Monday, 7 August 2023

Newspaper Novels Part I

Recently I did a series on the Star Weekly Novels which were published from 1938 to 1973 as inserts in the Saturday Toronto Star, one of 21 US (18) and Canadian (3) newspapers with novel inserts that I've so far identified. 

There is very little information on these inserts on-line but I've cobbled together lists totaling 2500. An early guess is at least 12,000 were published. The dates so far are 1910/11 and 1928 to 1973. At least six US newspapers used inserts produced in Canada, just changing the newspaper name on the first page.

Here are three US examples. The Philadelphia Inquirer Gold Seal Novel was published at least from 1934 to 1949 and, unlike the Long Island Sunday Press, were original novel inserts.

The Philadelphia Inquirer, Sunday, November 2, 1941 - The Affair of the Circus Queen by Clifford Knight, illustrated by Harry Weinert

The Philadelphia Inquirer, Sunday, August 10, 1941 - A World in Spell by D. E. Stevenson, illustrated by Harry Weinert

Long Island Sunday Press, Sunday, November 13, 1949 - Lord of Atlantis by John Russell Fearn, illustrated by William Book. First published as Toronto Star Weekly Complete Novel, October 8, 1949

The Philadelphia Inquirer - November 2, 1941

The Philadelphia Inquirer - August 10, 1941

Long Island Sunday Press - November 13, 1949

Saturday, 1 July 2023

156 and Counting

The British North American Act, enacted March 29, 1867 by the British Parliament, provided for Confederation of the three British North American colonies, Canada (Upper and Lower), Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Now much amended as the Constitution Act, 1867, it was proclaimed into law on July 1, 1867 and Canada was born. The first official birthday celebration was in 1868, July 1 being named Dominion Day in 1879 and Canada Day in 1982.

Star Weekly Novels were distributed with the Toronto Star every Saturday for 36 years. But they were not the only novel inserts in newspapers. Montreal's The Standard also brought novels into mid-century English language Canadian homes, competing with bookstores, commercial book clubs and the local newsstands, drug and cigar stores. Romance, crime, Westerns, historical, thrillers, all available. Here are some examples.

The Standard Book of the Week - June 4, 1960

The Standard Book of the Week - July 26, 1947

The Standard Book of the Week - May 10, 1947

Thursday, 29 June 2023

Star Weekly Novel - Part VI

I've mentioned that I estimate around 1880 Star Weekly Novels were published. This assumes they were published every week from 1938 to 1973. So far the oldest I've seen is May 1938 and latest is November 1973. 

The number of titles is an estimated 1700. The reason is a number of two- and three-part novels were published from 1960 to 1973. That works out to an average 2.5 books for each of the estimated 675 authors. Here are three who are among the nearly 400 with only one book.

Murder's Web by Dorothy Dunn (1913-1952) who published over sixty short stories in pulps but this appears to be her only novel. First published by Harper & Row (1951).

Rendezvous on an Island by Tod Claymore (1898-1964), pseudonym for Hugh Desmond Clevely. First published by Cassell (1957).

Black William by Robert Neill (1905-1979). First published by Hutchinson (1955).

Star Weekly Novel - August 26, 1950

Star Weekly Novel - August 20, 1955

Star Weekly Novel - December 7, 1957

Wednesday, 21 June 2023

Star Weekly Novel Part V

I've mentioned authors and artists in earlier Star Weekly Novel posts. Here I'll start looking at genres. The series lasted for 36 years and nicely lines up with the middle third of the 20th century. From the annexation of Austria into the German Reich and the discovery of fission in 1938 to Watergate and the oil shock in 1973.

It was a time when the number of readers in the US and Canada grew very fast. The post war world of increased education levels and popularity of cheap paperbacks are some of the reasons for this change. The popular fiction genres were historical, romance, crime/thriller and Westerns. I don't yet have any numbers but each is well represented among the Star Weekly Novels.

Here are three Westerns.

Boss of the OK by Brett Rider, pseudonym of Arthur Henry Gooden (1879-1971)

The Galloping Ghost by William Colt MacDonald (1891-1968)

The Big Corral by Archie Joscelyn (1899-1986)

Star Weekly Complete Novel - December 29, 1951

Star  Weekly Complete Novel - May 8, 1943

Star Weekly Complete Novel - October 23, 1948

Sunday, 18 June 2023

Star Weekly Novel Part IV

I've been able to find title/author information for some 1500 Star Weekly Novels, 80% of the approximate 1875 published. So far I have identified the artwork on only 93 issues. There are 34 separate artists. Here are some examples.

Dance Without Music is illustrated by Mabel McDermott (?-?).  

Stranger in the Little House has an illustration by someone well known to readers of this blog - Harlequin cover artist Paul Anna Soik (1919-1999).

Where is Jenny Now? - art by American George Sottung (1927-1999). Here is more on this novel.

Star Weekly Complete Novel - December 3, 1960

Star Weekly Complete Novel - September 11, 1948

Star Weekly Complete Novel - January 11, 1958