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

Susan Howatch, John Drake and TOPLINERS

Golden PAN Award winning author Susan Howatch was 83 on the 14th July and I had intended to have scanned all her PAN covers by then for this blog but others things came along and so is still a work in progress, hopefully next week. Howatch was born in Leatherhead in Surrey as Susan Elizabeth Sturt in 1940. In 1964 she emigrated to the USA and married Joseph Howatch when she began writing, In 1980 she left her husband and returned to live near the cathedral in Salisbury in the UK. According to Wikipedai she has now returned to the place of her birth, Leatherhead but has her in London. Howatch was awarded a Golden PAN for selling a million copies of Penmarric and I am trying to contact to see if I can get a picture of her holding the statue. It was adapted into a BBC television series in 1979. I did find this line, which I love, in a review “Everyone in the book, almost, comes to a bad end but not nearly soon enough” Click HERE for an article about her time in the States. The mention of Salisbury Cathedral brings back painful memories of the Richard Chopping exhibition and my subsequent downfall!

With a trip to Portmerion coming up I thought I would look out my Patrick McGoohan / John Drake related badges and see what titles I had from PAN to go with them. I’m just going to include one today and I’ll save the others until I get back. This is a bit of cheat as it is from Boxtree, one of PAN Macmillan’s imprints. It claims to be two books in one and covers ‘Danger Man & The Prisoner’ or ‘The Prisoner & Danger Man’ depending on how you pick it up. Below is a scene from Danger Man, episode 18 from1965 with a very familiar PAN title.

I collect TOPLINERS whenever I see them as originally they were a joint PAN/Macmillan publication for reluctant teenage readers but eventually became just Macmillan. For some reason or other, and why I stopped collecting them for a while, the prices sky rocketed but seem to have come down again apart from the usual few over optimistic sellers. My latest one is Men at War’ by Aidan Chambers who is probably better know for his ghost story compilations. Looking at the page of the covers some will enlarge if you click on them but I think a rescan is definitely called for.

Category: PAN Books
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