Friday 30 April 2010

Contemporary Publishers

Men, Machines and Microbes by Dyson Carter was, as far as I know, the only mass market paperback from Winnipeg's Contemporary Publishers. They published pamphlets and hard covers but just this one paperback in 1942.

Carter was an engineer and for a time head of the Canadian Soviet Friendship Society. He wrote a number of books such as We Saw Communism that extolled life in the USSR as well as books on political, science and health issues and at least three novels. One of them (as “Warren Desmond”) was The Governor's Mistress from Export Publishing Enterprises Ltd. Note "the throbbing Falls of Niagara" - likely the only time that the Falls have been described as throbbing.

News Stand Library 22A - February 1950

News Stand Library 22A back

Wednesday 28 April 2010

Export's News Stand Library US Series Part VI

Continuing our look at the 28 books Export Publishing Enterprises Ltd published for the American market, here are 3 of the 20 with dust jackets plus an example from an American publisher. The imprint was News Stand Library and all were published in November 1949.

News Stand Library 10A

News Stand Library 10A with DJ

News Stand Library 12A

News Stand Library 12A with DJ

News Stand Library 13A

News Stand Library 13A with DJ

Bantam 44 - 1946

Bantam 44 with DJ

Sunday 25 April 2010

Where Did The White Circles Come From? Part III

Two of the 40 or so original publishers of the 429 titles in Wm. Collins Sons & Co. Canada Ltd's White Circle imprint were Eyre & Spottiswoode and J. B. Lippincott with three each.

British Eyre & Spottiswoode had its origins in the 18th century as a printer but the publisher name dates from 1929. By the 1970s it was gone. Philadelphia's J. B. Lippincott started in 1836, was sold to Harper and Row in 1978 and subsequently sold, merged and renamed. The first three books below are Eyre & Spottiswoode, the last three J. B. Lippincott.

White Circle 355 (first published 1946) - Collins edition 1948

White Circle CD 374 (1947) - 1948

White Circle CD 464 (1949) - 1950

White Circle CD 423 (1948) - 1949

White Circle CD 425 (1949) - 1949

White Circle C.D. 490 (1944) - 1951

Friday 23 April 2010


Of the approximately 1100 titles published by Canada's big three paperback publishers from 1942 to 1959 only two were classics (n. a work of art recognised as being of high quality and lasting value). Wm. Collins Sons & Co. Canada Ltd. published Treasure Island and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in their White Circle imprint. Both can be found in an earlier post. Harlequin Books and Export Publishing Enterprises Ltd. published none. So to find mid century paperback editions of the classics we have to look elsewhere. To pick one example, Swift's Gulliver's Travels, here are six US editions and one Chinese.

The first was published by Royce Publishers of Chicago on 1945. The book is 78 mm x 117 mm (3 1/16" x 4 9/16") and 128 pages. At this size only the first of Gulliver's four travels, to Lilliput, is seen.

Quick Reader 136

Next are two Pocket Books editions from 1939 and 1957. Then a 1963 edition from New York's Airmont Books.

Pocket Books 34

Pocket Books PL51

Airmont CL15

A couple of tie-ins to the 1939 animated film from the Dell Publishing Company are next. The contents are identical except for the addition of colouring pages in the second version.

Finally here is a Chinese version, likely from the 1930s, of travels one and two. Both are 130 mm x 186 mm (5 1/8" x 7 3/8").

Naughty, Naughty

In 1943 Padell Book and Magazine Company of New York published From Dance Hall to White Slavery by John Dillon. It is a digest sized paperback that contains "ten dance hall tragedies." Mr. Dillon dedicates the book "to the little women of America, with abundant faith that the adult readers of this book may rise up and destroy the pitfalls that evil men have laid to ensnare your innocence." I can only hope the adult readers listened to the plea and acted. This is all to the good but then something naughty happened in Canada.

Around 1950 Toronto's Fireside Book Company published No Bed of Her Own by Leona S. Richard as Confession Stories Issue No. 101. Fireside obviously felt that Padell wouldn't mind sharing the cover from Dance Hall with Fireside and so a clothed version covers No Bed. Fireside published another Confession Stories which joins No Bed in this post.

Another offering from Padell, The Tragedies of the White Slaves by H. M. Lytle (nd), is also seen below.

Confession Stories 101

Monday 19 April 2010

Collins White Circle Authors Part VIII - Merrill Denison

Merrill Denison was a Canadian playwright, novelist and author of business histories. The linked biography mentions his mother, Flora MacDonald Denison, but doesn't note that she was an author as well. Thanks to Brian Busby at The Dusty Bookcase for this link to Mrs. Denison's biography.

Mrs. Denison's book, Mary Melville, The Psychic, was published in 1900 by The Austin Publishing Co. Limited of Toronto. Mary Melville comes with both an introduction and a foreword. The story is described as "thinly disguised fiction". A couple of paragraphs from the foreword will give a sense of the tone of the book:

"To readers [who fail to recognize the possible truth of "Mary Melville, The Psychic"] we would say that the marvelous features of the story .. find abundant illustration and confirmation in the Bible and in the attested experiences of patient and careful scientific investigators of our own age.

"They form the basic facts in the origin of all religions, the so-called miracles being resolvable ... into manifestations of psychic power in strictest accord with law, however arbitrary they may appear to the ignorant."

Wm. Collins Sons & Co. Canada Ltd. published two of her son's books in their White Circle line. The first, Harvest Triumphant, is a history of Massey-Harris. As described in an earlier post this book was outside of the main White Circle series. The other WC is Klondike Mike, first published by William Morrow in 1943.

White Circle CD 431 - 1949

White Circle CD 431 back

Wednesday 14 April 2010

Randall Publishing Company

Here's odd little Canadian publisher Randall Publishing Company of Toronto. As far as I know they published only two mass market paperbacks. Seven Men’s Sins by Stuart Martin is discussed here. The other is The Queen's Hall Murder by Adam Broome which I haven't seen. I know nothing about Randall.

Seven Men's Sins was first published by Harper & Brothers, 1929 as Only Seven Were Hanged. There are two versions of the Randall edition which is undated but circa 1950 with the text block identical and two different covers. No priority. The horse cover's artist is unidentified but the yellow cover with man has signed art by Harold Bennett. Bennett illustrated a number of Canadian pulps in the 1940s.

My new blog about LA Bantam is now open for business here.

Saturday 10 April 2010

French Canadian Paperbacks - Part VI - Arsene Lupin

Here are three more books with the gentleman thief Arsene Lupin published by Montreal's les Editions Varietes. All were published in 1944.

Les confidences d'Arsene Lupin

L'Agence Barnett & Cie.

Victor, de la brigade mondaine

Friday 9 April 2010

Mordecai Richler's Wicked Novel

The Canadian author Mordecai Richler's second to fifth novels had a straight forward paperback publishing history. The first paperback editions of each were either Canadian or British. The Canadian editions were published in McClelland & Stewart's New Canadian Library (NCL) series. The only slightly off element was the sequence:

Son of a Smaller Hero (first edition 1955) - NCL 45 (1966)
A Choice of Enemies (1957) - NCL 136 (1977) [first paperback edition - Panther (UK), 1960]
Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (1959) - NCL 66 (1969) [first paperback edition - Penguin, 1964]
The Incomparable Atuk (1963) - first published in M&S's Canadian Best Seller Library series 7 (1965) then NCL 79 (1971)

Note the number of years before the paperback editions were published. Now of course a year would be the typical period.

Richler's first novel, The Acrobats, had a different paperback history. The first hardcover edition was the British published by Andre Deutsch in 1954. The first American was also published in 1954 by G. P. Putnam. There never has been a Canadian hard cover edition. The British edition was distributed in Canada by Wm. Collins. The last edition during Richler's life was a British paperback in 1970. Richler did not give permission to reprint and the first Canadian edition wasn't published until 2002, the year after he died. Fittingly it was in the NCL series.

In 1955, the American publisher Popular Library gave The Acrobats the classic mid century "tune-up" for paperback editions with a change in title, cover and blurbs. Nothing Canadian on these covers.

The Popular Library cover illustration mirrors the Andre Deutsch version. There's a man and a woman with the man, for some reason, holding paint brushes but not painting. But the characters have switched places from bed to standing. Obviously the change is to get the woman front and centre in the Popular edition (there's no doubt she's more attractive than our odd looking artist on the Deutsch). On the Canadian cover is the painting "Young Canadian". The subject is 29 year old Canadian painter Carl Schaefer.

Andre Deutsch

Popular Library 677

Popular Library 677 back

New Canadian Library

New Canadian Library back

Bantam Publications, Inc. of Los Angeles (LA Bantam) - Part IV

Here's the fourth and last post for LA Bantam - at least for this blog. I've decided to open a second blog that will continue and expand the Bantam story. There is much more to say and explore about this intriguing early American paperback publisher. It deserves separate treatment.

In this final post I'll list the remaining books and provide some more covers. Each of these books had an illustrated cover plus at least one version of the type-only cover as shown here.

24 Humorous Anecdotes and Funny Stories     Eleanor Packer (ed.)
25 Nobody Heard the Shot     Donald Barr Chidsey
26 The Blue Geranium and other Tuesday Club Murders     Agatha Christie
27 Danger Mansion     Philip Wylie
28 Strangers in Flight     Mignon G. Eberhart
A1 Red Threads      Rex Stout

LA Bantam 25

LA Bantam 26

Sunday 4 April 2010

French Canadian Paperbacks - Part V Gaston Leroux and Maurice Leblanc

In the first three parts of this post I highlighted the editions of Maurice Leblanc published by Montreal's Les Editions Varietes in the mid 1940s. Here is another Arsene Lupin plus two by Gaston Leroux (Phantom of the Opera fame) from the same series. 

Rouletabille chez Krupp - 1944

Rouletabille chez le Tsar: deuxieme partie Le secret de la nuit - 1945

La cagliostro se venge - 1944

Thursday 1 April 2010

Export and Peggy Gaddis - Part II

In part I of Export Publishing Enterprises Ltd and Peggy Gaddis I presented the first 6 of 13 books written by Gaddis and published by Export. Here are the next four. As an added attraction I've shown their publishing history. The information is largely provided by Kenneth Johnson's Bibliography supplemented by my research.

The seventh Gaddis book is Sin and Shackles as by Gail Jordan. Originally published as Love Slave by New York's Phoenix Press (1949) it was reprinted in 1949 under the original title by Century Publications of Chicago as Century Book 119.

News Stand Library 103 - April 1950

Next is the first Export book under Gaddis's real name - Playboy Doctor. This one is a mystery. I can find no earlier publishing history.

New Stand Library 130 - September 1950

The second Export under her real name is Her Mother's Lover. The 1936 first edition is Two Women from Godwin Publishers of New York. The Export edition notes that the story has been "slightly revised".

News Stand Library 149 - November 1950

Finally we have Men Call Her Tramp as by Joan Sherman. First published in 1950 by Falcon Books of New York as Men Call Her “Tramp” as an unnumbered Exotic Novel. Then by New York's Hanro Corporation in three editions: as A Lover for Anne by Sylvia Erskine (revised), Carnival 906 and as Farm Hussy by Sylvia Erskine, Carnival 929 (reprinted Carnival 938). The Carnival books are circa 1953/1954.

New Stand Library 156 - January 1951

Exotic Novel