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

PAN Artwork Video, Bond ‘White Covers’, David & Charles

I’m pleased to announce that Jules Burt’s fourth and final video he filmed when visiting me in September is now available. This looks at some of my original artwork from PAN and other publisher. Click on the image above, “sit back, relax and enjoy” and I hope you do as much as me.

Not sure if I’ve posted this before but here is a link to the James Bond ‘White Covers’ series from 1969 and 1972. I can remember scanning them in and putting them on a Facebook page but not in a blog. This was just after Mike VanBlaricum kindly provided me with a larger image of the original artwork for FYEO which now resides in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois . This artwork was one of the items sold at the Bonham’s auction in 1991.

I remember well the name David & Charles as in my youth I joined their book club. There was a great introductory offer then you had to buy one title a month for so long. I think a lot of those titles have now gone to National Trust secondhand bookshops in an unread condition. IN 1971/72 PAN reprinted about 23 of their titles and labelled them the ‘David & Charles Series’ Oddly one of the books lists ‘The West Highland Way’ as being by Turner and not Thomas. The following passage is from their website;
‘David and Charles was founded over 60 years ago on 1st April 1960 by David St John Thomas and Charles Hadfield in Newton Abbot, Devon. It became synonymous with books on Britain’s canals and railways and quickly became a leader in illustrated non-fiction, publishing across numerous categories. The ownership of the company has changed several times over the years. In July 2019, the current management team completed a buy-out of the business from the American company, F+W Media. David and Charles are now based in Exeter, Devon’

Ken Brown and PAN Horror Covers

Just one item this week but it’s a good one as we can now add another name to the roll of honour for designed four of the covers for the PAN Horror Books series.

Having recently been in communication with artist Sean Coleman he mentioned a friend of his, a fellow artist named Hogan Brown. Hogan’s father, Ken Brown, was responsible for designing some of the covers in the PAN Horror Series back in the 1960s. Unfortunately, Ken is no longer with us but I would like to say a big “Thank You” to Ken’s wife Ruth who sent me the following recollections.

Recollections of Ruth Brown

As far as I can remember…….

We had moved to our first “bought” house in Teddington 1967. It was a small modern house with a single open plan ground floor. (Relevant!)

My husband, Ken Brown, had joined the BBC as a graphic designer in 1964 when the in-house graphics department was formed, dealing with opening titles and promotional content for future programmes.

10 designers were recruited from various different disciplines – Ken came from the advertising agency J Walter Thompson, having trained as an illustrator at Birmingham College of Art.

As well as working 9 to 5 at the BBC, he also occasionally took on freelance work. He didn’t have an agent – it was usually through recommendation or word of mouth.

One such commission was to design the covers for the series of Pan Book of Horror Stories. Because of the day job, he did the designing and photographing of the covers at home, in the evening. I specifically specify the evening and not the weekend because by now we had a young son and the very nature of the content of the covers was obviously not particularly child friendly, so we had to make sure he was asleep! The sight of his father’s head swathed in bandages and smeared with blood might have damaged him for life

Then there was the head full of worms ….

…. the severed head in the hat box ….

…. and the wedding cake complete with dagger and dripping blood.

I think Ken sometimes borrowed things from a friend in the BBC props department (a serious misdemeanor) ……. I know he borrowed a cobweb device from there.

I don’t know where he got the rubber head from (he cut it open and added the worms) but it lived in the top of the wardrobe for several years after the “shoot”. And the wedding cake (made out of cardboard and plaster) was consigned to the garage.
It was all VERY low tech but great fun to do and enormously successful – hence the interest to this day.
I hope this adds some insight and is of interest.

PS. My son has grown up into a very nice, well-adjusted person ……… so no harm done!

Footnote from well-adjusted son Hogan

I found the wedding cake drying in the airing cupboard when I was a kid, which was a bit of a shock, I also kept the head with the worms for many years, though what happened to it I do not know.

Jules Video Number 3, ‘A Maggot’ and ‘Live And Let Die’

Pleased to find that Jules has now put up excellent video number three from when he visited in September. This one looks at PAN related ephemera such as point of sale material and catalogues that are just as interesting as the books themselves. Thanks Jules and happy to share these with fellow PAN Fans. Click on the image to see the video.

In 1986 John Robert Fowles (Born Leigh-on-Sea 31/03/1926 Died Lyme Regis 05/11/2005) returned to PAN after leaving them for Cape and Triad around the early 70s His return was announced in a 1986 highlights brochure which featured the cover from the Cape hardback cover of ‘A Maggot’ and not the PAN edition.

Having recently mentioned a pastiche cover of Live and Let Die’ which could fill in the gap in the ‘still life’ series of JB covers I was pleased to see a posting on another Facebook page for the same title. This showed a photo of Paul McCartney reading a copy of ‘Live and Let Die’ apparently just before he went on to write the theme to the film. Apologies to whoever posted it as I can’t find the comment for a name. Other editions are three numbered GP83, two as X233 and two with the ISBN 0330 102338

Later Tey Covers, ‘Inside Number 9’ Postcards and ‘Rules’ Update.

Elizabeth MacKintosh (Born Inverness 25/07/1896 Died London 13/02/1952) who wrote under the name Josephine Tey had several titles published by PAN. She is probably best known for her Inspector Alan Grant series of which there were six but only four published by PAN. I thought the five titles published in 1973 in the same style would be five of these but no, one features Miss Pym. I’ve also included the 1972 edition of ‘Brat Farrar’ which is not in the same style! Still wondering why one never read edition of ‘A Shilling for Candles’ has the red edges?

I recently noticed some pastiche covers for ‘Inside Number 9’ by a fan of the series and also of the PAN Horror covers. The artist is Sean Coleman and he has combined both interests in a set of six postcards. They are available to buy and I’ve added them to a page HERE plus several other examples he has done previously. They can be bought via Sean’s site at Coleman Design

Having mentioned previously the book ‘You Can’t Play to Win if You Don’t Know the Rules’ in the 1986 highlights brochure which didn’t seem to exist I contacted PAN.  Almost by return I got not one but two explanations thanks to Alysoun and Chloe. Chloe says “From what I can tell the originally suggested title was “You Can’t Play to Win if You Don’t Know the Rules”; we have a contract for the same book where it is called “Fast Forward: A Survivor’s Guide to Corporate Politics”; but the name it was eventually published under was “The Po-Po Principle: A Survival Guide to Office Politics” I’ve not found a copy of ‘Fast Forward” but I have of The Po-Po Princple’ Not an inspiring cover!

Finally, just a quick note to say I’ve heard from Chris Hughes who is selling off his collection of titles mainly just with numbers, so the first 400 or so. If you have any wants, he is happy to be emailed at

Jakow Trachtenberg, Glassine and ‘With Compliments’

Every now and again I get out a copy of the ‘Trachtenberg Speed System of Basic Mathematics’ which seems quite straight forward with the book in front of me but trying to use it in everyday life is a different story. I though there were only two PAN editions, but I have just come across a third which I’ve added to the page.

I have had a couple of people ask about the cover of the hardback edition of ‘The Dam Busters’ produced after selling a million copies in paperback. In Jules ‘Rarities’ video I mentioned a glassine wrapper which seem to be new to some so here is a description.

I have a couple of ‘With Compliments’ slips from the 50s but Ray sent me photo of one he’d found in a book which had been typed on. It looks like it could be for review copies of 2 titles but they were published 3 years apart? The titles are The Angry Mountain’ and Death and the Sky Above’ I noticed the address is the same but the telephone number has changed, anyone any idea when this might have been?

More ’86 Highlights, Wilbur Smith and Kevin Tweddell

This week I’m including three pages from the1986 Forthcoming Titles’ book I picked up recently. There are several more which I will use in future blogs now and again.

The three Picador titles are relatively easy to find as is the PAN ‘Staying OK’ although the edition shown is a hardback version by other publishers as are ‘Shah of Shahs’ and ‘The Engineer of Human Souls’ while ‘You Can’t Play To Win If You Don’t Know The Rules’ doesn’t appear to exist apart from on this page! I have looked through all the online catalogues, from sellers and titles listed as by Christopher Andersen but nothing has popped up. Has anyone seen a copy not just by PAN but by any publisher? The only title with a cover that was shown and used was ‘White Noise’

I’ve added the above page and a printer’s proof to Wilbur’s page HERE, It is interesting to see the ‘Golden PAN Award’ featured there as Wilbur collected 22. It’s not possible to see if the one used was one of his or for another author.

The third page is for ‘Cry Once Alone’ by E V Thompson with artwork by Kevin Tweddell. I’ve included the page and a copy of the printer’s proof on Kevin’s page HERE which happens to show ‘The Burning Shore’ as it was also by Kevin.

RIP Angela Lansbury

Dame Angela Brigid Lansbury DBE (16/19/1925 – 11/10/2022) was born in London and was actress and singer who played various roles across film, stage, and television. Most people would probably think of the TV series ‘Murder, She Wrote’ but what I thought of ‘was ‘The Manchurian Candidate’ for which she received a third Oscar nomination. The PAN 1962 edition of this novel by Richard Condon is a film tie-in but all references to this have disappeared from the 1967 edition with cover by Richard Chopping.

Jules Next Video, 1986 Forthcoming Titles and Gail Godwin

I’m really pleased to say HERE is the link to video 2 of 4 from Jules which he filmed while visiting for a couple of days at the beginning of September. This time it looks at a few items of interest especially to James Bond fans. The others will be available soon.

Having mentioned the ‘Forthcoming Titles’ brochure from 1986 I thought I’d show the whole thing plus some of the printers’ proofs loose inside. Click on the image above to see it. I’ll be looking at the contents over the next couple of weks.

One of the titles featured in the above brochure wasThe Finishing School’ by Gail Kathleen Godwin (born Birmingham, Alabama June 18th, 1937) with a cover I’ve not been able to find, anyone got a copy? I think PAN published seven of her seventeen novels with three as PAN and four as Pavanne. Click HERE to see them.

A Jackie Collins ‘Golden PAN Award’ Trilogy

This week it’s just one topic but covering three titles from Jackie Collins (4 October 1937 – 19 September 2015) that all won ‘Golden PAN Awards’ Jackie was one of the world’s top-selling novelists with more than 500 million copies of her books sold in more than 40 countries. Looking along the shelves I can’t believe I’m a couple of editions short but those online tend to be from major sellers using stock images so who knows what I might get?

  • LUCKY for which Jackie Collins earned a ‘Golden PAN Award’ by selling a million copies in PAN alone. Unfortunately, she never received it during her lifetime. When PAN wanted to resurrect the awards in 2017 they were not sure they could until they found her statue to use as a model for all the ones since then. This is book 2 in the ‘Lucky Santangelo’ series.
  • HOLLYWOOD WIVES sold over a million copies in PAN alone. There were several other novels in this series with ‘Hollywood in the title including HOLLYWOOD HUSBANDS (1986), HOLLYWOOD KIDS (1994), HOLLYWOOD WIVES: THE NEW GENERATION (2001), and HOLLYWOOD DIVORCES (2003). With more than 15 million copies sold worldwide HOLLYWOOD WIVES was her ninth and most successful novel,
  • CHANCES for which Jackie was awarded a Golden PAN Award but I can’t find a photo of her with it. Is anyone out there able to help?  This is book 1 in the ‘Lucky Santangelo’ series.

Apparently, according to this newspaper clip she was not impressed with the statue’s attributes!

On her death Jeremy Trevathan, Publisher at Pan Macmillan remembered her thus “Jackie Collins was originally published by Collins in hardback in the 1970s and 80s and Sonny Mehta, then publisher at Pan Books, acquired her for the Pan paperback imprint. She was one of the authors that helped Pan become synonymous with commercial brand author publishing. She moved to be published by Macmillan in hardcover and Pan in paperback in the late 80s or early 90s. And finally, she moved her publishing to Simon & Schuster 15 years ago, though we continued to publish her backlist until 2011. I worked with her directly for some eleven years, on her backlist. She was an extraordinary woman who oozed glamour and glitz and who epitomised what many people believe to be the dazzling, blockbuster author’s lifestyle. She was the female Harold Robbins, without the chaos. The whole enterprise was underpinned by a steely knowledge of her market and her readership and a complete openness of heart and mind to anyone. She held firm views about her book jacket artwork and her marketing, but she worked like a dog to make it all happen, and I admired her massively for that. Every meeting with her was like a scene from one of her novels! It feels like the 1980s have died . . . ”

‘The PAN Book of Card Games’, ‘Superior Women’ and a Jack Higgins

‘The PAN Book of Card Games’ must hold the record for the use of the same artwork for so many editions over 35+ years. The original artworld is by Glenn Steward and I’m pleased to say I have it in my collection. It has been on a page for a while, but I have updated and added to it. It now includes not just PAN books by Hubert Phillips, but just to show I do acknowledge other publishers, some earlier Phillips titles. I was disappointed with the Russian version as I was hoping it might use the same artwork but not the case. Hubert Phillips (13/12/1891 – 09/01/1964) was a British economist, journalist, broadcaster, bridge player and organiser, composer of puzzles and quizzes, and the author of some 70 books.

I picked up a copy of Superior Women’ by Alice Adams and was pleasantly surprised to see the cover was by Kayes Hodges as I didn’t think she had painted any for PAN as PAN, just a few for the PAN Horizons’ series. I also found a hardback copy of this title and wondered if Kaye had seen it before she painted hers as it was published the year before? Looks like I be sending her an email shortly. It’s interesting to see the similarity in the figures and, without reading the book, try and work our which is which from the descriptions on the back of the PAN edition.

A while back I mentioned spotting a copy of ‘Confessional’ by Jack Higgins on an Indian website with a cover I had not seen before. Looking through my book for 1986 forthcoming titles I saw they had used a similar image. Now I am left wondering if there was a UK version or if it was just for overseas? Click on the photo to see the advertisement.