Saturday 28 May 2011

Mungo Park Part V

In part III I discussed an 1800 French edition of Mungo Park's Travels in the Interior Districts of Africa. Here is another from 1835. This is volume 25 of the 40+ volume Bibliothèque Universelle des Voyages with Vie de Mungo-Park (Paris: Armand-Aubrée). There are also short tales of three other African explorers.

This copy has managed to retain the original wrappers.

front wrapper

back wrapper

first page

Friday 27 May 2011

Mind Your Manners

Very few of the offerings from Harlequin Books published from 1949 to 1959 were ever published again in Canada. One exception is the paperback original Mind your Manners by Claire Wallace, edited by Joy Brown. The first Harlequin printing is November 1953, reprinted January 1954. This is the only Harlequin that is not numbered on the cover. The number is at left bottom of the first page of each leaf.

In 1967 Winnipeg's Greywood Publishing published a renamed "revised and enlarged" edition, including a new travel section. There is no mention of the Harlequin version. Greywood's edition was reprinted in 1968 and 1970. But the 1970 printing drops any mention of Joy Brown (now Carroll) from the covers and title page. Joy Carroll was the wife of Jock Carroll (Jock and Joy - rock and roll). More about her in another post.

The 1967 edition has an introduction which acknowledges "there is a greater informality in life today" but the etiquette of the day as described still feels dated for 1967. For example a married woman is only addressed by her married name (i.e. Mrs. George Manners.) But, and this I had never heard before, a woman in a hospital (!) can be addressed as Mrs. Georgina Manners. This is the only (!) time it is acceptable to address a married woman in such a manner. This last rule has been added to the 1967 edition.

Harlequin 271 - November 1953

Harlequin 271 back

Greywood 107 - 1967

Greywood 107 - 1970

Thursday 26 May 2011

Harlequin Reprints Part VI

The Harlequin book with the most printings is Thomas P. Kelley's The Black Donnellys. There are 15 printings of two editions between April 1954 and April 1968. It must have been a very profitable book because the last printing was a full five years after Harlequin's complete switch to romance. The book is not in print but there was an edition as recent as 1994, not from Harlequin of course.

It's the usual cliched mix of fiction and non fiction from Kelley. Why so popular? The story still attracts attention - see the "official" web site and here in Lucan, Ontario where it happened.

The book was reset between the second and third printings. Technically this is a new edition, although the text has not changed. The front cover remained the same with only the price rising from 35 cents to 40 in the early 1960s, then 45 and finally 50 cents. The back cover changed only once. The yellow background is a cross on all the printings except the second in August 1954 where it is a large grave marker.

Harlequin 289 first printing - April 1954

Harlequin 289 first printing back

Harlequin 289 second printing back

Friday 20 May 2011

December 1952

The recent 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor meltdown and reactor problems in Japan have made nuclear reactor safety front page news. Before December 1952 such problems were unknown but on December 12 of that year the world's first serious commercial reactor problem happened in Canada - at Chalk River.

Here are two books from Harlequin Books, Canada's only remaining mass market paperback publisher in late 1952, that were on the newsstands that December day.

Harlequin 194 - November 1952

Harlequin 194 back

Harlequin 195 - November 1952

Harlequin 195 back

Thursday 19 May 2011

Harlequin Reprints Part V

Back in part II of the Harlequin reprints I talked about new editions of six early books that were published to celebrate Harlequin's 60th anniversary. The six books were also published by Australia's Harlequin Mills & Boon. The text is identical to the North American editions. But there are differences to the packaging.

The Australian editions are numbered 1 to 6 on the spine and the original numbers have been removed. The back covers are different and there is no mention of the other books in the series. My copies came in a limited edition case so that may have been the only way they were sold. The Australian editions have the same incorrect introduction from the Publisher.

The most interesting difference is the front covers. Both sets reproduce the original artwork but the Australian version has something I've never seen before. No effort has been made to clean up the image taken from a copy of the original book which, in a few cases, is in rough shape. The NA editions have typical photoshopped covers. Here are the original edition as well as NA and Australian (book 3) versions of the new edition for Virgin with Butterflies which, like part II's Pardon My Body, is edited with a heavy hand.

Harlequin 15 - October 1949

Harlequin 15 back

2009 NA edition Harlequin 15

2009 NA edition Harlequin 15 back

2009 Australian edition Harlequin 15

2009 Australian edition Harlequin 15 back

Tuesday 17 May 2011

Canadian Authors Part IV - Horace Brown

For an obscure Canadian author Horace Brown has had more than his share of posts. The latest is from The Dusty Bookcase discussing one of Mr Brown's books. In earlier posts here and here I mention two more of his books. The last of his books that I'm aware of was published in 1946 under a pseudonym by Five Star Mysteries, Inc. of New York. The book is a small digest.

The dedication provides a hint that the author was not American: "To Harry A. Newman K(ing's). C(ounsel)., the best landlord an author ever had."

Five Star Mystery 45

Five Star Mystery 45 back

Monday 16 May 2011

Harlequin Authors - Part IX

Archie Joscelyn (1899-1986) had 16 of his novels reprinted by Harlequin Books, seven as Al Cody, four as Lynn Westland, one as Tex Holt and four under his real name. They were among the 74 westerns published by Harlequin between 1949 and 1959.

Joscelyn is fourth behind James Hadley Chase, Lucy Hancock and Edgar Wallace with number of books reprinted. Their total was 75, of a total of 477 titles.  Here are three of his books.

Harlequin 155

Harlequin 155 back

Harlequin 244

Harlequin 244 back

Harlequin 374

Harlequin 374 back

Sunday 15 May 2011

IIHF World Championship - Then and Now

The International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship is currently under way in Bratislava, Slovakia. Seventy-three years ago, in a much different world, my hometown Sudbury Wolves won the World Amateur Hockey Championship in Prague, Czechoslovakia. The tournament was part of a two month tour of Europe that ended in, of all places, Crossmyloof, Glasgow. On March 18 the Wolves arrived home in Halifax.

There were no Canadian mass market paperback publishers in Canada in 1938. In February 1949 the Sudbury Wolves represented Canada at the championships for a second time. They won the silver medal. Here are two paperbacks from February 1949 published by Toronto's Export Publishing Enterprises Ltd.

News Stand Library 24

News Stand Library 24 back

News Stand Library 26

News Stand Library 26 back

Friday 6 May 2011

Ra Ra Rasputin

First published as Crimes that Shook the World (New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1949), Harlequin's Rasputin and Crimes that Shook the World by Richard Hirsch arrived on Canadian newsstands in early 1952. Readers expecting a book about Rasputin would be disappointed - only the first of 10 chapters, titled "Sanctity and Sex: Rasputin", told the story of Rasputin. Other chapters included famous murders such as Gandhi's and Archduke Franz Ferdinand's. Hirsch recycled the story as "Sex, Sanctity and Rasputin" in FATE Magazine Volume 7 Number 4 (April 1954).  

Harlequin 154 - February 1952

Harlequin 154 back        

Thursday 5 May 2011

Canadian Authors Part III

A(lfred) E(lton) van Vogt (1912-2000) was born in Canada and lived the first 32 years of his life here, the rest in the US. He became a US citizen in 1952. He was a published author (in the American SF pulps) before he left Canada but his greatest success was found in the US.

In part I of this post I talked about the potential for disagreement as to who is a Canadian author. Was van Vogt a Canadian author? My answer is no. He wrote SF - nothing unique to Canada. He was published in the US where he lived most of his adult life, the last 48 years as an American citizen.

Van Vogt's one book published by the early Canadian mass market publishers was The House that Stood Still by Harlequin Books. The Dusty Bookcase has posted a detailed discussion about the book so I'll just show the covers.

How many Canadian authors were published by Harlequin between 1949 and 1959? The answer is 22 (of 259) with 28 titles (of 489). Another three were Canadian books but anonymous authors/editors. Below is one of the 28 titles with a very Canadian pedigree.

Allan, Tony
Allison, Carlyle
Brown, Joy
Cooke, Ronald J.
Doyle, Richard J.
Kelley, Thomas P.
Lacroix, Rose (translator)
LeBourdais, D.M.
MacMillan, Don
McCrea, E.R. + W.J. Young
Montrose, David
Moore, Brian
Percival, Lloyd
Philips, Bluebell S.
Raddall, Thomas H.
Rasky, Frank
Robertson, Dr. Alan Brown + Dr. Elizabeth Chant
Ryberg, Dr. Percy E.
Sinclair, Gordon
Walker, Joan
Wallace, Clair
Watson, Ken

Harlequin 177 - June 1952

Harlequin 177 back

Harlequin 78 - October 1950

Harlequin 78 back

Wednesday 4 May 2011

John Glassco

A departure. A new biography of Canadian author John Glassco by Brian Busby, A Gentleman of Pleasure (that I can highly recommend), notes that "Catbird" was Glassco's favourite poem. Here it is from a collection chosen by Michael Ondaatje and illustrated by Tony Urquhart published by Toronto's Oberon Press in 1971.

Collins White Circle Reprints Part III

Wm Collins Sons & Co. Canada Ltd. published 459 books in its White Circle imprint from 1942 to 1952. Some of the books were reprinted (I don't count the thirty new editions (i.e., new numbers) of earlier books in the series as reprints). Collins was not consistent, particularly in the first years, in indicating a reprint. For some books it isn't possible to choose the first printing from among variants.

Many of the earliest reprints have a feature I've never seen with other mass market publishers - changes to the colouring of the covers. Here's a good example. Wanted for Murder was published as a WC in 1943, the second printing in 1944, the third 1945. Both reprints have the date on the copyright page. The third printing has the price added to the front cover. There are a few differences between the covers. The last two pages are house ads, different for each printing. The address on the title page has changed for the third printing to 70 Bond Street, Toronto from 48 Pall Mall, London.

White Circle 106 first printing

White Circle 106 first printing back cover

White Circle 106 second printing

White circle 106 second printing back cover

White Circle 106 third printing

White Circle 106 third printing back cover

Tuesday 3 May 2011

Canadian Authors Part II - Ralph Allen

My first post titled "Canadian Authors" listed 16 who were published by Wm. Collins Sons & Co. Canada Ltd in their White Circle imprint from 1942 to 1952. Four were also published by Harlequin Books from 1949 to 1963.

Aitken, Kate
Allen, Ralph
Montrose, David (Graham, Charles Ross)
Kelley, Thomas J.

Ralph Allen (1913-1966) was an author as well as editor of Maclean's magazine. Originally published in 1958 (New York: Doubleday), Peace River Country is the third last non-romance book published by Harlequin. A Maclean's Reader is a paperback original.

White Circle 453 - 1950

White Circle 453 back

Harlequin 706 - December 1962

Harlequin 706 back