From talking to fellow collectors I know it’s not just me being forced(!) to sit in front of a computer for hours on end as a consequence of COVID-19. On the minus side I know it is proving to be more expensive in terms of purchases but on the plus side feel I am doing my bit by keeping booksellers, the postman and delivery drivers in full employment! I though the above cartoon I found on a book collectors ‘Facebook’ page particularly apt, well it’s how my wife sees it.
Still looking through the negatives Kathy (Sam Peffer’s great niece) kindly gave me and I found one I could link to ‘To Love and be Wise’ by Josephine Tey of which PAN printed at least five editions with different covers between 1953 and 1973. I was also intrigued to see the 1959 edition on the table behind Sam and Roger Hall. It’s almost as it they were sitting in the similar poses to those on the cover.
Picked up yet another signed PAN title inscribed to ‘Celeste’. She has been mentioned before being Celeste Parsons who worked at PAN in the 70’s. The seller also had several more Smith titles all signed to Celeste but I only bought the one as the Kevin Tweddell cover for ‘Cry Wolf’ always make me think of the film ‘Tank Girl’ from 1995.
People often ask “Are PAN still going?” Well to prove it they have just come first as the ‘Publisher of the Year’ in the ‘British Book Awards 2020’ Well done.
Today we have a quiz, guess which description goes with which book?
“Condition is Acceptable. This may be one of the only original surviving books in circulation. It is charming, some pages have been taped together a long time ago, but it gives it character, after all it was made in 1976”.
“Fair condition paperback – creasing and wrinkling to covers and tanning to pages – good reading copy”
The first one (left) was from eBay and although reasonably cheap didn’t look this bad in the photos and, trying to be kind, may have suffered in the post. The second one (right) was not much more expensive and was from Abebooks. Considering the descriptions are not a million miles apart their conditions certainly are.
Recently someone was selling fifteen Bond titles on Facebook in Hebrew. I think they must have been snapped up but I did message the seller to ask, very nicely, if it was possible to have photos of just three of them before they were posted? I would have also liked to know what they were as apparently the one with the ‘From Russia With Love’ cover is actually ‘Thunderball’ Answer came there none! Click HERE to see the three covers that have elements from PAN covers
I purchased a copy of G381 ‘The Killer Mine’by Ralph Hammond-Innes as not only was it signed by him but also there was a letter saying that he didn’t normally sign paperbacks(!) but was making an exception so this was something rare. I am currently re-scanning Hammond Innes titles from PAN from the 1950/60’s when there seems to be a gap before PAN starts publishing titles again in the 1990’s. I went through AbeBooks and grabbed all the cover photos I could and put them together below.
I found this Review Copy slip inside the 1991 Australian printing of ‘The Picador Henry Lawson’ Lawson has published over 40 books poetry, fiction, biography, literary and art criticism, travel, history and stories form children.
Over the years I have managed to pick up 11 of the 12 ‘Piccolo Crossword’ books but number 12 always proved elusive (but not as elusive as X705) in that several sellers listed an edition as number 23, which doesn’t exist, but with the ISBN for number 12. Eventually I found a seller listing 12 with the right ISBN but after placing the order the dispatch note said it was number 23! It was then a case of wait and see and eventually I got …….. the one I wanted which can be seen HERE
I like unusual covers and ‘Secret’s by Unity Hall is one in that the cover does not go all the way across the text block. It opens to reveal what is a little spicier than PAN’s usual offerings. If you click on the cover you’ll see what I mean.
‘HOT LEAD Most Wanted All Review Special” from Justin Marriott and many more authors is now available from AmazonHERE. I am not usually a ‘Western’ fan but there are certainly a few titles here that caught my eye and although I have the original artwork for several ‘Edge’ covers I’ve not actually read one so I now have the first ‘The Loner’ to be read. I was pleased to see a smattering of PAN editions in there including‘Hart‘ with the Gino D’Achille covers, ‘Lonesome Dove’ and ‘Flashman and the Redskins’
Although not PAN I did like this bookshelf of currently appropriate titles assembled by the artist Phil Shaw. I thought there was no way these were all genuine but after looking up a few it appears they are. Got me pondering on PAN titles now!
While speaking to Jim O’Brien about ‘Hot Lead’ (of which more next week) he mentioned that John Raynes had died. I was quite shocked that it will be twelve months on Thursday the 11th and that I had missed it. I sent a very belated condolences message to his daughter Gaby and family who wrote on John’s page; “John was an internationally exhibited and well renowned artist. Born in Australia he studied at the Royal College of Art 1951-57 and, over the next 35 years pursued a successful national and international illustration practice. John returned to painting full time in the 1990s, exhibiting in London, Brighton, Edinburgh, Portugal, Uzes, Abu Dhabi and Dubai. John was represented for portraiture at the prestigious Mall Galleries in London and elected to the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour in 2003, winning the St. Cuthberts Paper Mill Prize. John was one of only 12 portrait artists commissioned to work with celebrity participants in “Star Portraits” for BBC1″ Jules Burt and I visited him at his home in Falmouth on the 16th September 2012 and were made very welcome by John and Sheila and HERE is the page I put together afterwards. Sheila has got back to me to say; “Thank you so much for your condolences, I did at first think of putting a notice in the Times but we then decided that we didn’t know anyone who read it so Gaby decided Facebook would be better, not sure I agreed but nothing reaches everyone. John was pretty ill for some time but we didn’t expect things to happen so quickly. It will be a year on Thursday since he died, just short of his 90th birthday. It was good to see all the book covers together. I haven’t done a lot towards sorting out the studio and work yet, such a daunting proposition!”
Having recently spoken to Christine Insteed of ‘Artist Partners’ I reread their 60th Celebration Brochure and had forgotten how many PAN related artists they have or had on the books. It has been a pleasure to have make contact with several of them or of family members over the last 20 or so years.
Although the covers of the ‘Romance’ titles have been on the site for a while it was while looking at Roger Hall covers, several of which are in the series, I realised I really needed to re-scan them all. I am still waiting for one later (very uninspiring) cover to arrive from a far flung corner of the world which I’ll add but in the meantime HERE are the ones I’ve found up to know.
Trying to find information on artist Roger Hall has become easier since I found out his real name was Henry Walter Hall. Here are a few basic details and I’ll add more on ROGER’S page later. Henry Walter (Roger) Hall was born on 26th December 1914 in London His father was John Thomas Hall who was born on 12th Feb 1887 in Derby His mother was Jessie Blanch Manning who was born on 23th Dec 1891 in London John Married Jessica 7th April 1912 in London Roger married Florence Susan Hemmings in September 1941 His son Roger A was born in June 1944. His daughter Geraldine Susan (Cherry) was born in March 1947 Florence Susan died in December 1982 in Elstree, Hertfordshire aged 68 Roger died in December 2006 at the age of 91.
I get depressed looking through old catalogues when I see the lists of advertising materials that were available to go with book promotions. How much of them must have ended up with the rubbish – are there any PAN Man Column Displays or the PAN Book Week Cut-Out Showcards still out there?
Just a note to say that we lost my mother-in-law this morning at 3:00, she will be very much missed by us all. Although for the last three years she has been suffering from dementia there was just the occasional spark to remind us of how she once was. R.I.P Audrey XXX
I was really sad to hear from Colin Larkin that Kenneth Mervyn Hatherley died last week after suffering a massive heart attack and could not be revived. Ken was born in 1951 and followers of this blog will probably recognise the name as he was Studio Director at PAN in the 1970’s and 80’s. I put together a page after we meet up at his home and the link is HERE. I know one thing Ken was particularly proud of, but not credited with, was the icon style he designed for the ‘JAWS‘ title looking like teeth.
I contacted Peter Tietjen who said about Ken; “A dear pal of mine left this world on Saturday 9th May 2020. We met at Pan Books, Tothill Street in 1971 and soon discovered we shared the same wicked sense of humour, sharing countless crazy escapades together over the years (many of which would be deemed extremely politically incorrect by today’s standards). I really didn’t know what to say when I heard Ken had died, then I remembered the photo I’d taken of the tree in his garden that he’d trimmed to the shape of a heart. The first time I saw it in bloom, I thought it was a fake but on checking, discovered it to be the real thing. Ken too, was the real thing. Ken was an inveterate smoker, imbiber of Strongbow, total Luddite concerning anything vaguely resembling a computer but great with a barbecue. He was also my greatest friend and I shall miss our gambling, shooting and explosives sessions!” Thanks to Peter for these photos.
Our condolences go out to his wife Pauline and all the rest of the family.
While looking for Roger Hall covers I started re-scanning his PAN titles and amongst them was ‘The Mysterious Affair At Styles’by Agatha Christie. As I am now putting in cross links I noticed that this one title has at least three of PAN’s eclectic numbers plus an ISBN. It appeared as 310, G112, X284 and 0330 102842 with the same artwork being used on several editions.
While talking about motorway services, as you do, and how bad they are generally I have to say I do like two, namely Tebay on the M6 and Beaconsfield on the M40 because they are friendly and welcoming unlike most, they both have a lake plus Beaconsfield is the only services with a Wetherspoons! It was while mentioning Beaconsfield I remembered that is was the birthplace of the late great Sir Terence David John Pratchett OBE and also Piers Paul Read of whom PAN published 12 of his titles. I have scanned in a page of them and they can be found HERE
Disclaimer: Other services with lakes are available and any opinions expressed are purely those of the author. I wouldn’t dare say something so controversial on Facebook!
Finally take care and ‘stay safe’ and apparently ‘stay alert’ whatever that means?
There have been a couple of mentions of Louis Shabner in past blogs who was better known as the artist who signed just as ‘Sheldon’ (not to be confused with Harry Sheldon) on over 20 PAN covers. I noticed a calendar on eBay for 1978 with a picture of ‘Miss Felco’ on it and signed by Louis Shabner and as the price wasn’t too extortionate I bought it as I certainly can’t afford a ‘real’ painting of his at current prices. It looked very nice hanging in the ‘library’ but as it had been used it was short of one thing, the tear of months so with the help of ‘Publisher’ it now has a token month added. I would love to know who Miss Felco actually was?
I did some research on ‘Felco Hoists Ltd’ as I like a challenge and it turns out to be one of those weird coincidences. It was originally based in London, got bought out by Birfield in the early 60’s, taken over by GKN in 1967 and finally acquired by Wheway Watson Ltd. before disappearing in 1990. What is weird is that Wheway Watson Ltd was not a million miles from me and I must have passed it going to and from work in the 80’s but I can’t picture it!
While on the ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Collectors’Facebook page I noticed someone had put on a photo of the Chitty/Ambrosia badges which were awarded at promotions and to all entrants to their competition. I had thought it was a colouring competition but turns out it’s ‘Spot The Difference’ on the tins. Dave Hinett of the Facebook group very kindly scanned in a page of details of the promotion which also shows the prizes including 40,000 copies of the book written by John Burke. I have added a few press cuttings and some photos of the ‘first prize’ at the Ambrosia factory etc. which can been seen HERE. I would love to know if the winner chose the car or the cash?
Nothing to do with PAN but I thought it was a bit spooky when looking through the 30th June 1984 edition of ‘Personal Computer News’ as you do and noticed this illustration from an article on a flight simulator programme!
Found the above on a website, bit spooky or what but I’d love to get one
Last year I received an email from Gary Menchen about his project to produce an on-line bibliography of Erle Stanley Gardner. He has now come back to me to say his website has a magnificent 157 titles in 1,960 editions/variants and over 1,200 cover images of which I’m happy to say a few are mine. Gary asked if it was OK to use some of my PAN covers to fill gaps and I was more than happy to say “Yes” as it included plugs for my website. It’s amazing when you see THE LIST OF PUBLISHERS with PAN’s being a very small contribution of 74.
Just sorting a few books when I noticed one had a sticker for the B.O.A.C. (British Overseas Airways Corporation) Aircraft Library so I looked and found a few more. ‘The Interloper’ has the blue sticker inside front cover and is not quite as worrying a title as this ONE I have for Singapore Airlines, just what you want to read at 30,000 feet! I always like to read before bedtime no matter where I am.
Hunting through some boxes not looked at for a while I came across this proof copy of “J. B. Yeats Letters To His Son W. B. Yeats” published by Faber and Faber in 1944. I can’t remember where I picked it up but it must have been because it says on the front “With Alan Bott’s Compliments’ and 1944 was of course the year PAN was registered as a company by Alan Bott. It also says inside that it is from the library of J. B. Priestly and PAN published Priestley titles. Gordon Young recalls meeting Priestley (below) in Paris when they were shipping books over on the ‘Laloun’:
“While in Paris, as I mentioned earlier, we were fortunate to be able to moor alongside the floating club house of the Touring Club de France (TCF) which lay just upstream from the Pont de la Concorde, usually arriving late Friday afternoon, giving us a couple of free days before proceeding upstream to the commercial dock at Quay Austerlitz to load. Aubrey Forshaw (ADF) was a great Francophile and love to slip over to Paris when we were there. One time he decided to hold a drinks party on board for several authors who happened to be in Paris – I think there might have been some literary event on at the time. So we ‘dressed ship’, set out a drinks table and I suppose we must have about twenty people aboard but the only one I can remember now was J B Priestley. Pan had recently published his ‘Three Time Plays’ and as it happened I had a copy. Thinking I might get him to sign my copy, I approached the great man, who had settled himself in a chair on the after deck, away from the main crowd, and was enjoying a quite moment with a large whisky. I asked very politely if he would sign my copy and was very rudely told to “F……….off, I never do signings”. I realised he had had more than one whisky !”
I recently had several emails from Grant Thiessen of BookIT Inc in Winnipeg with scans of PAN book covers he has, one of which was ‘Moll Flanders’ by Daniel Defoe. This reminded me I have never updated the ‘mistake’ page for this title which was originality issued as X433 but mysteriously changed to the incorrect X438 in the 3rd printing.
With X433 becoming X438 it meant there were now two with the same number namely ‘Moll Flanders’ and ‘A Prince For Inspector West’. As all the catalogues correctly list X438 as the Creasey I went to re-scan it at a larger size to be pleasantly surprised to find it signed by Creasey. I think this is just fortuitous as I do not remember buying a copy sold as such. I’ve looked at other examples of the signature and it does appear to be as genuine as any of these can be without full provenance.