Saturday 29 January 2011

Westerns Part II

Western novels were important to the early paperback publishers in Canada. Wm. Collins Sons & Co. Canada Ltd published 43 (10% of the total) western titles in its White Circle imprint. In an early post I noted three and here are two from the first year for Canadian White Circles, 1942. The 50 White Circle that Collins published in 1942 had text only covers. Eighteen were reissued with illustrated covers. Only two of the four 1942 westerns were reissued.

Both books were first published in 1938 by the Scottish-English parent company Wm. Collins & Sons.

White Circle B8 - 1942

White Circle D1 - 1942

same back on White Circles B8 and D1

White Circle 329 - 1947

White Circle 329 back

White Circle 115 - 1944

White Circle 115 back

Peter Cheyney and Collins White Circles From Ceylon

Back in August 2009, in my third post on this blog, I talked about the Wm. Collins Sons & Co. White Circle imprint published in India in the 1940s and 50s. I noted the four books I owned and asked how many Indian White Circle editions are there? Recently a correspondent provided me with a list of 150 of them! He also gave me a list of 20 White Circles from Ceylon. I have never seen or heard of these. I don't have any Ceylon White Circles to show but there are 12 titles  published as White Circles in Ceylon and Canada.

The most popular author among the Ceylon White Circles was Peter Cheyney with 5 titles. Cheyney, with 24 titles, was the second most popular Canadian WC author. Here are three of the titles seen in both countries. All were first published from 1940 to 1944 by the British parent company Wm. Collins & Sons.

Cheyney (1896-1951), if the number of paperback editions of his books is a guide, has to be among the most popular authors of the twentieth century. An entertaining website says that 5 million of his books were selling per year at the post war peak.

White Circle 211 - 1944

White Circle 211 back

White Circle 216 - 1945

White Circle 216 back

White Circle 277 - 1946

White Circle 277 back

Sunday 23 January 2011

September 1950 Part I

There were only 21 months when the three large early Canadian paperback publishers (Harlequin Books, Wm. Collins Sons & Co. Canada Ltd and Export Publishing Enterprises Ltd) were all in business - from May 1949 to January 1951. I'll start looking at one of those months with the help of Winnipeg's National Home Monthly.

September 1950 was the first month for a new size for the magazine - from large to digest. In common with family magazines of the era it had non-fiction, fiction and many departments. Here are two of the three fiction stories and a typical for the time red-scare article. Garner's most famous book, Cabbagetown, was also published in the fall of 1950 by Wm. Collins as a paperback original. Joy Brown's novel, Murdered Mistress, was published as an original by Export in November 1949.

White Circle CD 482

News Stand Library 86

Friday 21 January 2011

Export's News Stand Library US Series Part VIII

Toronto's Export Publishing Enterprises Ltd published 28 books for the American market in 1949 and 1950. Export put dustjackets on 20 of the books. I've highlighted 17 of them in previous posts. Here is one more plus a DJ example from an American publisher.

The other Export American issue is one of eight published without a DJ.

News Stand Library 23A with DJ - April 1950

News Stand Library 23A without DJ

News Stand Library 25A - June 1950

Bantam 355 with DJ - August 1948

Bantam 355 without DJ

Wednesday 12 January 2011

Accountancy 101 Part I

In the non blog world I'm a Chartered Accountant (that's CPA to my many American fans). As a CA I've always been proud of our motto: "Two and two equals four but when you need a five call us."

There is no intersection between the subject of this blog and the world of accountants. I don't know of a single vintage Canadian paperback with an accountant as either the hero or villain. There is one classic American reprint with an accountant hero - David Dodge's It Ain't Hay, first published by Simon & Schuster as the last of a four book series. The 1946 Dell edition is famous for the cover and subject.

The hero is James Whitney (Whit), hard-boiled San Francisco Certified Public Accountant who becomes a reluctant detective when his partner George MacLeod is murdered in Death and Taxes (1941). Whit goes to Los Angeles to investigate a wool-broker’s son who is embezzling money from the family business and turns up a high stakes poker game run by a gang of professional card sharps in Shear the Black Sheep (1943). In Bullets for the Bridegroom (1944) Whit and Kitty MacLeod (George’s widow) go to Reno to get married and get caught between German spies and the undercover FBI agents who are trailing them. It gets personal for Whit in It Ain’t Hay (1946) when he receives a severe beating ordered by a drug smuggler, Barney Steele, who thinks Whit has double-crossed him. Whit risks everything—his friends, his marriage, his business, his life—in order to even the score with Steele.

Dell 270

Dell 270 back

Sunday 9 January 2011

Mungo Park Part IV

The third of this series of posts on Mungo Park and his Travels in the Interior Districts of Africa highlighted two early editions, one English (1810) and one French (1800). Neither is a first edition in its respective country. But here is the first American edition, published by James Humphreys of Philadelphia in 1800. The book is a lovely example of printing and book production.

Unlike nearly all editions, the American first has all the parts of the British first. The only differences are a list of the American subscribers' names rather than the British list and the exclusion of two of three maps, all five illustrations and a music score. The one map in the American is the primary one of Park's route on his travels. Below is the title page, dedication and list of subscribers' names. Interesting to note that three are from my province of Nova Scotia.

Saturday 8 January 2011

Abridged, Expurgated, Revised, Bowdlerized - Part VI


If you'd climb the Helicon,
You should read Anacreon,
Ovid's Metamorphoses,
Likewise Aristophanes,
And the works of Juvenal:
These are worth attention, all;
But, if you will be advised,
You will get them Bowdlerized!


Ah! We will get them Bowdlerized!

                                           Gilbert & Sullivan, Princess Ida, 1884

The latest bowdlerized edition of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is in the news. Twain is long gone but this reminds of a famous expurgation that happened while the author was very much alive. In the late 1960s a special edition of Fahrenheit 451 was published by Ballantine for sale in American high schools. Words like "hell" and "abortion" were replaced. Six years later the expurgated version became the edition sold in bookstores. For 12 years Bradbury knew nothing of this. Below is the first edition and a 1970s bowdlerized version.

Toronto's Export Publishing Enterprises did not bowdlerize. All Export cared about was number of words. So books reprinted in Export's News Stand Library imprint shrunk - sometimes as much as 30%.

Ballantine 41 - 1953

Ballantine 41 back

1976 edition

Tuesday 4 January 2011

Where Did the White Circles Come From? Part VI

Three-quarters of the 429 White Circle titles published by Wm. Collins Sons & Co. Canada Ltd. from 1942 to 1952 were originally published by the Scottish-English parent company Wm. Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. Duell Sloan and Pearce of New York is second with 17. There are 29 publishers at the other end of the list with only one book reprinted as a White Circle. Here are three, all large, well known and American.

The publisher of Moby Dick, Harper & Brothers was founded in 1817. Rupert Murdoch and his News Corporation bought Harper in 1987 and in 1990 merged it with Wm. Collins to form HarperCollins. Man With a Calico Face by Shelley Smith was published by Harper in 1950.

Founded in 1924, Simon & Schuster is a division of CBS Corporation. John Moore's Fair Field was published by S&S in 1946.

Farrar, Straus, the youngest of three (1946), is owned by a private German publisher. The King and the Corpse was published in 1948.

White Circle  C.D. 519 - 1951

White Circle C.D. 519 back

White Circle 343 - 1948

White Circle 343 back

White Circle CD 459 - 1950

White Circle CD 459 back