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

A Couple of New Additions, Anne Frank, ‘Book Day’ and a ‘Thanks’

I shouldn’t really say this as it might be a sign of my old age but it’s always a pleasant surprise to receive a book you’d forgotten you’d ordered from abroad as it was so long ago. A case in point was ‘The Building of Jalna’ in a TOTEM addition from Canada. I also got the Beagle edition of ‘The Third Ghost Book’ at last so page now shows front and back.

While looking through later copies of The Diary of Anne Frank’ I wondered why I thought I had duplicate copies on the shelf but of course it was because of the subtle differences than makes collecting all variants such a challenge. What I did notice was the prices starting at pre decimal 3/6 (17.5p), then 4/0 (20p) and after decimalisation 50p and then a short while later £2.50 which is why it is included.

Help celebrate ‘World Book Day’ this coming Thursday as the event has now being running for a quarter of a century in the UK. Not sure why the UK has it’s own day as in 1995, UNESCO decided that the ‘World Book Day’ would be celebrated on 23 April, as the date is also the anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare as well as that of the birth or death of several other prominent authors.

Thanks to Jules Burt for drawing my attention to Ian’s Tweet. Thank you for thinking of me and I know we’ll find a copy out there someday.

Tom Stimpson Artwork and More ‘Ghost Books’ X 2

I was pleased to hear from Sam Stimpson, artist Tom’s son, that he was collating Tom’s work and putting it on a Instagram page. It is a work in progress but if you’d like to see what Sam has put on so far HERE is the link. Keep visiting as he is adding all the time. For PAN examples click HERE.

Having mentioned ‘The Second Ghost Book’ and ‘The Third Ghost Book’ I thought I’d finish off with ‘The First Ghost Book’ and ‘The Fourth Ghost Book’  Volumes 1 to 9 were published individually but number 10 to 13 were published in two ‘Bumper’ editions. The First Ghost Book’ is a little different in that PAN didn’t publish an edition until 1970 and this was not from Barrie but from Hutchinson’s from 1926.

I ordered what I thought was a very cheap edition of ‘The Second Ghost Book’ in hardback but what arrived was unexpected as I hadn’t noticed they had published an Omnibus edition containing the 43 stories in the Second and Third ghost books. I think I have had enough of ghosts so I’ll give them a rest for now.

‘The Second Ghost Book’, ‘The Spy Who Came in from the Cold’ and Sam and Kitty Peffer

After featuring ‘The Third Ghost Book’ last week I thought I would continue with ‘The Second Ghost Book’ as I now have the Beagle edition.

Recently there was a posting in a James Bond Facebook group featuring a PAN copy of ‘The Spy Came in from the Cold’ by John le Carré because it included a quote from Ian Fleming to say it was ‘A very, very fine spy story’ I then got a message from Mark Young to ask if had noticed anything odd about it. To be honest I had just glanced at it but on taking a better look I could see what he meant. The logo on the front is wrong as it should have had a box underneath with the word ‘books’ and then  PAN’s book number or a letter as the price code or rarely blank. It looks like they took the 1965 version and just blanked that bit out hence it looks wrong. This version is from 1973 and may be the latest this logo has appeared on a book, something i need to investigate.  I found a signed 1965 copy on line that had sold at auction for £160 which was above the expected price.

While once again looking for covers I came across this photo of Sam Peffer  and Kitty Barber on their wedding day in Islington, London in 1949. I contacted Kathy, Sam’s great niece, and she wondered how it appeared on a Pinterest page as she has their wedding album. Anyone any ideas?

‘The Third Ghost Book’, Nicholas Monsarrat and Beagle Recycling.

I couldn’t resist buying another copy of ‘The Third Ghost Book’ as it included a letter from Elizabeth Jenkins who wrote one of the stories and also signed the page featuring it. What caught my attention was that it was addressed to Lady Mexborough of whom I can find little apart from she is Catherine Joyce Savile (née Hope) but the first sentence mentions Lady Hylton. Now Lady Hilton was Perdita Rose Mary Joliffe (née Asquith) whose mother was Katherine Frances Asquith (née Horner of the nursery rhyme ‘Little Jack Horner’ fame) I can’t find if Lady Hylton. as an Asquith. was related to Lady Cynthia Asquith but Cynthia does get mentioned in the letter so they may have known each other. In the photo left are Perdita and her sister Helen in the grounds of Mells Manor with St. Andrews Church behind where Frances and Helen are buried in the churchyard along with several of my ancestors on my Mother’s side! I don’t move in the exalted circles of the nobility so if any of this is wrong please let me know so I can correct it. The PAN edition is based on the 1955 hardback published by James Barrie, London.

In the above blog I have included a photo of a Beagle Books cover that has yet to arrive form the States. This made me look at other Beagle editions and I found a couple of Monsarrat titles where Beagle used the same photo as PAN had four years earlier. I’ve tried to search about Beagle Books but all I keep getting are books about beagles so if anyone has any information please leave a comment or email.

Also while looking at other Beagle covers I noticed they reused/recycled covers not just from PAN but from Corgi and Fontana as well. Click HERE to see a few examples of the titles I found on the web. This publisher reminds me of TOTEM Books I’ve featured before.

Joan Lingard, More RoMo Viewers and Simon Finch

Joan Lingard MBE (08/04/1932 – 12/07/2022) was a Scottish writer born in Edinburgh. I think PAN published four of her adult titles of which I have found three HERE but one is proving illusive. The newspaper clipping on the left reviews ‘The Women’s House’ but trying to track down a copy, even an image, on line has been unsuccessful even with the ISBN 033031193X. PAN also published her ‘Maggie’ quartet in the 1990s. intended for teenagers. ‘Maggie’ was made into a TV programme by the BBC (6th March 1982) and was based on ‘The Clearance’, ‘The Resettling’, ‘The Pilgrimage’ and ‘The Reunion’. She wrote sixteen books for adults and over forty for children

Christmas brought me a few more stereo viewers including the rare Junior RoMo. This means I have a least one example of the three types but not in all the colours. It was while looking at variants I came across the Graf from Dole Jura, who normally made cheese, who licensed their version from RoMo. I also discovered the Lestrade and annoyingly bought one then two days later seven appeared for the same price and with more cards!

I’m hoping that someone out there knows something about the author Simon Finch (was that his real name?) Unfortunately Simon Finch is a more common name than I though and searches have thrown up many Simon Finch’s including the book dealer but not the author. PAN published four of his titles including the Voyager Trilogy’. The second title ‘Pagan Voyager’ was published by Bantam in the US and retitled ‘The Pagan’ The covers are by three well know names with the artwork for ‘Golden Voyager’ being recycled from the Fawcett edition of ‘Rogue Roman’

A Penguin/PAN Link, Doris Leslie and Unused Covers.

I have been having an email conversation with Peter Miller regarding a link between the logos for Penguin and PAN. I knew I had read somewhere that this involved Edward Preston Young (11/17/1913 – 01/28/2003) and it eventually came to me. How could I have forgotten as it was mentioned in that excellent publication ‘Cover Me’ by Colin Larkin. Young worked for Penguin and was responsible for the Penguin logo and it was also Young, when he later worked for PAN, who was responsible for the simplified PAN logo so familiar from 1947 onwards, not as so often credited to  Mervyn Peake, Peake’s logos were only used on the first three unnumbered paperbacks. Edward Young’s book ‘One of Our Submarines’ was Penguins 1,000th title in 1954 and PAN published his book The Fifth Passenger’ in 1964.

Doris Leslie, née Oppenheim and later Lady Fergusson Hannay (09/03/1891 – 30/05/1982) had six titles published by PAN between 1951 and 1968. I’ve rescanned all her covers  and included the original artwork and a couple of roughs for Full Flavour’ The other titles are ‘The Perfect Wife, ‘I Return’, This For Caroline, ‘Paragon Street’ and ‘The Sceptre and the Rose’

Going through my DVD of original PAN artworks thanks to Colin Larkin I’m listing four titles that had alternative covers that were not used including a couple I’ve featured before. Looking at the artwork for ‘The Death of William Posters’ painted by Pat Owen I notice it is numbered M204 while it was actually T25 when published. M204 was used for ‘Sabre-Tooth’ The others are ‘The Spoletta Story;, ‘Sorrell and Son’ and ‘The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy

Sarah Shears, ‘Albert’ Bear and ‘Young Artists’

I picked up a PAN edition of ‘Tapioca for Tea’ by Sarah Shears as I was in Kent and it’s the first in her trilogy of her life in a small village there. This has a wrap around cover but no artist credited. In the States the book is titled ‘A Village Girl’ and uses the same cover and this time the artist is credited. I was very surprised to see it was by Karel Thole, the Dutch born artist, who I associate with science fiction and horror covers. Carolus Adrianus Maria Thole (20/04/1914 – 26/03/2000)  was born in Bussum, near Amsterdam, and was educated at State Drawing School of Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum. He illustrated the ‘Urania‘ magazine for many years. I’ve included a cover to show a more usual Thole one!

I posted three Piccolo covers a while back featuring ‘Albert’ in stories by Alison Jezard and I thought that was all of them but when I saw there was another published as a Young Puffin I had to bite the bullet and buy it. It was only then I noticed there were several more in the series so I now have the dilemma, shall I be a completist or just say as they are not PAN I leave it at that? Unfortunately I think I know what the answer might be. The cover artist was  Margaret Anna Gordon (19/05/1939 – 31/12/1989) She is probably better know for illustrating ‘The Wombles’ books.

I recently bought a copy of the 1980 ‘Young Artists’ brochure featuring the work of many well know names who have painted covers for PAN. Amongst them are Colin Backhouse, Jim Burns, Gordon Crabbe, Les Edwards, Chris Foss, John Harris, Angus McKie and Terry Oakes to name but a few. Quite a few examples of their artworks were reused for the ‘Anticipation’ series by Fleuve Noir of which I have collected many examples when on holiday in France as they are never very expensive.

Jules 2022 Review, Guinness Records and ‘The Penguin Collector’

In recent blogs I have linked to Jules Burt’s videos several times and although the ones mentioned may have been a little selective all of his are worth a look as they cover such a diverse range of collecting subjects and there has to be at least one for everybody. This time it’s a link to Jules reviewing his year and I was pleased to see his visit to me in September gets featured. Click on the photo to see the whole year.

Between 1980 and 1982 PAN brought out six(?) titles all stating with ‘The Guinness Book of …….’ under the Piccolo imprint. I don’t know how popular they were but all my copies appear to be unread. Five were very easy to find but the sixth was not. There appeared to be several copies available but on closer inspection, although listed on several sites, it was the same seller every time. Interestingly they all had different prices and in the end I saved nearly £3 as one also had free postage! It’s true when they say you need to shop around. In 1983 PAN reprinted ‘Most and Least’ for Heinz as a promotion possibly just so they could use the word ‘Souperlatives’!

Having bitten the bullet and joined the ‘rival team’ that is the Penguin Collectors Society last year I was pleased to see they were happy to give my site a plug at least three times in ‘The Penguin Collector’ magazine number 98 This has an article entitled ‘The Use of Imagery by Penguin and its Paperback Competitors’ by Elizabeth Skip liberally illustrated with PAN titles as above. In response fellow PAN Fan, Fred Cheetham from Vancouver, submitted his article for magazine number 99 and can I say a big “Thank you” to Fred for the plug for the site plus the article which is also lavishly illustrated with PAN covers.

Hugh Trevor-Roper, Kaye Hodges and ‘Murder Is Easy’

Last week while looking at the early Vallins covers by Val Biro I was reminded of how similar they were to early PAN editions of The Last Days of Hitler’ by Hugh Trevor Roper, probably because they also had covers by Val Biro. I’ve scanned these and later editions on a page and will update the pages where they are listed by number as I go along. Hugh Redwald Trevor-Roper (Born 15/01/1914 Glanton, Northumberland Died 26/01/2003 Oxford) was Regius Professor of Modern History at the University of Oxford. and wrote a range of historical topics, but particularly England in the 16th and 17th centuries and Nazi Germany. His most widely read and financially rewarding book was titled The Last Days of HitlerIt emerged from his assignment as a British intelligence officer in 1945 to discover what happened in the last days of Hitler’s bunker.

Having wished artist Kaye Hodges a Happy New Year I also mentioned a cover I had featured a while ago namely ‘Superior Women’ by Alice Adams with a cover by Kaye.. I asked her if she could recall it and she replied “I can vaguely remember the book was about a selection of women who grew up together, set in America and met occasionally over the years. One of the people who modelled for the cover was one of the artists daughters who I worked with’ Gary Keane’s daughter Francine. At the time of the illustration David Hockney was using coloured pencils in portraiture. This, I think, set a trend which was reflected in publishing, graphics and illustrations. I still have the original in my portfolio”

Having pulled PAN 162, ‘Good English’ by G H Vallins, off the shelf for last weeks blog I also collected 161 which was three editions of ‘Murder Is Easy’ by Agatha Christie. As far as I can tell PAN only published this once as a later edition in 1973 with a photo cover unlike other titles with numerous variants. I love the strange old woman on the cover of the 1951 edition but have no idea of who K. P. the artist might be, anyone help?