Tuesday, 26 January 2021

Crown Novel Publishing Part III

It has been a number of years since I posted about small Toronto publisher Crown Novel Publishing who sold paperbacks in the post war UK. They are unnumbered so it's an open question how many were issued.

Here's one just purchased. 

Artists, Models and Murder (1946) by Tedd Steele is special for a few reasons. One, it is the only paperback original from Crown. It has a biography of Steele at the back. Second, it was rebound as a hardcover. The front cover has been cut and pasted, poorly, to the front board. I have seen another hardbound copy so it was likely done either by the publisher or the UK distributor, perhaps for the library market. So far this is the only Crown that I've seen like this. Third, it was published in a new edition by Export Publishing in 1948 as one of the first two in their News Stand Library imprint. The Export is a mass market while the Crown is a digest.

The text is the same. The only difference is each of the 37 chapters in the Export edition has been given a title. A few examples - 

"Pink Lace, Poodle and Puddle of Blood"

"The Nude in the Cottage"

"Blonde at the Bedside"

Sunday, 22 November 2020

Duchess Publishing Part I

Duchess Publishing & Printing Company was a Toronto based publisher of comics, magazines and paperbacks from the early 1940s until the mid 1950s. Here is one of its more famous books - Brigands of the Moon (c. 1946). No author is listed on the cover but the title page has John Campbell 1910-1971). This is wrong. The author is Ray Cummings (1887-1957) and the story was first published in the March to June 1931 issues of "Astounding Stories". Campbell was the editor of Astounding from 1937 to 1971 and this is no doubt how his name was attached to Cumming's book by an inattentive editor at Duchess.

The address on the back, 104 Sherbourne St, is in downtown Toronto. Sherbourne's original name was Duchess.

Monday, 3 August 2020

Star Weekly Novel Part II

I introduced the Star Weekly Novel in the last post. There are many intriguing aspects to the series, including the art in every issue - classic mid-century art that was also seen in dozens of magazines every month. We're fortunate that the Star Weekly editors noted the artists. Here are three.

Having No Heart and Long Lightning - William (Bill) Book (?-?) was a Canadian artist about whom I can find next to nothing. His work is also seen on two Harlequins.

The Case of the Grinning Gorilla - Marshall Dawson (Mark) Miller (1919-2008) was an American illustrator with careers in costume design and wine making.

Blood Will Tell - Jay Herbert (?-?) is a mystery.

There is an obvious theme to the drawings for the two crime, one Western and one romance title. 

Star Weekly Novel July 26, 1952

Star Weekly Novel  July 25, 1953

Star Weekly Novel June 13, 1953

Star Weekly Novel December 25, 1954

Friday, 31 July 2020

Anna Ruadh

After 112 years and 50,000,000+ copies sold in nearly 40 languages there is a Gaelic translation of L. M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables. Just out from small Halifax publisher Bradan Press, Anna Ruadh is Morag Anna NicNeill's translation into Scottish Gaelic of the iconic Canadian classic.

There are, unsurprisingly, no early paperback versions of Anne published in Canada. The first Canadian hardcover edition is from Ryerson Press in 1942. I am surprised that there are no early American paperbacks. The only one is a 1940 Pocket Books edition of the fifth title in the series - Anne of Windy Poplars from 1936.

Also below is a recent edition from Penguin (2014).

Friday, 24 July 2020

Star Weekly Novel Part I

The Star Weekly Novel was published, as best I can determine, every week for 36 years from 1938 to 1973. That is about 1875 issues. The novel was part of the Star Weekly insert that Canadians saw every Saturday if they bought the Toronto Star. Usually 16 pages (15 1/2"x11") with around 40,000 words. There were a number of two part novels so I estimate around 1550-1600 titles were published.

I recently bought a few of these including Maysie Greig's That Girl in Nice, published on August 1, 1953. This was months ahead of the book, published by Wm. Collins (London, 1954). The Canadian White Circle paperback imprint was no longer around in 1953 but from 1946 to 1949 there were 12 Grieg novels published.

The artist is American Marland Stone (1895-1975).

Star Weekly Novel August 1, 1953

Star Weekly Novel August 1, 1953 back cover

White Circle 260 - 1946

White Circle 280 - 1946

White Circle 312 - 1947

White Circle 321 - 1947