Thursday, 20 May 2010

Harlequin and E. J. Pratt

In August 1952 Harlequin Books published Why Be a Sucker? by D. M. LeBourdais. In common with most of their books the copyright page announces "THIS HARLEQUIN BOOK edition is published by arrangement with The Metheun Company of Canada - Toronto". Uncommonly there is also the statement "Copyright Harlequin Books Limited and The British Book Service (Canada) Limited". So Harlequin appears to have some deeper connection to this reprint. 

If we look at the undated Metheun hard cover edition we can see the connection. The title page has the Metheun imprint but the copyright page carries the same copyright notice without the Harlequin edition notice. The text block has been printed from the same plates as the Harlequin edition. The other connection can be seen on the covers; the Metheun edition uses the Harlequin edition cover. The diamond price and the ghost of the Harlequin logo behind the Metheun logo are the evidence.

The Metheun edition carries an absurdly complimentary review by well known Canadian poet E. J. Pratt. Hard to imagine any of the hundreds of investment self-help books today having a review from a poet. Below is Pratt's Still Life and Other Verse published in 1943 by The Macmillan Company of Canada Limited.

Harlequin 186

Harlequin 186 back

Why Be a Sucker? - Metheun

Why Be a Sucker? back

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