Friday 14 June 2024

Early Harlequin Mystery Artist Solved

In 2012 I discussed an artist who signed an early Harlequin Books cover with his signature - "LPH". I also noted two other books with his work that are not signed. I've finally identified the artist as Lawren P. Harris (1910-1994). The key new information is an auction site which lists one of his works with an identical signature.

Harris is the son of a much better known painter, Lawren Harris (1885-1970), one of the Group of Seven.


Harlequin 72 - September 1950


Harlequin 57 - June 1950

Harlequin 62 - July 1950

Thursday 23 May 2024

Newspaper Novels Part IX

In my last Star Weekly post I discussed the abridged novels that, for 35 years, many readers in Canada bought each Saturday. A shortened novel every week! Who did the work of cutting? Did the editor have help? I think so. Can't see someone handling all the administrative chores of publishing as well as having the time to read and cut many thousands of words week after week.

Or maybe titles were used that had already been condensed. This is what the editor of the other Canadian insert, The Standard (Montreal), did, at least for a time. Omnibook was an American periodical that published four or five abridgements each month from December 1938 until ???. The Standard used Omnibook abridgements from at least 1953 to 1965. Here are three.

January 28, 1956 - No Thoroughfare by Denise Egerton (Hodder and Stoughton, 1954)

June 4, 1960 - Comanche Moon by William R. Cox (McGraw-Hill, 1959)

January 9 and 16, 1965 - The Wooden Horseshoe by Leonard Sanders (Doubleday, 1964)

Omnibook Vol. 7 No. 4 - March, 1945



The Standard - June 4, 1960

The Standard - January 28, 1956

The Standard - January 16, 1965

Tuesday 7 May 2024

Newspaper Novels Part VIII

In a recent post I listed nine American newspapers that used the Canadian Star Weekly novel insert each Saturday or Sunday in the forties and fifties. Here is one that at least for a couple of years published its own novels. 

The Bangor Daily News published their own novel inserts in at least 1939 and 1940 then started using the Star Weekly versions from 1941 to 1949. 

Here are three of the early novels.

June 3, 1939 - Blind Man's Year by Warwick Deeping (Cassell, 1937)

October 21, 1939 - The Dark Wing by Arthur Stringer (Bobbs-Merrill, 1939)

January 27, 1940 - The Dragon's Teeth by Ellery Queen (Frederick A. Stokes, 1939)

The Bangor Daily News - October 21, 1939

The Bangor Daily News - January 27, 1940

The Bangor Daily News -  June 3, 1939

Thursday 2 May 2024

Star Weekly Novel Part X

For many years the Toronto Star Weekly novel was described as "complete". I wonder how many readers took that to mean that they had the entire novel in their hands. Or did they understand that "complete" meant not serialized. If the latter they were right. Each Sunday the Star Weekly novel was approximately 45,000 words. This is novella territory, although there are titles described as novels that are shorter.

I imagine the vast majority of the Star Weekly novels were condensed. But in the last decade about 200 novels were published in two parts. At 90,000 words it's likely some were not abridged. 

Here is a discussion of one of the shortened novels.

Three Star Weekly novels:

July 31, 1954 - The Schirmer Inheritance by Eric Ambler (Heinemann, 1953)

April 12, 1948 - Search for a Scientist by Charles L. Leonard (Doubleday, 1947)

September 21, 1957 - Fogbound by Mark Derby. This appears to have been published nowhere else - either before or after the Star Weekly. We can't know if it was condensed from the manuscript.

Star Weekly Novel - April 24, 1948

Star Weekly Novel - July 31, 1954

Star Weekly Novel - September 21, 1957

Tuesday 23 April 2024

Star Weekly Novel Part IX

So far I've found 21 US newspapers that had Sunday editions with complete novel inserts. The range of years is 1919 to 1967. Nine of those newspapers used the Canadian Star Weekly novel, just changing the name of the newspaper on the front page. Here are the nine:

Akron Beacon Journal
Bangor Daily News
Bangor Sunday Commercial
Chicago Sun, The
Long Island Sunday Press
Newark Star-Ledger
Philadelphia Record
Sunday Patriot News [Harrisburg, PA]
Washington Post

Note all are in six Northeastern and Midwestern states - New York, New Jersey, Maine, Ohio, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Washington DC. The other twelve newspapers are also in these states plus Michigan. Odd that none of the newspapers in the other 41 states appear to have published novel inserts.

Here are three Star Weekly novels.

June 2, 1945 - Angel Without Wings by Martha Ellen Wright (Doubleday, Doran, 1943)

October 21, 1944 - Captain Millett's Island by Katherine Newlin Burt (McCrae Smith, 1944)

October 10, 1953 - The Case of the Hesitant Hostess by Erle Stanley Gardner (W. Morrow, 1953)

Star Weekly Novel - October 21, 1944

Star Weekly Novel - June 2, 1945

Star Weekly Novel - October 10, 1953