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

Tom Stimpson, Anne Frank Again, ‘Guns’ and a thick Bond at last.

I recently had a great talk with Sam Stimpson, son of artist Tom Stimpson, and at the end he promised to scan and send me images of the printer’s proofs that his father had. He said it would probably be a few days but I was amazed to get them the next day. I have added them onto the end of the page and the next challenge is to get a copy of each which will take time but hopefully not too heavy a burden on the pocket. Most of them are available fairly cheaply from the ‘stack ’em high, sell ’em cheap’ online sellers but it’s always pot luck as to which edition one may get.

Having featured the later editions of ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ a few weeks ago I’ve now rescanned the earlier ones and they can all be found on the one page plus individually under their numbers.

I’m always on the look out for proof copies and recently picked up ‘Guns’ by Ed McBain. Often proof copies don’t have markings in them but this one has quite a few. Here is an example from page 145.

There was a whole line omitted.

I’ve been on the lookout for a ‘thick’ copy of Live and Let Die’ from 1957 for a while but the price is usually more than I’m happy to pay. I eventually gave in to temptation and I put in a bid for a copy on eBay for which nobody else bid on so makes me wonder if I did pay too much? It’s in acceptable condition with nice white pages but looking at my ‘thin’ 1957 copy that is probably only acceptable as well. To make up for these two I have a 1960 edition which looks as though it has never been read. The ‘thin’ one is about 11mm while the ‘thick’ one is nearer19mm

Bill Tidy, Margaret Irwin. the return of the Pop Up Bookshop and a ‘Sorry’

Having mentioned the passing of Bill Tidy I said I would include any PAN titles using his drawings and HERE are some I found. Bill Tidy was born in Liverpool in 1933, did not receive any formal artistic training growing up but among Tidy’s greatest works in a decades long career were The Fosdyke Saga for the Daily Mirror and The Cloggies for Private Eye. Over the years he also appeared on television shows such as Watercolour Challenge, Countdown, Blankety Blank and Countryfile and he illustrated more than 70 books.Tidy was awarded an MBE in 2000 for services to journalism and helped to set up the British Cartoonists’ Association.

Margaret Emma Faith Irwin (27/03/1889 to 11/12/1967) was born in Highgate Hill, London and attended Clifton High School in Bristol and then Oxford University, where she took a degree in English. She began writing books and short stories in the early 1920s. In 1929 she married children’s author and illustrator John Robert Monsell who created the covers for some of her books. Her novels were esteemed for the accuracy of their historical research and she became a noted authority on the Elizabethan and the early Stuart era. One of her novels, ‘Young Bess’ was made into a film of the same title starring Jean Simmons as Elizabeth. The BBC made a six part series ‘Elizabeth R’ based on three of Irwin’s titles ‘Young Bess’, ‘Elizabeth Captive Princess’ and ‘Elizabeth and the Prince of Spain’ all published by PAN. Click HERE to see the covers. PS If anyone knows if there was a copy of ‘The Bride’ published with the same style cover as the four from 1971 as listed on the back cover could you please let me know as I’ve drawn a blank.

I’m pleased to report that after two years absence the Pop Up Bookshop has popped up in Wolverhampton again. This time it has moved from the Wulfrun Centre, which no longer had any suitable premises, to the Mander Centre where they have been told they can have the venue three times a year. I called in and picked up a few books with none of them being more than £2 which I’m happy to pay to support them and help keep this going. Unfortunately I forgot to put the memory card back in my camera so I only have a couple of poor shots using my phone.

Finally I must have had a ‘senior moment’ recently when I mixed up Bill Tidy and Terence “Larry” Parkes. Thank you to Stuart R. in Australia pointing out I said Bill Tidy had illustrated the hardback editions of James Herriot titles when in fact it was ‘Larry’ Having a quick look on the shelves I have found one PAN with a cover by ‘Larry’ namely ‘Shop Stewards’ which will probably not feature on my current ‘to read’ list.

Evan Hunter, Astley Book Farm, Not a PAN and RIP Bill Tidy

A while back I mentioned I though there was only one title by Evan Hunter published by PAN, and then I found another and now I have two more. Now wondering how many more there are still waiting to be found? Evan Hunter was one of the pen names of Salvatore Albert Lombino who is probably best know for the novels he wrote as Ed McBain. He also wrote the screenplay for the Hitchcock film pf the novel The Birds’ by Daphne du Maurier which was published by PAN with a cover by George Sharp.

It was good to make a return visit to the Astley Book Farm recently, something I’ve not done since the pandemic. It was certainly busy but mainly around the coffee shop. I came away with a dozen or so with a few from ‘The Ten Bob Barn’ (50p) which probably made the average price about £1.50. I’ll be adding them over the next few blogs but six I’ve already added to pages are Isvik’ with a cover by Tom Stimpson, three Colin Dexter titles when I thought I had them all including ‘Last Seen Wearing from 1977,  The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn’ from 1978 and Service of All the Dead’ from 1989, Eight-Some Reel with a cover by George Sharp, a later edition of Night Kites’ from 1989 in PAN Horizons series and ‘Prince Ombra‘ with a cover by Stephen Bradbury. The photo left shows one of the bookcases of PANs at Astley.

A long time ago I picked up a vintage standee made of wood with cutouts. I have been trying to find a copy of the book with the right Dust Jacket ever since and last week I finally succeeded. It’s probably from before 1938 as that’s when the artist, Charles Edmund Brock, died. UPDATE Just found it was 1935.

STOP PRESS Having been away I’ve only just heard that Bill Tidy died last Saturday (11th) He was the illustrator for a couple of PAN books but I can’t lay my hands on them at the moment so one for next week.

Faith Jaques & Leon Garfield, Artwork, ‘As seen on ….’ and RIP Christopher Fowler.

Having made a bid on some pen and ink drawings by Faith Jaques I was most surprised to find nobody else was interested. They were the illustrations for a couple of stories in Leon Garfield’s ‘London Apprentices’ series namely ‘The Fool’ and ‘Rosy Starling’ They were originally used in the Heinemann editions of 1976 and then in the four books published by PAN Piccolo in 1979. Her obituary in ‘The Independent’ stated …..

I was amused, or is that amazed, to see some of the prices being asked for Book 4.

Interestingly PAN spells Faith Jaques name incorrectly as Jacques.

A while ago I was sent photos of the artwork for two covers, one from Sam ‘PEFF’ Peffer featuring Kitty Peffer as confirmed by Sam and the other was by J Oval (ben Ostrick) I’ve added it to the pages for ‘The Case of the Negligent Nymph‘ by Erle Stanley Gardner and ‘Where The Boys Are’ by Glendon Swathout

Always on the look out for PAN covers in different places and this week we have two examples and one with a PAN connection. The first of the two from films is ‘Strictly For The Birds’ a 1964 British comedy film directed by Vernon Sewell and starring Tony Tanner, Joan Sims and Graham Stark The second is ‘Poor Cow’ a 1967 British kitchen sink drama film directed by Ken Loach and starring Carol White and Terence Stamp.

The third reference is to the ‘Hooded Swan’ as used in the three covers for the Brian Stableford trilogy by Angus McKee. The particular cover shown as  a backdrop for Ballet Zoom in Spain is the one used for ‘Promised Land

I was sorry to hear of the passing of Christopher Fowler (26/03/1953 to 02/03/2023) He was the multi award-winning author of many novels and short story collections and his first bestseller was ‘Roofworld’. Subsequent novels include ‘Spanky’, ‘Disturbia‘, ‘Psychoville‘ and ‘Calabash‘. He is probably most well know for his 20 or so ‘Bryant and May’ detective titles. He also wrote a story that appeared in The 28th PAN Book of Horror Stories’ 

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’