Friday, 18 June 2010

Harlequin and White Circle Twins Part II

The first part of this series of posts introduced the first of five titles that were published both by Harlequin Books and Wm. Collins Sons & Co. Canada Ltd in their White Circle line. Here is the second and the best known of the five. Joesph Mitchell's (1908-1996) McSorley's Wonderful Saloon was first published by Duell Sloan and Pearce (New York: 1943). The next year Wm. Collins published it as White Circle 208 and nine years later in July 1953 Harlequin 210 was published. McSorley's is still around.

The White Circle edition comes in two variants - one with green edging and one with red edging - no priority. The cover artist is York Wilson. The Harlequin cover artist is Friede, about whom I know nothing.

White Circle 208

White Circle 208 back

Harlequin 210

Harlequin 210 back


  1. I've had the pleasure of raising more than a few glasses at McSorley's and can report with authority that neither cover is at all accurate. I'm not certain which is farther off, the White Circle, which seems to place the tavern in the wild west, or Harlequin's, which depicts the tavern as a massive, brightly-lit nightclub.

    Mitchell was a wonderful writer; he must rank as one of the finest published by either press.

  2. The Harlequin imagining is very funny. Neither my wife nor I have read Mitchell or been to McSorley's but we were enjoying this otherworldly version of a NY tavern.

  3. The Mitchell title I recommend most is Joe Gould's Secret (1965), which concerns the Professor Sea Gull of McSorley's Wonderful Saloon. The 2000 film is also recommended - a faithful, entertaining adaptation.