Thursday 27 August 2009

Collins White Circle Indian Editions Part I

Wm. Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. published approximately 825 books in their White Circle paperback imprint from 1936 until 1959 in Britain. They also published White Circles in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Ceylon and India. In this post I'm going to talk about the Indian editions.

I have four Indian editions:
Death before Honour by David Hume - cover identical with the Canadian edition - White Circle 107 published in 1943.
And three by Nicholas Blake (pseudonym for Cecil Day-Lewis):
Malice in Wonderland
The Beast Must Die
A Question of Proof

The first two Nicholas Blake books have an illustration used in many British and Australian White Circle editions. The source for the cover to A Question of Proof is not known. None of the books have a date. Two are printed and published in Bombay and two in Madras. They sold for 14 annas. Sixteen annas equaled 1 rupee and 1 rupee equaled 1 shilling six pence.
How many other editions are there?

Sunday 23 August 2009

Who was D. Rickard?

D. Rickard was an illustrator of Canadian paperbacks in the 1940s and early 50s. He/she signed his work "DR" "R" and "Rickard". This is all I know of D. Rickard. The first name and other personal details are unknown. All that remains is the art.

Rickard did not sign all of his work but his style is distinctive and easy to identify. A couple of examples are Easter Island published as Arrow 101 by Arrow Publishing Company in November 1949 and Detour published as News Stand Library (NSL) 80 by Export Publishing Enterprises Ltd. in November 1949. Other publishers he worked for were Harlequin, Derby Publishing Company , Federal Publishing and the White Circle imprint published by Wm. Collins Sons & Co. Canada Ltd. Checklists of Rickard's work will follow.

In the meantime - can anyone help answer the question?

Friday 7 August 2009


"...this kind of book, deliberately offered by some fly-by-night publisher in the hope of wringing a few dollars from the sex-starved, is a relatively new thing in Canadian publishing."

Allan Sangster, "The Winter of Time", The Canadian Forum, May 1950, pp. 45, 46.

The quote is from a review of The Winter of Time published in November 1949 by Export Publishing Enterprises Ltd. as number 85 in Export's News Stand Library Pocket Edition (NSL) imprint. The author was Raymond Holmes, a pseudonym for Raymond Souster, later one of Canada's best known poets. Export, who published 188 books between 1948 and 1951, was one of dozens of Canadian paperback publishers from the 1940s and early 50s that are largely forgotten today. The romance publisher Harlequin is the only survivor.

This blog will be looking at the books, the authors and the men and women who published these early paperbacks.