Friday, 23 April 2010


Of the approximately 1100 titles published by Canada's big three paperback publishers from 1942 to 1959 only two were classics (n. a work of art recognised as being of high quality and lasting value). Wm. Collins Sons & Co. Canada Ltd. published Treasure Island and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in their White Circle imprint. Both can be found in an earlier post. Harlequin Books and Export Publishing Enterprises Ltd. published none. So to find mid century paperback editions of the classics we have to look elsewhere. To pick one example, Swift's Gulliver's Travels, here are six US editions and one Chinese.

The first was published by Royce Publishers of Chicago on 1945. The book is 78 mm x 117 mm (3 1/16" x 4 9/16") and 128 pages. At this size only the first of Gulliver's four travels, to Lilliput, is seen.

Quick Reader 136

Next are two Pocket Books editions from 1939 and 1957. Then a 1963 edition from New York's Airmont Books.

Pocket Books 34

Pocket Books PL51

Airmont CL15

A couple of tie-ins to the 1939 animated film from the Dell Publishing Company are next. The contents are identical except for the addition of colouring pages in the second version.

Finally here is a Chinese version, likely from the 1930s, of travels one and two. Both are 130 mm x 186 mm (5 1/8" x 7 3/8").

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