page showing more of your covers in a future blog.

Eric M. in the States emailed to say he is after a 1949 copy of ‘The Thirty-Nine Steps’ by John Buchan. Unfortunately I only have the one copy but if any one does have a spare pleased email or leave a comment and I’ll let him know. This prompted me to rescan and add to the pages for the editionsl Number 14., Number G218 and Number X696. I’ll try and get the later editions scanned this week.