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

Private Eye, Original Artwork, Francis Marshall and ‘Look at Life’

Back in 1982/3 the satirical magazine ‘Private Eye’ ran a series of articles entitled ‘The World’s Greatest Publishers’. On the 3rd of June 1983 they got to number 38 ‘Pan Books’. Luckily I have been a subscriber to the magazine since 1971 and have saved all the magazines so I could eventually track down number 560 containing the article. You can read it by clicking HERE It mentions many familiar names linked to PAN over the years.

As it was my birthday last week I decided to treat myself to four pieces of original artwork by Glenn Steward. Thanks to Geoff West at The Book Palace, who did me a deal on the four, I will feature one a week with this weeks being PAN X709 ‘Mrs. Harris M.P’ which turned out to be not much larger than the book cover itself!

Having mentioned ‘The Colditz Story’ and ‘A Chieftain Finds Love’ last week there is a link between them. The cover of the Pat Reid title is signed ‘F V M’ while the Cartland is signed ‘F M’ and they are the same person, namely Francis Edward Blackemore Marshall (Born Bloomsbury, London 09/01/1901 and died Barnet, Hertfordshire 22/03/1980) Francis was the son of Francis Muston Marshall and Johanna Catherina Henriette Kempe. He studied at University College in London and Slade School of Fine Art. During World War II he was a camouflage officer with the Admiralty, having been educated on HMS Worcester. Marshall was noted for his witty, elegant drawings allied to the world of fashion. Francis married Margaret Simpson Chambers in Marylebone, Middlesex on the 14/02/1930 In later life he was a prolific cover illustrator for the novels of Barbara Cartland for several publishers and not just PAN. Among periodicals illustrated by him were Vogue’,Woman’s Journal’ and Harper’s Bazaar’ His books included Fashion Drawing’, ‘Magazine Illustration’ and ‘The London Book’ about aspects of London, the Victoria & Albert Museum textiles and dress collection holds his work and he exhibited at Walker’s Galleries and elsewhere but I’m left with one question unanswered and that is ‘Did the V in F V M actually stand for anything?’

‘Talking Pictures TV’ show old films and shorts and a recent one was ‘Cover Story’ in the ‘Look at Life’ series. The paperbacks were mainly Penguin but if you were very quick you might have been able to spot ‘Moonraker’ coming off the presses followed by two more titles I can’t identify as the premises printed PAN and Macmillan so they could have been a couple of theirs.

Category: PAN Books
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