Friday 3 September 2021

Addition to Collection Redux

Another addition to the collection of vintage Canadian paperbacks - Against the Grain by J[oris]-K[arl] Huysmans (1848-1907). Published by Fireside Publications of Toronto (c. 1950) with an introduction by Havelock Ellis. First published in 1884 as À rebours, translated in 1922.

Unlike other Fireside novels which are magazine sized this book is digest sized. There are 128 pages, so the text is bowderlized - plus 15 illustrations.

The artist is Leo Orenstein.

Oddly there is another version of this title from Fireside. The text block is the same - just new covers. The cover tells the reader that it is the January 1950 issue of T.N.T. - "gusty [sic] - unusual - thrilling". The photograph of Fred Astair (!) is from the 1950 film Ziegfeld Follies. I don't know if there are other issues of T.N.T.

Tuesday 17 August 2021

Bodies Are Dust

A new edition of the 1931 novel Bodies Are Dust (Vanguard Press) by P. J. Wolfson has just been published as the first in a new imprint from Stark House Press of Eureka, California. The first paperback edition of this book was Canadian - published by Toronto's Export Publishing Enterprises in May 1949. The first American paperback edition dates from 1952.

Export had a habit of bowdlerizing its editions to fit a predetermined page count. A comparison of the two editions shows Export did indeed cut, by about 25%.

Staccato Crime SC-001 - 2021

News Stand Library 44 - May 1949

News Stand Library 44 back

Sunday 11 July 2021

Addition to Collection

Just picked up one of the uncommon Crown books from 1946. They are digest sized paperbacks published by Toronto's Crown Publishing for the post war UK market. The books are unnumbered so an exact count of the number published is imposssible. This is my sixth of nine that I know about.

Here is a very helpful history of this story.

Thursday 1 July 2021

154 and Counting

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.

A place and time I remember with fondness - Toronto 1976-1996. Long gone bookstores.

Wednesday 2 June 2021

Harlequin Artists Part XLIV Sid Dyke (4)

 The last post on the Harlequin covers by Sid Dyke, all unsigned.

Harlequin 233 June 1953

Harlequin 256 December 1953

Harlequin 309 October 1954

Harlequin 325 March 1955

Tuesday 1 June 2021

Harlequin Artists Part XLIII Sid Dyke (3)

The third installment in artist Sid Dyke's covers for Harlequin. The first three are signed.

Harlequin 278 March 1954

Harlequin 337 May 1955

Harlequin 366 August 1956

Harlequin 232 June 1953

Saturday 29 May 2021

Harlequin Artists Part XLII Sid Dyke (2)

Time to continue with my artists series. Sid Dyke did 15 (10 signed, 5 unsigned) covers for Toronto paperback publisher Harlequin. Here are four more signed covers.

Harlequin 242 - August 1953

Harlequin 266 - January 1954

Harlequin 273 - February 1954

Harlequin 313 - August 1954

Monday 19 April 2021

Bell Features Part V

Have just added another book from 1940s Canadian paperback publisher Bell Features and Publishing to the collection. The series is not numbered but there are only 17 titles known. This is my sixteenth.

Like the other books in the series Heart in Chains is digest sized (18mmx14mm) and 96 pages of very small type. It is a paperback original. The author is Dorothy Leona Edgar, about whom nothing is known. She did write one other novel, The Strange Loves of Vickie Saunders. She may have been the wife of another writer Keith Edgar who had two books published by Bell.

The story "is a dramatically drawn picture of a sinister woman who spun a web of deceit, little caring of the hearts that were trapped therein."

Tuesday 26 January 2021

Crown Novel Publishing Part III

It has been a number of years since I posted about small Toronto publisher Crown Novel Publishing who sold paperbacks in the post war UK. They are unnumbered so it's an open question how many were issued. Nine found so far.

Here's one just purchased. 

Artists, Models and Murder (1946) by Tedd Steele is special for a few reasons. One, it is the only paperback original from Crown and has a biography of Steele at the back. Second, it was rebound as a hardcover. The front cover has been cut and pasted, poorly, to the front board. I have seen another hardbound copy so it was likely done either by the publisher or the UK distributor, perhaps for the library market. So far this is the only Crown that I've seen like this. Third, it was published in a new edition by Export Publishing in 1948 as one of the first two in their News Stand Library imprint. The Export is a mass market while the Crown is a digest.

The text is the same. The only difference is each of the 37 chapters in the Export edition has been given a title. A few examples - 

"Pink Lace, Poodle and Puddle of Blood"

"The Nude in the Cottage"

"Blonde at the Bedside"