Sunday, 15 November 2009

Leona and her Confession Stories

Leona S. Richard was the stated author/editor of two of the oddest, most obscure paperbacks ever published in Canada. Both are referred to as "Confession Stories".

No. 101 is No Bed of Her Own, published by Fireside Book Company of New York. Also called Exotic Books Library Issue No. 51 on the title page and Fireside Reprint Edition on the copyright page. The copyright page has a tangle of three copyrights - date 1947 only, second by The Macfadden Estate, 1947 and finally by Exotic Books Publishing Co., 1948. The last page is a Canadian advertisement and the inside back cover lists over 20 books published by Triangle Pocket Library which has two addresses - 535 Fifth Avenue, NY and 135 Yonge Street, Toronto. If these books exist they are obscure. I can find no reference to any of them.

Confession Stories No. 102 is Legion of Lost Souls and other stories of strange loves, edited by Leona who is referred to as "The author of the best seller 'No Bed of Her Own'". This is a collection of six stories by anonymous authors. The publisher is now Pocket Library of Best Sellers, 131-137 Yonge Street, Toronto. In addition to 101's three copyright notices there is now a fourth, by Leona S. Richard, 1947. There is no mention of an Exotic Books Issue but there is the Fireside Reprint Edition notice. There is what appears to be a retailer date stamp on the title page - "Jan 28 1952". The inside back cover has a survey form to be sent to "The Bookazine [sic] Pocket Library Editions" at 135 Yonge St.

Fireside, Macfadden Estate, Exotic Books are all mysteries. Macfadden could be Bernarr Macfadden.

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