Saturday, 30 July 2011

Beaver Publications Part IV

Part I introduced Canada's first mass market paperback publisher, Hamilton's Beaver Publications. I've added a bit more information in subsequent posts as I've come across it. Here is more.

The last of Beaver's three books, Cherchez la femme?, was published in December 1941. There is a note in the back that says:

        "Our 'service' pocket library editions are now in circulation [and] are obtainable in boxed sets of the three titles. Red for the Navy, Blue for the Air Force and Khaki for the Army."

This is interesting because there are also variants of each book with illustrated covers. This note suggests that the illustrated covers were the retail issues and the text cover issues were published later as service editions only. I had thought that, like the LA Bantams and Red Arrows, the Beaver illustrated versions came after the text versions in order to boost sales. I've never seen the illustrated versions so I wonder if this note is in Cherchez la femme?.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Collins White Circle Artists Part XXII - Margaret Paull (9)

The first 47 of 67 signed covers by Margaret Paull for Wm. Collins Sons & Co. Canada Ltd's White Circle imprint are discussed in parts I to VIII. Here are the next five. All were published in 1946.

White Circle 247

White Circle 249

White Circle 250

White Circle 251

White Circle 252

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Harlequin Nurses Part II

Part I introduced the popular nurse romance published by Harlequin Books. One of, to my mind, the oddest aspects of their nurse books was referring to doctors by their first name, like minor English royalty. Instead of Dr Knowitall, we have Dr Jack.

My mother was a nurse before, during and after this mid-century nurse craze and I never heard her refer to a doctor this way. In fact I've never heard anyone say "I was well satisfied that Dr Jill removed my bunion."

Here are a couple of examples.

Harlequin 381 - March 1957

Harlequin 381 back

Harlequin 388 - May 1957

Harlequin 388 back

Monday, 18 July 2011

From White Circle to Rupert

The smallest corner of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp empire is book publishing, specifically HarperCollins, with 4% of consolidated revenue.

HarperCollins was created in 1989 with the merger of the American Harper & Row and the Scottish/British firm Wm. Collins Sons & Co. In 1936 Wm. Collins began publishing a reprint paperback line in Britain - White Circle Pocket Library. The paperbacks were sold in Canada until 1942 when the Canadian subsidiary began its own White Circle imprint. This lasted until 1952.

Here are some early White Circles when Rupert was a wee laddy.

White Circle 89 - 1944

White Circle 69 - 1943

White Circle 81 - 1943

White Circle 82 - 1943

White Circle 93 - 1944

White Circle 102 - 1943

White Circle 104 - 1943

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Export's News Stand Library US Series Part IX

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 discussed 18 of them in previous posts. Here is one more plus a DJ example from an American publisher.

With three exceptions books in the US series were also published in the Canadian series. Of the 25 US issues, 24 had a date the same as or after the Canadian issue. Death Be My Destiny is the only exception with a January 1950 Canadian date and a November 1949 US date.

Paired with Death Be My Destiny is the only early paperback from Dell with a dust jacket. Note that the DJ is used to opposite effect. The Export DJ covers a more "sexed-up" cover while the Dell does the opposite. There is also a remarkable design similarity between the books.

News Stand Library 14A with DJ - November 1949

News Stand Library 14A with DJ back

News Stand Library 14A without DJ

News Stand Library 14A back

Dell D114 with DJ - 1952

Dell D114 with DJ back

Dell D114 without DJ

Dell D114 back

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Mungo Park Part VI

Mungo Park's Travels in the Interior Districts of Africa was published in 1799 and is one of the very few books from that time still in print. Very popular in the nineteenth century, it was published in many English editions as well as German, French, Swedish and Dutch.

Here is an edition from 1821. It is one of three I know of published in the 1820s in Dublin by three different publishers. All are small (129 mm x 82 mm; 5.1" x 3.2") and cheap editions with poor printing and reproduction of the woodcuts.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Westerns Part III

In the first part of this series of posts I gave some detailed statistics on the distribution of westerns for the three large early Canadian paperback publishers. In summary there were 126 titles from a total of 1071 published from 1942 to 1959 - 12%. But 104 of those were published in the eight years 1947 to 1954.

My grandfather (1892 - 1972) enjoyed westerns but I've never read one. The few times I've looked in the western section at the local Indigo/Chapters my eyes glazed over with all the Louis L'Amour and a couple of other authors. But two westerns have recently been published that I'm going to read. One from a Canadian publisher, House of Anansi Press, and one by Mary Doria Russell.

Here's one of six of Harlequin's 73 western titles that was reprinted. The first printing's cover was first seen on the 1952 Quinn Publishing digest edition - Handi-Book Western 137. The first edition is New York: Phoenix Press, 1949.

Harlequin 158 - March 1952

Harlequin 158 back

Harlequin 360 - May 1956

Harlequin 360 back

Friday, 1 July 2011

Canada Day

The British North American Act, enacted March 29, 1867 by the British Parliament, provided for Confederation of the three British North American colonies, Canada (Upper and Lower), Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Now much amended as the Constitution Act, 1867, it was proclaimed into law on July 1, 1867 and Canada was born. The first official birthday celebration was in 1868, July 1 being named Dominion Day in 1879 and Canada Day in 1982.

Here are two mid century Canadian authors for Harlequin Books who are now forgotten - Lloyd Percival and Carlyle Allison. I do remember Percival who had a show on CBC in the 1960s.

Harlequin 453 - December 1958

Harlequin 453 back

Harlequin 457 - April 1959

Harlequin 457 back