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

‘Drum’, ‘Three Restoration Comedies’ and a ‘new’ cover.

The first of the two covers by Hans Helweg this week is for T14 ‘DRUM’ from 1965 by Kyle Onstott. PAN produced at least three different covers with the first being slightly tweaked for the third varient of it where the figures are moved in front of the buildings., not really sure if that actually improves it!

The second Hans Helweg cover is for X356 ‘Three Restoration Comedies from 1965 which was also published as GP15 in 1953.with an introduction Norman Marshall. The three plays are ‘The Way of the World’ by William Congreve, ‘The Beaux’ Strategem’ by George Farquhar and ‘The Country Wife’ by William Wycherley. This is one in the ‘Famous Plays Series’ of which PAN published many over the years. I feel a page coming on!

It’s always a surprise to find an ‘new’ cover for the numbered sereis as I spotted on eBay. Unfortunately I was not the only one and the fierce bidding soon reached double figures, luckily I managed it for £10 which is about five times what I’d like to pay, It was from Milo in the Netherlands whom I’ve bought off before as he  had the less common covers but not for a while.  It was for X349 ‘The Battle at the Villa Fiorita’ of which I only had the film-tie in version but have now got another with the same date but a painted cover although I can’t spot an artists name. It looks as though it might be based on the hardback 1963 Macmillan edition cover as below painted by William Stobbs. I was intrigued to see the message on the back of the one I have just recieved that says ‘Special Open Market Edition’ which I’ve not noticed on a cover before. I found this which explains it Open market When rights have been granted exclusively in North America and the British Commonwealth the rest of the world is typically considered an open market. This means both the US and the British publisher may sell there’ 

Next weeks blog is a special with three Hans Helweg sets of sketches for covers with a very similar voyeuristic theme!

Godley and Creme, W F Phillipps and ‘A Town Like Alice’

Nearly seven years ago in a blog from September 2013 I referred to the two Papersculpture books PAN published, namely ‘The Railway Children’ and ‘Oliver Cromwell’ by Godley and Creme and mentioned there was a third lsited as PAN but wasn’t. It was actually published by Cato O’Brian around 1980 and was “The Charge of The Light Brigade” incuding a model of a Hussar. I saw a copy for sale last week and I don’t know how they managed it, but in spite of the seller using copious amounts of card, the carrier still succeeded in bending the corner! It was much bigger than I imagined and is complete with the model but I’m stll not sure if I’ll make it or not as I would like a photo but don’t want to spoil the book.

William Francis Phillipps was a prolific artist but very little is known about him. The Book Palace biography says “A very accomplished British artist and illustrator, famed for his paperback cover art. He painted the front covers for many Agatha Christie Pan Books paperbacks during the early 1960s and was an illustrator par excellence for several children’s titles (across the ages) including Look and Learn, Treasure, Once Upon A Time and Teddy Bear. He illustrated many other covers including a remarkable series of western paperback covers for New English Library in the 1970s by J T Edson as well as for the popular Edge and Adam Steele wild west series. He also illustrated many books including ‘The Mysterious World of Dinosaurs’ and the magazine series ‘Birds That Cannot Fly’, both in 1980. He was equally at home painting cosy children’s nursery rhymes, gritty western covers, Bible stories, vivid natural history portraits (mostly fauna, including Dinosaurs), and many other subjects” I recently acquired a mixed collection of his artworks most of which have yet to be idetified as to whether or not they were used as book covers but among them was a couple of sketches for ‘Spanish Stirrups’ by John Prebble in Penguin which was very remisiscent of a couple of Adam Steele covers I also have, the one I’ve included is ‘Crossfire’. Probably one of his most well know covers for PAN was “The Third Book of Horror Stories” which hangs on the wall above me. A sample of one of the mystery covers is below, I suspect, from the layout. it might be for a title page on a Readers Digest Condensed Book?

There will be a double bill of Hans Helweg’s sketches next week but in the meantime I had an email from Christine Isteed of ‘Artist Partner’ who have/had so many PAN cover artists on their books. Sad to say she was asking for contact details to pass on to another artist the sad news that Gary Keane had died. Gary did at least three covers in the Horizons’ teenage fiction series. As an aside she also mentioned the artist Roger Coleman and how she was the model for the girl on the front cover of his Nevil Shute ‘A Town Like Alice’ I think you can still see the similarity now.

‘Hot For Certainties’, ‘To Live In Danger’ and Barbara Cartland!

This weeks Hans Helweg artwork was a surprise as I was replacing a book on the shelf next to it when I realised I had some preliminary sketches for it. It was ‘Hot For Certainties’ by Robin Douglas-Home and after looking at the blurb on the back I think I might have to read it! I’ve included artwork for the boy and three versions for the girl but looking at the others I think there might be more in the dozens in the folders. Cecil Robin Douglas-Home was born on the 8th May 1932 and died on the 15th October 1968 and was a British aristocrat, jazz pianist and author. He was the eldest son of the Honourable Henry Douglas-Home from his first marriage to Lady Margaret Spencer. His uncle was the former British Prime Minister Sir Alec Douglas-Home and his younger brother Charles Douglas-Home was the editor of The Times. He was first cousin of John Spencer, 8th Earl Spencer, father of Diana, Princess of Wales.

After showing a maquette for the cover for To Live  In Danger’ by Bryan Magee back in January I have since found a prelimianry sketch for the cover as well and have now added it to the page.

It’s good to see a new series featuring Michael Portillo on his Great British Railway Journeys’ again albeit with a mask and social distancing. Last Wednesday he visited Camfield Place, the home of Barbara Cartland. She wrote over 700 books of which I think PAN published 130 and a lot the books in cases and artwork for covers can be seen on her walls. Apparently she was not poupular with artist, especially Francis Marshall, as she thought she was entitled to keep the artwork as her own.

‘I Have Friends in Heaven’, Shute 1,000 and ‘PAN as seen in photos’

Amongst the sketches and preliminary paintings I have in Hans Helweg’s folders are two and a half covers for Max Catto titles. The reason I say half is that I’m not sure if one was used although the characters look vaguely familiar but I’ll get to that in a couple of weeks after a bit more reasearch. Todays painting is for ‘I Have Friends in Heaven’ numbered M257 from 1968. It is interesting in that it is paintings on two card cut outs for the boy and the horses but I’ve not found a background yet.

Having mentioned Nevil Shute and his plaque in Sydney last week I was looking through my copies of the PAN Record and on the cover of number 32 from May 1961 they celebrated the 1,000th title published by PAN which just happened to be ‘A Town Like Alice’, the one title mentioned on the plaque. PAN certainly gave it a good ‘plug’ as it gets mentioned not only on the cover but on two pages inside.

Here is a question “Which PAN titles are shown in these photos of famous people”

Click on the photo to enlarge and click HERE for the answer to Sir Edmund Hillary

Click on the photo to enlarge and click HERE for the answer to Vivien Leigh

Farley Mowat, Nevil’s Plaque and ‘The Nun’s Story’

Farley McGill Mowat was born on May 12, 1921 and died on May 6, 2014. He was a Canadian writer and environmentalist and his works were translated into 52 languages, He sold more than 17 million books and achieved fame with the publication of his books on the Canadian north, such as ‘People of the Deer’ (1952) and ‘Never Cry Wolf’ (1963). PAN published 11 of his titles  but didn’t publish ‘People of the Deer’ but did ‘Never Cry Wolf’ of which PAN also published the film tie-in in 1984. I’m still waiting for one title to arrive from the States but I suspect. although listed as Piccolo, it will be the wrong edition as I’ve yet to find one ‘in the wild’ To see the 10 of the 11 titles I have so far click HERE Unusually, up to the film tie-in, PAN were reasonably consistent with the cover style especially the authors name.

After mentioning Nevil Shute Norway and his plaque in Sydney on a Facebook ‘Shutist’ page a lady kindly mentioned there was a book about the 60 writers with an Australian connection with plaques along the harbour waterfront. I then noticed my niece’s husband, Wade’ was down from Darwin in Sydney on business and I jokingly asked him if he was around there was ther any chance of a photo? Well he came up trumps but then again he is a photographer so I’m sure it was an offer he couldn’t refuse and some of his photos have appeared on Australian Tourist Board posters. I’ve put them on a page HERE

This weeks Hans Helweg artwork and sketches are for the Kathryn Hulme title ‘The Nun’s Story’ I’ve also included the earlier editions with covers by Sam ‘PEFF’ Peffer with film reference stills. I also found another painting of the castle to go with last week’s cover of ‘Death in the Castle’

Lorna Doone, ‘Chitty Chity Bang Bang’ and ‘Death in the Castle’

I picked up a copy of the 1967 edition of Lorna Doone’ by R. D. Blackmore in the ‘Bestsellers of Literature’ series with a cover by John Raynes because it had a sticker on the front. Now normally stickers are a ‘no no’ especially vintage prixce ones that will not shift even with the old stanby of lighter fuel but this was different. In 1969 it was the Centenary of the publication of this classic and sveral items appeared with the same design. I’ve found a few and put them on the page.

I’ve added a third varrient for the 1968 edition of ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ with a cover by John Burningham. The Ist and 3rd being differing not only in price on the back but the featured ‘sticker’ says “Fabulous Film Coming” on the 1st but changes to “Now A Fabulous Film” on the later edition. The third varient doesn’t have prices on the back but now has the Scholastic Press logo for copies printed in Canada. 

Back to Hans Helweg’s works from his folders and this week the  preliminary painting is for the Pearl Buck title Death in the Castle’ from 1966. It is clearly signed which is always a bonus when trying to attribute covers. Pearl Sydenstricker Buck was born on June 26, 1892 and died on March 6, 1973. She was an American writer and novelist and her novel ‘The Good Earth’ was the best-selling fiction book in the United States in 1931 and 1932 and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1932. In 1938, she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature “for her rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life in China and for her biographical masterpieces”. She was the first American woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. Although PAN published many of her titles over the years I don’t think they actually published ‘The Good Earth’ I will put toether a page to show the editions I have soon.

‘An Otter’s Tale’, ‘Wuthering Heights’ and more videos from Jules Burt.

Last year when I went to visit Sam ‘PEFF’ Peffer’s Great Niece Kathy I took a photo of the original artwork she had for ‘The Otter’s Tale’ by Gavin Maxwell which featured a prominent otter. This bore a remarkable similarity to the otter on the Maxwell covers by William Francis Phillips. It turns out my supposition about the cover being a composite was right and was confirmed by what Sam had written on the back of the artwork kindly photographed for me by Kathy.

Looking at my duplicate copies of titles I’m sorted to take to a National Trust secondhand bookshop when they reopen shortly I nearly missed a later copy of ‘Wuthering Heights’ with a cover by John Raynes (pictured left) I knew I had two from 1967, one with a TV programme tie-in sticker but then spotted the 1970 edition with a different title section and no letter on the spine, just a blank where there was one on the earlier edition. I’ve also included three others none of which have a visible name or credit to an artist on the back which is a disappointment. Does anyone have any idea?

I’m please to say Jules Burt continues to upload his excellent videos to ‘YouTube’ They cover a very wide and varied range of topics several of which relate to PAN Books so here are a few that you might have missed.

Original Book Cover Artwork

PAN Record Magazine

PAN Giants X101 to X200

PAN Giants X201 to X350

Constance Heaven, Pan/Pavane and a Poster.

Just checking up on titles by Constance Heaven who also wrote under her maiden name of Constance (Aimee) Fetcher and Chritina Merlin. She was born on the 6th August 1911 in London and died on the 12th April 1955 at Kingston Upon Thames. I found I was one short of the five titles done as a wrap around cover by artist unknown namely The Astrov Inheritance’ from 1977. I eventually found an image on Gumtress in Australia where it was in a bundle of other books. Luckily Carmen, the lady who was offering them, kindly agreed to sell me just the one for a very low price which became quite a bit higher after postage. I cannot understand how some sellers only want 3 Australian dollars via Skippy Post when other ask nearly 30 to post the same item using Australia Post?

A while ago I was looking for the few titles that Pan published with their usual red, pink and black logo but rather than the word PAN underneath it says Pavanne. Later editions drop the PAN log and just have the word Pavanne. The title I added was ‘Wanting’ by Angela Huth with a cover by Paul Sample who did so many for PAN including many of the Tom Sharp novels.

Thanks to Alysoun at PAN who managed to find me a postcard and double sided poster (24″x16″) for the 42nd anniversary of the ‘Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy’ being first broadcast on the radio last year. This year in October it will be 42 years since PAN published the paperback edition and I’m just wondering if they will produce anything special for this?
 Click HERE to see side one and click HERE to see side two of the poster.

Pat Owen, ‘Angelique’ and Will’s Cigarette Cards.

While identifying which Nevil Shute covers were by Hans Helweg I found the original artwork for a couple by Pat Owen. Looking at others in the same edition they are so similar they probably are by Pat but I can’t attribute them all yet although a few are signed, these are ones I’ve included on the page. Sue, Pat’s widow, has promised me a list of all the artwork she knows about so hopefully a few more might be included there. The painting above hangs on the wall in the attic (it has been covereted to a bedroom I hasten to add) and was painted by Pat in 1980 as a member of the Guild of Aviation Artists

This weeks Hans Helweg sketches are for the 1968/69 editions of ‘Angelique’ by Sergeanne Golon (Serge and Anne Golon) Amongst the printers proofs was a cover for The Countess Angelique’ featuring one of Hans paintings but I don’t have a copy myself and couldn’t find a copy listed for sale. The only one I have with this ISBN is the Canadian edition. I contacted Alysoun at PAN who assures me that there are copies out there so I’ll just keep looking.
UPDATE Alysoun has now looked at their file copies in the archives and found they are the Canadian editions so maybe the printers proof is a one off and an edition was never issued with this cover, anyone got a copy?

After featuring Storm Jameson on a Will’s cigarette card card I managed to get an album for the set. There are forty cards altogether and feature some well know names from the PAN library of authors.
Here is the list →

Yvonne Gilbert, ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ and the last ‘Horizon’!

Having mentioning that I had been in contact with Yvonne Gilbert and her Piccolo covers in a previous blog  I saw one of her original artworks for sale on eBay at a reasonable price. It was for a page in her four book series ‘Me and My Pets’ and I recognised it as from ‘Me and My Rabbit’ I ordered a copy and was surprised to find I received ‘Me and My Kitten’, another copy ordered and this time ‘Me and My Puppy’ It was then I realised all the titles had the same ISBN and from sellers where they have ‘too many books to check editions” I bought three more hoping I would strike luck and this time got two copies of ‘Me and My Rabbit and one reply “we can’t find it” All I need now is ‘Me and My Pony’ to complete the set! I framed the artwork with a scan of the cover and appropriate page and was going to give it to my Grandson but then the seller said “I’ve got another eight pages, are you interested?” After thirty seconds of negotiating a very favourable price, well it was for me, I will now frame these the same but they may stay with me!

After all the publicity for The Queen’s Gambit’ by Walter Tevis on Netflix I got my copy off the shelf and found it was a 2nd printing from 1984 with a slightly different cover to a 1st. I think the 1st. is better with the PAN logo not to the side. I thought I look around for a 1st only to find the it’s silly prices time again. The cheapest seems to be £86 while the Australia edition’s price is eye wateringly silly. PAN published a couple of Tevis titles as a matching pair you can see HERE.

After trying to get all the PAN Horizons series I have been one short for a long time. I had a scan of the page thanks to a very nice librarian in Australia who had a copy and very kindly scanned it and sent it to me. Every now and again I go through my list of  wants to see if I can find a copy yet  (Yes, I do have automatic searches set up but they don’t always deliver) and for ‘Those Summer Girls I Never Met’ it is always seemed to be the Random House edition and illustration so when I spotted a copy on Amazon that said it was not as illustrated and was PAN I was really pleased. Now it has arrived I don’t think it has ever been opened let alone read. Perseverance pays off, now if I could just find that ‘Junior Crosswords Book 3’ …..!