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 Doubly Sad Day.

I received an email today from Vicky, Derek Stowe’s daughter to say, sadly, he had passed away on the 24th September and I shall miss our infrequent chats on the phone where we often put the world to rights. Condolences to Vicky and all the rest of the family. Here is a passage in Derek’s own words as to how he started at PAN.
“Top artist Derek A Stowe has designed a striking front cover, featuring the principal artists and a plug for the film” A first print run of 50.000 copies was ordered. This quote and publicity for me was, I can only assume, spotted by the major paperback publisher at that time – PAN BOOKS I was surprised to receive a Telephone call from Mr George Kam who was the Commissioning Editor for Pan Books. He asked if I would consider working for PAN? The fee would be 25 Guineas per book. I was delighted!

Sad to say very shortly after I heard from Vicky I got an email from Steve, Tony Whitehorn’s son to say, sadly, Tony had passed away on the 31st August. Condolences to Steve and all the rest of the family Here is Tony talking about part of his time at PAN in his own words.
“Unlike at Panther, I did nothing but write blurbs at Pan. For books you enjoyed or admired you set about writing selling copy with some relish; for those that were of indifferent quality you got on with the job with what amounted to a mental shrug; but for the occasional real stinker, so bad that you wondered — along with Bos and Paul — why the expletive it had been bought in, you had to grit your teeth to crack it up in the usual way, to persuade people to waste their money on it”

It’s ironic that while Derek did the front of the books Tony did the backs. Both will be sadly missed but hopefully live on in the history of PAN Books.

Gordon Young 2, Walter Winward and ‘Illustrating Computers’

We had planned to go down to Lymington to meet up with Gordon Young last week but unfortunately both he and his wife, Chrissie, have not been too well. Gordon is now 98 and has just finished the second part of his memoires as Export Manager for PAN in the 1950’s. I am pleased to be able to publish it on line HERE and if you have not read part one when he was first mate on the ‘Laloun’ then click HERE Gordon was awarded the French ‘Légion d’honneur’ for his part in the D Day Landings. Get well soon Gordon and Chrissie 

(Richard) Walter Winward wrote three  books for PAN plus four short stories that appeared in the PAN Horror series namely  ‘Return to Devil’s Tongues’ (6), ‘The Benefactor’ (8), ‘Stick With Me, Kid, and You’ll Wear Diamonds’ (9) and ‘Self-Employed’ (10) Starting in June 1969 PAN began a campaign to push his novel ‘The Conscripts’ with several mentions in the June and July editions of the PAN Books monthly list. I was pleased to pick up a counter display for this as they are hard to come by. It’s interesting to note the books in the displays have covers for 1969 edition but most of the artwork on the advertising material is related to the 1970 printing. The other two PAN titles were ‘The Success’ and A Cat With Cream’ I didn’t think I had a PAN copy of the latter title and so looked to buy one but couldn’t find one for sale anywhere. Fortunately I had a better look and found it had been put in the wrong place. I can’t find out much about Winward apart from he was born on the 4th December1938 in York and what it says on Fantatsic Fiction which also states he wrote 15 novels. He may have possibly died on the 13th January 2017 if I found the correct Walter.

Every now and again you come across a book which makes you think “Who thought that would be a good idea? “and this time it’s ‘Illustrating Computers’ by Colin Day and Donald Alcock. Just click on the cover to see a sample page as to whether or not you agree.

‘What A Way To Go’, PAN List June ’67 and Gavin Lyall 70s Covers.

I’m sure, like most book collectors, you get asked “Have you read them all?” to which I usually reply “Don’t be daft, I have 133 Barbara Cartlands!” but I did read a recent purchase namely  ‘What A Way To Go’ by Peter Bowler and Jonathan Green. This describes the deaths of some famous and some obscure people but all in weird ways and often avoidable. For example I didn’t know Arnold Bennet was told not to drink the water in Paris as it contained typhoid bacillus. He pooh-poohed this, drank the water and shortly after died of typhoid. The cover is by Paul Sample who did several covers for PAN including nearly all the PAN Tom Sharpe titles.

This weeks list is from June 1967 and has some of the later titles still listed using PAN’s eclectic numbering system. Amongst them, on the back inside page is X705‘Junior Crosswords Book 3‘ that elusive title I’m still after. Click on the list cover to see the contents.

While looking at the above list I was reminded of a Gavin Lyall series from the 1970s I haven’t posted yet. They feature covers which include ones by Chris Foss and Harry Hants and for some reason or other have two versions of the same two titles published very close together. They also feature Lyall’s name more prominently that the books title.

Ernest Raymond, PAN List July ’67, Peter Cheyney and ‘Portmeirion’

It’s always nice to have an unexpected find in a book and in this case it was a letter in a copy of We, the Accused’ by Ernest Raymond. It was from his wife Diana Raymond, author of Between the Stirrup and the Ground’ She was writing to producer Peter Cotes and mentions PAN stalwart John Creasey and the programme Cotes produced for BBC2 in the ‘One Pair of Eyes’ series. It was Episode 39 entitled ‘Down With All Parties‘ featuring Creasey standing for election and broadcast on the 2nd May 1970. Raymond wrote 46 novels plus plays etc. but PAN only published one while his wide Diana wrote 24 novels and again PAN only published one. Ernest Raymond was born on the 31st December 1888 in Montreux, Vaud, Switzerland and died the 14th May 1974 in Hampstead, London. Diana Ida Joan Thornton Raymond née Young  was born on the 25th April 1916 in Milford on Sea, Hampshire and died on the 16th February 2009 in London. I’ve included the below as I’ve never come across something like it before.

I’ve been playing around with some of the software where you can make ‘books’ online for the stock lists I picked up at the Paperback and Pulp Fair in London recently. I have now decided the easiest, simplest and most reliable way is just to scan them in and make a webpage for them. I’ve randomly picked one off the pile which just happens to be for July 1967 and I’ll try and do the same for the next few weeks until I run out. Click on the image below to se it.

For those that do want to see my effort using ‘Visme’ click HERE but as it makes a 20mb file and as I can only get 100mb without paying I’ll stick to just putting them on a page at 3mb. As I have to scan them in, however I do it, putting them on a page is easier and quicker plus I can’t work out why the ‘book’ annoyingly jumps at the start.

When it comes to the books themselves I am happy to settle for a reasonable copy at a reasonable price if it is a title I haven’t got. My intention is to replace some with a better copy if one comes along but one glaring title has annoyed me for a long time and that is ‘You Can’t Hit A Woman’ by Peter Cheyney from 1961. All of its spine was Sellotaped and stood out as, literally,  glaringly obvious. Prices being asked were often around £40 with postage whereas the earlier 1953 edition was £5. So when I saw a copy for a couple of pounds and similar for postage in very good condition I bought it. What was surprising was that it was from Germany and came as fast as if it was from here in the UK. Card on left found in the 1953 edition. Signature and photo are from my Collins 1948 edition of ‘Try Anything Twice’

A while ago I mentioned we were going on a trip to Portmeirion where ‘The Prisoner’ was filmed. This starred Patrick McGoohan as John Drake and ran for 17 episodes between September 1966 and January 1968 on ITV. The exterior shots were filmed there but the interiors were filmed at Borehamwood. Last Saturday was the day and sorry to say we were not that impressed. On the plus side, although  the car and coach parks were full, it didn’t seem that crowded but on the down side everywhere seem to have private or residents only notices plus parts reserved for a wedding that was being held there which included the town hall. I did get a badge and a walk around the headland made up for some of the disappointment and luckily it was very warm but not sure where you could go if it was pouring with rain. PAN published a few series tie-ins which can be seen by clicking HERE

Later Dust Jackets, A Stock List, Goodbye ‘The Duck’ and JB on eBay

After rescanning the earlier dust jackets I’ve now done the same with a few of the later ones. They are four that feature the PAN man logo in a yellow box on part of the covers There is a difference between ‘David Copperfield’ and the later three in that it is like the earlier ones in not having a title which actually used the same cover as the jacket while the others do. Click HERE to see them. There are a few more with dust jackets and I’ll add them as I update pages.

Click on the image above to see a list of titles from PAN for July 1959 that I got from Steve Chibnall at the Paperback and Pulp Fair. The snippet below from the list reinforces what was mentioned in last weeks blog – films sell books!

A few years back we made a detour to visit the village of Pett Botton to do what thousands must have done before and that is stand under the blue plaque. This says that Ian Fleming stayed there to write ‘You Only Live Twice’ While just checking details, as this title also features in the comment above about later dust jackets, I was sad to see it had closed down. We may be as guilty as others in that we didn’t actually stop for a meal, maybe if more people had  it could have survived?

UPDATE Since I posted the above on a Facebook page there seems to be a consensus that Canterbury City Council may have been a little over generous with the truth. Fleming did live in the area and probably visited the pub but was residing at ‘Goldeneye’ in Jamaica in 1964 where he died. It seems he may have written notes at ‘The Duck’ but not the book.

I have been following a post on eBay and was tempted to bid but it soon went outside my price range. It would have been nice to have added it to the collection but for that amount of money I decided to leave it to someone who was probably a Bond fan and not a PAN fan but then again they could have been both. Click HERE to see the inscription.

STOP PRESS If you are looking to buy some PAN (and other publishers) paperbacks Jules Burt currently has some on offer on a first come first served basis from just £1 but don’t try for the Picador bookmarks, I’ve bagged those! Click on the image below to view it.

Georgette Heyer, Ephemera x 2 and and Hans Helweg x 2

Over the years PAN published many Georgette Heyer titles with one series of 40(?) titles in the early 80s with full cover paintings, some have a continuation on the back.  So far I have managed to get 32 of them which I have scanned in and put on a page HERE. I have included images I have found elsewhere to be replaced when I find actual book to scan. Unfortunately the images are mainly from sellers who use a stock images so it is not proving that easy. Nor is dating them as the are all over the place using new and old text blocks. A couple are listed as by John Rose but I’m wondering how many more of them he might have painted? PS The blue plaque above can be found at 103, Woodside, Wimbledon, London.

i was pleased to receive an email from my friend Jules Burt to tell me of something he had  found in a book he had bought at the recent Paperback and Pulp Book Fair. It is a card that was a tie-in to the film The Diary of Anne Frank” which was showing at the local cinema. This was very much encouraged, especially in the film press books, plus there were often window displays of the book at the same time the film was on locally. Oddly, Jules tells me, the card was not in a copy of the Anne Frank book but in The Cataclysm’ by R C Sherriff
The second piece was a slip to send to the publicity manager at PAN to order material to tie-in with the release of’You Only Live Twice’ This specifically mentions the book tuck-in which I have seen but, sadly don’t possess.

By a strange coincidence two Hans Helweg related items arrived on the same day. The first was a first of ‘Lassie Come Home’ illustrated by Hans Helweg which looks as though it has never been read which is not bad considering it is a children’s book neatly 70 years old. The second was an email from Niels in Denmark to say his father was a good friend of Hans when they were around 16 or 17. He has sent me scans of some of them, three including drawings, which I’ll be added to his page shortly. Niels has a friend who is a graphic artist and we are looking into the possibly of producing a book(let) about Hans and his work.

Dust Jackets, A Display Card and ‘The Art of Pulp Horror’

Dust jackets, dustjackets or dust wrappers or whatever else you want to call them have been around for a very long time to do just what the name implies. PAN followed Penguin in using DJs on some of their titles but as to which ones seems to be a bit random. ‘Mr Perrin and Mr Traill’ is a film te-in so understandable, some have a higher price, completely different artwork or a variation of the original but ‘Maigret to the Rescue’ is exactly the same! Several people have said to me they thought there were only a couple but so far I have found 19 titles with 21 covers in the just numbers series but why did a couple need two versions, was it just to follow the current house style? I’m always on the look out for more or ones in better condition as one or two are a little the worse for wear over the years. Click HERE to see them in detail.

I’ve been going through the bits and pieces I got from Steve Chibnall at the Paperback Book Fair and one of them was a display card for new titles of the month but as to which one? I think it must be around October 1969 as a quick check lists most from then. Click HERE to see the card and a compilation of the featured titles. I did wonder if the holes were a later addition but they seem to be more die cut than punched.

It was good to see Steve Jones at the Paperback Book Fair and just wished I’d taken my copy of ‘The Art of Pulp Horror’ for him to sign but as it is a bit weighty I did the same as I did with Steve Chibnall’s heavy volume ‘Minatare Masterpieces’, and that is leave them at home. Seeing Steve Jones made me get my copy of his book down off the shelf and I noticed something I had missed up to now and that is I actually have the original artworks for those on page 186.

The Paperback Book Fair, Things to Come and ‘Nancy Wake’

In spite of the threat of disruption to the trains the day turned out fine and I got to the Paperback and Pulp Book Fair in London in good time last Sunday. I’d like to say I took hundreds of photos but unfortunately my camera had decided to play up a couple of days before. I bought another but didn’t really have time to test it out so most of the ones I did take I have rejected. Instead, for a full report click on the photo above for another of Jules Burt’s excellent videos covering the show.

It was good to meet up again with so many fellow enthusiasts including Steve Chibnall who had sorted out some PAN bits and pieces for me. Steve is on the left in the photo above, with Steve Walker of Telos Books next to him and Jules Burt on the right. Below is a photo taken by Jules of me holding my’ goodies’ which I’ll show over the next few weeks. I had believed the forecast of rain all day so arrived over dressed and very hot but felt smug in the afternoon when it poured down. 

Nancy Grace Augusta Wake, AC, GM was born 30th August 1912 and died on this day, the 7th August 2011. She was a nurse and journalist who joined the French Resistance and later the Special Operations Executive (SOE) during World War II, and briefly pursued a post-war career as an intelligence officer in the Air Ministry. Her story was written by Russell Braddon asNancy Wake while she wrote her version asThe White Mouse’ PAN published the Braddon edition at least five times including a film tie-in.

 And finally a very big “Well Done” to Jules for achieving a colossal 5,000,000 views on his YouTube channels, I don’t know how he keeps them coming but please don’t stop!

Book Fair Visit, A Standee, Georgette Heyer and JAWS 2

If all goes according to plan this blog should launch itself as I am hoping to be down in Kent for a long weekend after having had a successful visit to London for the Paperback and Pulp Fair. The only problem might have been the availability of trains with a strike the day before causing disruption to the Sunday timetable. If I get there I will report back next week otherwise it will be a day out with the family somewhere but probably without books!

I was pleased to find this standee for The Death of a President by William Manchester and will admit to spending a bit more than I would have usually done but it was unusual. The one difference is that it doesn’t have ‘Z’ on the spine like the real thing. ‘Z’ means it cost 15/0

I am currently scanning in as many of the Georgette Heyer PAN covers from around the 80’s as I can find but I was interested to spot this “As Heyer’s popularity increased, other authors began to imitate her style. In May 1950, one of her readers notified her that Barbara Cartland had written several novels in a style similar to Heyer’s, reusing names, character traits and plot points and paraphrased descriptions from her books, particularly ‘A Hazard of Hearts’ which borrowed characters from ‘Friday’s Child’  and ‘The Knave of Hearts’ which took off ‘These Old Shades’. Heyer completed a detailed analysis of the alleged plagiarisms for her solicitors, and while the case never came to court and no apology was received, the copying ceased” I was sure PAN must have published the two Cartland titles mentioned as they had 133 titles in their list but seems I was wrong. I did find them in Arrow as a poor substitute although the covers are by William Francis Marshall who painted the ones for PAN and other publishers.

Our local library has been given dozens of Reader’s Digest condensed books which I’ve been going through to find matches to the untitled Jack McCarthy artwork I bought a while ago and so far have found three. What also struck me, and I think I’ve said this before, was the number of well known artists who also painted so many PAN covers. I did buy the ones that went with the artwork plus one which mentioned the upcoming publication of JAWS 2′ by PAN. This year it is 45 years since it was published on the 19th April. After buying those four that’s a pound I’ll never see again!

Unused Covers, ‘Big’ Books, Russell Braddon and Baddesley Clinton Bookfair.

This is an advert for two upcoming PAN titles from 1986 but neither published editions used the covers shown as far as I can ascertain. The Crocus List’ is close to the one used but ‘Cover Story’ shown is from the hardback Collins edition with a cover by Brett Breckon.

I can never resist a bargain and when I saw this 1980 edition of Whitaker’s ‘British Books in Print’ it just called out to me. I think the carriage alone must have cost more than the price I paid for them. They do remind me of the old joke about the book ‘How To Be Taller’ in two volumes, one for each foot! PS The ruler is in inches. Plenty of PANs listed, might need to check out which ones I’ve not got, shouldn’t take too long!

I recently picked up a rebound copy of The Naked Island’ signed by Russell Braddon which I’ve added to the page which now has two signed copies.  Wikipedia states “Russell Reading Braddon (25/01/1921 60 20/03/1995) was born in Sydney, Australia and was the son of a barrister. He served in the Malayan campaign during World War II. He was held as a prisoner of war by the Japanese in Pudu and Changi prisons and on the Thailand-Burma Railway between 1942 and 1945. During this time he met Ronald Searle, whose Changi sketches illustrate ‘The Naked Island’ After the war, he went on to study law at University of Sydney but failed to obtain a law degree. In 1949, Braddon moved to England after suffering a mental breakdown and followed by a suicide attempt. Doctors attributed this breakdown to his POW experiences, and urged him to take a year to recuperate. He described his writing career as “beginning by chance”. The Naked Island, published in 1952, was one of the first accounts of a Japanese prisoner of war’s experience and became ver million copies seller. Braddon went on to produce a wide range of works, including novels, biographies, histories, TV scripts and newspaper articles. In addition, he was a frequent broadcaster on British radio and television. He died in 1995 at his home in Urunga, New South Wales, having returned to Australia two years before”

I was really pleased to see the NT Baddesley Clinton Book Fair is returning after a couple of years absence. I was not so pleased to see it starts on the 29th July, the day we are travelling down to the family in Kent to hopefully get to London on the 30th for the ‘Paperback and Pulp Fair’ It runs until the 13th August so I’m sure we can get there and, hopefully, there will still be a few books left.