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Sunday, October 04, 2015

Molesworth: The Young Elizabethan Years

Molesworth: The Young Elizabethan Years
by Robert Kirkpatrick

In January 1943 the publishers Collins launched Collins Magazine for Boys and Girls, a firmly respectable middle-class monthly (initially only available on subscription) which emphasised the value of reading, and which, for much of its run, attracted some of the best children’s writers of the time.  In April 1950 its title changed to Collins Magazine, and in April 1953 its title changed again to Collins Young Elizabethan, in a nod to the accession of Queen Elizabeth II.  In late 1954, with its circulation dropping, it was bought by John Grigg (the editor of The National Review and later Baron Altrincham), who immediately installed Kaye Webb as editor.  One of her first tasks was to recruit her husband Ronald Searle as an illustrator, and to commission a new series of Molesworth pieces from Geoffrey Willans.

His first piece, illustrated by Searle, appeared the January 1955 issue, headed "Introducing ... MOLESWORTH (Elizabethan)", and was a comic look at the “old” Elizabethans:

Drake, you kno Drake who singed the king of spane’s beard, he was the
kind we ought to model ourselves on these days.  With him he had a gay
band of cut-throats who would make molesworth 2, peason grabber
gillibrand etc. look like the weeds and wets they are.  These cut-throats
were very fond of Drake and when he was dead they kept calling to him.
    CUTTHROATS:  Captin art thou sleeping there below.
    DRAKE:  How can i when you are making such an infernal din?
    CUTTHROATS:  Drake is in his hammoack –
    DRAKE:  I am not in my hamock curse you.  All there is down
here is sea-weed and shells it is worse than a bed in the
skool dorm.

This was followed, in the next month’s issue, by "Guide to Gurls", which imagines what life would be like at St. Custard’s if the pupils behaved themselves like they did in girls’ school stories (“Rats, you crumpet,” sa gillibrand, the mad cap of 3B.  “It’s jolly rot to sa that molesworth cribbed in the botany exam”).  Further Molesworth features appeared throughout the rest of 1955, all of which were subsequently reprinted, with occasional small textual changes, cuts and additions, in the book Whizz for Atomms, published by Max Parrish in 1956.  (“Conoisuers of prose and luvers of literature hem-hem may recall that some of this hav apeared in that super smashing mag Young Elizabethan”).

Two further pieces, "Atomms v Culture" and "Goodby to Skool (for a bit)" which appeared in Whizz for Atomms weren’t published in the magazine until February and March 1956. 

1956 saw nine Molesworth features, 1957 a further seven, and 1958 a further eleven.  Almost all of these later pieces were subsequently published in Back in the Jug Agane  –  the one exception was a piece from May 1957, "molesworth cleens up dodge city", a spoof western “story”, which may have been regarded as too similar to "Six-Gun Molesworth" which had appeared the previous year.  Instead, Back in the Jug Agane had a piece called "Molesworth Takes Over":  “Wot would everyone say if we schoolboys behaved like the nations of the globe?  I will tell you.  They would sa we were stupid, crass, ignorant, hopeless, wet, weedy and sans un clue.  And yet it goes on.”

By the spring of 1958 the success of the Molesworth books, plus his other work, had encouraged Geoffrey Willans to leave the BBC to become a full-time freelance writer.  But, wholly unexpectedly, he died of a heart attack on 6 August.  Further Molesworth pieces appeared in the September and October issues of Young Elizabethan, followed by a gap in November, with his last piece appearing in the December issue, immediately after a brief announcement of his death in the editorial.

In the meantime, Back in the Jug Agane was published in late 1958 (the first edition is dated 1959), at the same time as the omnibus volume of all four books, The Compleet Molesworth.

Molesworth has since become one of literature’s most famous schoolboy anti-heroes.  Perhaps taking a cue from Rudyard Kipling’s Stalky (1899), Molesworth had a jaundiced, cynical and at times ambivalent approach to life, both at school and at home. 
    “Armand is coming to sta with us in the hols,” she sa.
    “Who, pray, is armand,” i repli, dealing a mitey blow to my hard-boiled egg.  “As far as i kno he is the weedy wet in the fr. book who sa the elephants are pigs.
    “He is a fr. boy who is coming to us to learn eng.,” sa mater with a swete patient smile.  “And you are to be v. nice to him as the pore boy will be far from home ect.”
     Well, you can immagine wot any noble british boy would sa to that i.e. o no mater, must we, gosh, wot a chiz ect. but it is no use.  It is not any good pointing out that “chez molesworth” he may learn a lot of things but one of them won’t be eng.  We kno when are licked.
As with the other fictional comic prep school boys of his era  –  Donald Gilchrist’s Seeley-Bohn, Klaxon’s Aloysius, Anthony Buckeridge’s Jennings, and the boys in H. F. Ellis’s A .J. Wentworth  –  much of the humour comes from the clash between a child’s view of the world and an adult’s view.  But the main strength of Molesworth is Willans’s style, which gives Molesworth a unique voice.  His erratic spelling, vague notions of grammar, lack of punctuation, and the repetition of certain expressions, are trademarks which are instantly recognisable.  Above all, the Molesworth books have a satirical bite which elevates them to a level far higher than that of simple farce or comedy.
    “Wot is yore opinion of colin wilson, the new philosopher?” sa fotherington-tomas, hanging by his weedy heels from the crossbar.
    “Advanced, forthright, signifficant,” i repli, kicking off the mud from my footer boots.
    “He takes, i think, the place of t.s. eliot in speaking for the younger generation.  Have you any idea of the score?”
    “Not a clue.”
    “Those rufians hav interrupted us six times.  So one must assume half a dozen goles.  If only our defence was more lively, quicker on the tackle!  Now as i was saing about colin wilson.....”
There has never been anything quite like Molesworth, and the icing on the cake was the brilliance of Ronald Searle, and the perfect match between the text and the illustrations.  Hoora for Willans, Searle, Molesworth, and all boys everywere.


This is a complete list of all the Molesworth pieces in Young Elizabethan.

January 1955        Introducing ... MOLESWORTH (Elizabethan)
February 1955        Guide to Gurls
March 1955        Tee Hee for Tee Vee
April 1955        BOO to tinies
May 1955        WHO will be WOT?
June 1955        Six-gun Molesworth
July 1955        Oeufs are Oafs…
August 1955        Ho for the Hols!
September 1955    A Grim Subjekt
October 1955        Produktivity in Skool
November 1955    More about Masters
December 1955    A Few Tips from the Coarse
January 1956        A Teacher’s World
February 1956        Attoms v Culture
March 1956        Goodby to Skool (for a bit)
May 1956        Learning About Life
June 1956        Taking Wings!
July 1956        The Flying Molesman
September 1956    here we go agane!
October 1956        So far so good!
December 1956    I luv Gurls
February 1957        the karackter kup
March 1957        the grate master trap
May 1957        molesworth cleens up dodge city
June 1957        kno yore enemy!
October 1957        back in the jug agane, (hem hem)
December 1957    a few rools for xmas
January 1958        a brite future
February 1958        dansey dansey
March 1958        “shoot fule!”
April 1958        musick the food of luv ect.
May 1958        headmaster probes secrets
June 1958        ko-eddukation at st. custard’s
July 1958        fr. and English
August 1958        tenis anebody?
September 1958    MIND MY BIKE!
October 1958        thro’ horridges with gran in ’58
December 1958    hurrah for examms

A further piece by Geoffrey Willans, "Molesworth – The Inside Story", appeared in April 1957.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

The Lost Diaries of Nigel Molesworth

The Lost Diaries of Nigel Molesworth
by Robert Kirkpatrick
May 6.  Arrived back at school.  Started to cry and went into jim towear it off.  Ragged in jim but was stoped by Mr Trimp (headmaster) and recived conduc mark chiz.  Rember have some cigs in plabox and endevore to remove them but Mr Oates (geog) sees me and says what have you there, nothing sir honestly, I say you can see if you want to sir.  He say I trust you molesworth but he follow me when I go out chiz.  Will have to wait.  Went on raging and mucked about and after tea went and had reeding Mr Trimp read Dr. syn.  Quite a good book every body gets murded.  Mr Trimp says it will be fine tomow.
May 7.  It rained.
Thus begins Nigel Molesworth’s debut as a man of letters, in the magazine Punch on 9 August 1939.

Most people familiar with Molesworth will know of him through the four books (Down with Skool, How to be Topp, Whizz for Atomms and Back in the Jug Agane, all with illustrations by Ronald Searle) published in the 1950s, or via the omnibus The Compleet Molesworth, originally published in 1958 and re-issued in 1984 and then as a Penguin Classic in 1999. 

What are less well-known, probably because they have never been reprinted, are the Molesworth diaries that appeared in Punch between August 1939 and December 1942.  Although Molesworth appeared fully-formed, with his terrible spelling and cynical view of life, the diaries are substantially different from the later books, both in format and setting.

Molesworth was created by the author Geoffrey Willans, born on 11 February 1911 (and later christened as Herbert Geoffrey Willans).  He was educated at Glyngarth Preparatory School, Cheltenham, and then, between 1924 and 1929, at Blundell’s School, Tiverton, Devon.  He later taught at Woodcote House Preparatory School, Windlesham, Surrey (and not at Blundell’s, as most online sources suggest), which presumably provided the inspiration for Molesworth.

(It is thought that Willans appropriated the name “Molesworth” from the RAF station at Molesworth in Cambridgeshire, and not from the late 19th century children’s writer Mrs Molesworth).

After a break as a full-time writer, Willans obtained a temporary wartime commission in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, initially as a Sub-Lieutenant in 1940 and then being promoted to Lieutenant in 1941.  After the war he worked for the BBC European Service, whilst also contributing to various magazines.  In the meantime, in November 1940, he had married Pamela Wyndham Gibbes, with whom he went on to have two sons.

* * * * *

When Nigel Molesworth began his diaries in August 1939 his school wasn’t named, and it was only in July 1940 that it was revealed that he was at St. Cypranes (Headmaster Mr Trimp).  For a brief period in 1940, when St. Cypranes was in “quaranteen”, the pupils went to “new skool SunHo”. where “headmaster haf short pants and no cane” (possibly modelled on Summerhill), and in 1941 Molesworth and his younger brother (Molesworth 2) were sent to a girls’ school to be near their father’s regiment.  (“July 19.  Peason write me a p.c. he haf heard I am at girls skool and ask if I haf been elected most poplar girl.  Gosh chiz.”)

In October 1941, after St. Cypranes had been bombed (“cheers cheers cheers”) it was merged with another school, St. Guthrums.  (“Now we haf TWO headmasters.  Am overwhelmed at this thort.”).  It was not until 1953, with the publication of Down with Skool, that Molesworth found himself permanently at St. Custard’s.

The only constant between the diaries and the later books, apart from Molesworth and his brother, was the presence of his great friend Peason and the unutterably wet and weedy Fotherington-Thomas.

Not surprisingly, given the era in which they were written, the main focus of the diaries is the war:
1939.  Nov. 10.  Air-rade warning.  Masters tremble and scram, xcept deaf master who asleep in his room.  All boys very heroical and I offer cig card soldier of the british Realm to chap who hear first gun.  Peason avacutates white mice which he sa very sussetptible to poson gas.  We hear fighting planes – hurricanes – but only deaf master snoring.  At last Mr trimp comes and say all into the air-rade shelter all to the shelter dubble.  He dash in first (headmasters all the same) and is knee deep in water cheers conduc mark laughing (manners).  Very fusty in shelter and white mice perish.  We stand on benches but Nazis do not come mean groan they are weedy.

1940.  March 2.  Catch german measles and peason sa boo weedy german through sickroom door.  Haf 1579 spots, not counting back of neck.

1940.  April 1.  April fools day will chiz all masters and misteresses also skool dog.  Will pin kick me on deaf masters back.  Awate opportunity but deaf master sa haf i not seen aeroplane crash on big field.  Dash out but nothing there.  Chiz chiz chiz grind teeth and buzz aple at skool pig instead.  Peason votes we stick draring pin on deaf masters chair revenge but he come too soon and there shouts of K.V. Sit down in place on draring pin.  Drone.  Deaf master highly delighted he haf placed it there and give us lesson on how to win the war.
School life, of course, had to carry on:
1941.  Jan. 15.  Chiz chiz chiz haf to go to dancing class.  All boys look like girlies and girls haf weedy bows.  Misteress sa feeble things she sa now we are all going to be chickens, little cocks and little hens Tippy toes tippy toes.  Moan and groan.  molesworth 2 dance mightily and there fat boy called robin but when he being little cock he fall wam.  All larff xcept robin’s mother who sa i haf tripped him.  Chiz as i do not think anebode see.

1942.  Oct. 19.  Morning bell viz all boys leap from bed at thort of breakfast cheers cheers squadrons of sossages take off from plates and spoons zoom mightily MASTERS sneke in guiltily with yellow faces. Carry out begning of term inspecktion skool dog new bugs skool pig and dirty dick gardners boy all O.K.  Test skool dog with trial conker which land in target area but am disgusted to find NEW MASTER who regard me venormously.  He sa Hi you what your name: when i say Molesworth 1 he sa Har! i haf heard of you.  Tremble tremble try old wheeze i.e. look ashamed but no go get 3 conduc marks and when i sa gosh 3 sir that a bit stiff he smirk and sa since i not satisfied he will give 4.  This is skool record so thank him perlitely and ooze off to chass new bugs.
The last diary entry (in which Molesworth, rather surprisingly, reads F.W. Farrar’s lachrymose 1858 school story Eric, or Little by Little, and is “deeply impressed”) was dated 9 December 1942. 

In the previous year, the cartoonist Ronald Searle had had his first St. Trinian’s cartoon published in the magazine Lilliput.  A second followed in 1946, after Searle had returned to England from a traumatic period as a prisoner-of-war in the Far East, and he continued producing St. Trinian’s cartoons until he grew to detest them.  Despite Searle blowing up the school in his last cartoon, his publisher, Max Parrish, wanted more.  Searle promised to come up with something, and in 1952 his wife, Kaye Webb (a former assistant editor at Lilliput) introduced him to Geoffrey Willans, who had, by then, refined Molesworth and was anxious to see if Searle could provide some illustrations.  Initially appalled at the idea of yet another school, Searle was won over by Willans’s text, and the result was Down with Skool, published by Max Parrish in October 1953, which sold almost 54,000 copies before the end of the year and has rarely been out of print since.  A second book, How to be Topp, followed in the autumn of 1954.

By this time, Kaye Webb had become the editor of the children’s magazine Young Elizabethan.  She enlisted both Searle and Willans as contributors, and thus, in January 1955, began a continuation of the partnership which culminated in 38 Molesworth features and two more books.

To be continued


This is a complete list of all the Punch Molesworth diaries:

9 August 1939            My Sumer Diary
27 December 1939        My Diary of the War
21 February 1940        Molesworth the Good
10 April 1940            Molesworth Detective
15 May 1940            Molesworth and the Wicked Grandmother
3 July 1940            Molesworth the Problem Child
20 November 1940        Molesworth and the Battle of Britain
5 February 1941        Another Slice of Molesworth
2 July 1941            Molesworth Excelsior
6 August 1941            Molesworth Madcap
27 August 1941        Molesworth:  Man or Beast?
24 September 1941        Molesworth at Goste Grange
22 October 1941        Molesworth of Red Gulch
10 December 1941        Molesworth the Fashionplate
24 December 1941        Molesworth of the Remove
18 March 1942        Molesworth the Dog Fancier
20 May 1942            Molesworth and the Domestic Problem
29 July 1942            Molesworth’s Jolliest Term
21 October 1942        Molesworth Goes Rustic
9 December 1942        Molesworth or Little by Little

Note:  I got through this whole piece without once using the phrase “as any fule kno”, which, as any fule kno, is one of Molesworth’s most famous  –  oh, chiz...

Friday, October 02, 2015

Comic Cuts - 2 October 2015

The saga of the teeth continues. If you don't like horror stories, look away now. Seriously. It's unpleasant.

So I went to the dentist as arranged on Tuesday for an hour-long appointment to remove the root of the tooth that broke a month ago and to have a second tooth removed. A very pleasant young lady was in charge and explained clearly and precisely what potentially could go wrong. They're legally obliged to do this, but having it all explained to you as your mouth gradually goes numb with anaesthetic might not be the best time to do it. As I said to the lady when she asked if I was still happy for her to continue, "I wabn'd wowied befow, bud I am now!"

The anaesthetic does its job and I lay back on the seat, open mouthed, light shining into my eyes, although I keep them closed for the most part. I get nervous at the dentist, so I'm trying to stay as calm and still as possible.

The first real shock was the sharp crack when they broke the molar they were removing. It didn't hurt at all, but the sound was terrifying. Oddly, I was still feeling quite calm at this point as the procedure was being explained. I'm still breathing steadily around the sucky thing (I think that's the technical term) that's removing blood, spit and broken tooth fragments.

The dentist then tries to remove the root of the broken tooth. About five minutes in, I'm feeling very anxious; the world is receding into the distance and I'm developing a cold sweat. I indicate my discomfort by raising my hand and I'm asked, "Do you want to sit up for a bit?" Yeth... yeth I oo.

It only takes a couple of seconds to calm down and the feeling that I was about to pass out faded away. Part of the problem was laying flat on my back. As a long-term back pain sufferer I try to support my lower back; one way is very simple: just raise your knees, which pushes the lower back down onto whatever surface you're laying on. I explained this and they were OK for me to put my feet on the sides of the chair so to anyone walking in it probably looked like I was trying to give birth.

Which was around the point when they called someone else in. The tooth wasn't coming out of the socket, so they asked a second, male dentist to have a go. Much wrenching and twisting later, the root was out. The root to the second one—the tooth they had broken off—wasn't easily accessible, so they had to cut a flap into my gum so they could get to it. It wasn't coming out. A third dentist, another lady, came in to have a look and decided that the bone of my jaw needed to be shaved away to free the rest of the tooth.

For the next twenty minutes, they're sawing away, pausing, tugging at the tooth, sawing away a bit more bone, tugging again, sawing again, tugging again. The male dentist comes back in and has a go with a bit more sawing and tugging and wrenching and twisting. And eventually it comes out and to everyone's surprise the tooth has a hook-like shape at the bottom, not visible on the x-ray. That's why it was do difficult to remove.

My hour-long visit has turned into an hour-forty by the time they've put in a series of stitches to hold my gum back in place and close up the holes left by the removal of teeth. I'm not allowed to rinse my mouth because they need the blood to clot. I spit bright red. On the way out I arrange to come back in a couple of week's time to have the stitches removed.

On the bus home I feel fine and bury my head in a book so I don't have to think about what I've just been through. Good thing I did. When I get to a mirror, I realise I have dried blood all over my lips from where I had tried to unsuccessfully spit with my numb mouth and not managed to clean with a tissue. I look like a vampire who wasn't happy with his meal.

I sleep for a couple of hours.

Since then, I've been trying to keep my tongue away from the stitches. My jaw aches. My gums ache. I have a headache. But I'm otherwise OK. I took things fairly easy on Tuesday and Wednesday, and even today I've been feeling wiped out; I managed to catch up on quite a bit of work, but was tired all day. The only worry on the horizon is that after I've had the stitches out in a couple of week's time, I've almost certainly got to have another tooth removed... I'm thinking next time I might ask to be knocked out completely.

And I didn't get to keep the teeth for the tooth fairy to offset the cost of the treatment.


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Owen Kildare (part 3)

With his death, more stories of Kildare's activities came to light. He reputedly had served in the Brazilian Revolution as Captain of Marines [in 1891-92] and as a Sergeant of the Legion des Etrangeres in Venezuela against President Castro; during the latter [1901] he was captured and sentenced to be hanged, cheating his executioners by escaping. These escapades escaped his memory whilst writing My Mamie Rose and were never mentioned in other early writings or during early interviews.

More believable was a series of remembrances that were published in the New York Times shortly after his burial under the headline "The Bowery Mourns For Owen Kildare". This contained another twist to the Kildare story in its claim that Kildare was not the author's real name, but it does offer some insight into the kind of man he was, quoting friends from his early days in the Bowery.
"He was on de level. He never forgot a friend or turned his back on a stranger wot needed a stake. He could lick three cops at once, but a woman could make him jump t'rough an' play dead. He knowed the Bowery, an' he knowed wot it was to want a drink an' not have de price. But when he pulled hisself up an' outer this place, he didn't forget to come down once in a while to see his old pals an' stake them as needed it."
    Such tributes as this are the Bowery's to Owen Kildare, who died the other day. The real Bowery is not a place where one would seek to find sentiment; least of all would one look for it in No.10, known as "the Doctor's place" to the derelicts who drift up and down. Like his "patients" "the Doctor's place" is not nice to look at. Indeed it is an offense to at least four of the five senses. Its ceiling is low and stained with the smoke of years; its floor is worn until through the begrimed sawdust the knots stand up like stones in a sand pile. Along the right side as one enters runs the bar and here the derelicts anchor, waiting, Micawber-like, for the something which for them never turns up, until the tide sooner or later, but surely, carries them out.
In "the Doctor's place" they remember Owen Kildare kindly," the article continues. But it was not as Owen Kildare but as Tom Carroll they knew him. Some claimed he was related to a famous family of Carrollton, Maryland, and, instead of being born in an east side tenement, he first saw the light on the western shore of Maryland. "But, Kildare or Carroll, it was as Kildare that all but the more ancient of Bowery mariners knew him, and as Kildare he will be remembered there."
"Did I know Owney Kildare? Did I?" "Red" Shaughnessy draped himself over the Doctor's bar and called for a "slug" to burn the cobwebs from his befogged memory. "I knowed Owen Kildare when he was Tom Carroll. He licked me when I was seven years old, right here at Doyers Street corner. After dat we wuz pals an' we stuck togedder on an' off f'r twenty year.
    "At dat time we wuz sellin' poipers down t' Fulton Ferry, an' sometimes t' Catherine Ferry. Dere warn't no Brooklyn Bridges in dem days, an' a kid cu'd make a dollar a day, and have a coupla hours fer a swim in de river. We useter swim from de footer Peck Slip, an' Tom, or Oweny, he was de bes' swimmer of de gang.
    "I remember one Winter day a little goil—Mamie McGloin, she wuz—fell overboard off de ferryboat as she wuz in de slip. Tom heerd a yell, an' he drops his poipers and jumps in de river after her. De slip wus full of ice, but Tom, he dives an' brings her up fin'ly. She wus near dead, an' he wus near froze, but de passengers wot seen it staked him t' fi' dollars f'r de poipers he lost.
    "De gang wus f'r having a good time wid de fiver, but it wus nuthin' doin'. Tom hol's out a quarter f'r poipers, an' toins d' rest of it over t' Mamie's mudder."
Others who told stories about Carroll / Kildare were "Chuck" Conners, who related how Carroll "licked" a pal of Conners' named "Skinny" McCarthy because he insulted a woman in the street.
"Dat," said Mr. Conners, "wus de dame he writ de book about. He give me de book wid his name writ in it.
    "When he begins ritin' f'r de poipers he quits de Bow'ry, but he never f'rgits it. He useter come down here reg'lar an' he'd allus stake any wot wus broke. After dat dame pikes out Owney he wus near daffy. He comes back here f'r a while, but it wus all off. He keeps on writin' f'r de poipers an' den de foist t'ing we knows he gits stuck on anudder dame an' gits spliced up.
    "Youse won't find many saints down here, but I takes me top off t' Kildare. He wus on de level an' a guy wot's on de level d'soives all he gits an' den some."
While there's little evidence for any of this. The 1900 US census includes a watchman named Thomas Carroll, born in June 1864 in New York, and then living in the County of Marbalow, New York, with his wife Maggie and three children, but there is no evidence that this is the Tom Carroll later known as Owen Kildare.

It was under the name Owen Kildare that he was to be found in the 1910 census, an inmate of  Manhattan State Hospital, aged 46. Leita Kildare is to be found in the New York City Directory that year living at Room 500, 939 8th Avenue. Kildare is listed as married when the census was taken on 15 April; Leita Kildare then marries Charles A. Adams the following month.

Charles and Leita Adams were later divorced. The date is uncertain, but I have found a brief reference that might throw some light on it: according to the Oakland Tribune, 31 January 1913, "Leita Russell was awarded a final decree from Charles A. Russell on the grounds of desertion."

Leita Adams reverted to being known as Mrs. Owen Kildare and lived at 570 Webster Avenue, New Rochelle. She appears as Leita (Gildare (sic)) Adams (30) in the 1920 census, married and living with her daughter, Lowen Kaldare (12) and Frances W. Clinton, the 50-year-old president of a hat company, listed as her cousin.

Francis Wright Clinton was born in London on 6 December 1867, the son of Henry Clinton, a hatter who moved to Brooklyn with his wife Flora and family in 1868. Francis followed in his father's footsteps and around the turn of the century was running a hat store in Manhattan. He was married to Edgaretta Olcott in 1898 and had two children, Edgar Olcott Baile Clinton in 1891 and Francis Wright Clinton Jr. in 1899.

He probably met Mrs. Kildare, then a leading light in the Women's Press Club of New York City and a campaigner for suffrage and food conservation, during the teens of the century and may have been living with her in New Rochelle as early as 1917; he was listed as sharing her residence in 1920 and seemingly remained with her until his death on 17 June 1929, aged 62.

Clinton was president of the Danbury Hat Company and had considerable wealth, which he willed the bulk of his estate, valued between $150-200,000, to his wife and Francis Jr—Edgar having died whilst serving in the military in France only days after the end of the Great War. Both Mrs. Leita Adams, described as a "friend", and her daughter, were give $5,000 each, the latter also receiving the testator's library, furniture, paintings and other effects in his apartment at 2,040 Seventh Avenue.

Lowena Kildare had married H. Elliot Christman in 1928 and they remained living with their mother in New Rochelle until after the Second World War. Their son, Peter, was born in 1931.

Mrs. Owen Kildare, as she continued to be known,  continued to be active in a variety of clubs and causes. In 1921, she was said to have been active in 47; forty years later, in 1963, she was a member of 57, over the years holding offices in many of them. She had, for many years, run the Kildare Institute for Personality Development from 205 West 57th Street in Manhattan, which advertised itself widely with such headlines as "Put PUNCH in Your SPEECH" "Be a Personality!"
Speech is the American weapon. CONQUER in business and social affairs through Your Effective Speech. COMMAND in the march of life! WIN personal victories by mastering the method of attraction. 12 easy lessons in your own home, free from embarrassment while learning. These lessons have been prepared for YOU by an author-lecturer, an authority on Personality Development. Write for information.
Mrs Kildare was also a pioneer radio broadcaster and hosted interviews with personalities on her programmes "Personality Period" and "Radio Vues". A lecturer for the National Association of Manufacturers and a delegate at conventions of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States, she was an ardent Republican and conservative, delivering 14 quarter-hour radio talks on stations throughout the East on "A Radio-Revue of Herbert Hoover, America's Emergency Man," during 1928. Representative John Q. Tilson called her presentation of Hoover's life "one of the most brilliant I have heard."

As well as her support for women's suffrage and the National Woman's Party, Mrs. Kildare was also the co-founder of the American Dress League, which called for the end to sexy, stylish clothes, replacing them with a drab, universal uniform that would only be abandoned when it wore out. The uniform of a blouse, knickerbockers and slipover achieved a brief vogue in the early 1920s.

Her hobby of collecting fans, of which she had 400, was the source of a number of lecture tours and shows. One prize example was a fan made by Benveuto Cellini for Catherine the Great. This, she said, was given to her by her first husband, Prince Peter Loris Poninski, who had changed his name to Owen Kildare when he came to America at the turn of the century.

Could there be any truth to this claim that appeared in Mrs. Kildare's obituary (New York Times, 23 March 1967)? There is no sign of him in travel records, but census records for Lowen Kildare in 1910, 1920 and 1930 show a curious and consistent record of her father's place of birth being Russia.

A brief biography from around 1913 mentions that she "collaborated with [her husband] in writing five books and three plays. She wrote, individually, two books and one play. Her book "Mamie Rose," which was dramatized and called by its sub-title "Regeneration," is still playing. A recent book, which she is dramatizing for Nance O'Neil to play, is "Such a Woman." Mrs. Kildaire (sic) has been dramatic critic for two New York papers and one Chicago paper. She has also edited a theatrical paper and a financial paper. (American Feminism: Key Source Documents, 1848-1920 by Janet Beer)

That Mrs. Kildare was intimately involved in the writing of the works credited to Owen Kildare is not, I think, in question. Quite how much she contributed would be interesting to know; one question that would have to be asked would be how a Russian émigré to the US could develop such an intimate knowledge of the Bowery in only a year or two.

Mrs. Kildare died  in Pawling, New York, on 22 March 1967, supposedly aged 78 years.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Owen Kildare (part 2)

Owen Kildare had written four books in quick succession, published in 1903-06; it was then five years before the fifth appeared, in which it was stated that "he became ill and was unable to continue the work. The concluding chapters were completed by Mrs. Kildare." Behind those simple words lay a tragic story.

Kildare was a regular writer of tales for newspapers and magazines, contributing to The Saturday Evening Post, Pearson's, Gunter's, The Smart Set, The Grey Goose, The Blue Mule, Cosmopolitan, People's, Red Book and the New York Times. There seemed to be no break between 1904 and 1908, after which he disappeared.

Kildare was married to Leito Kildare and the two had a daughter, Lowen Loris Margherita Kildare, born in New York on 27 November 1906.

On 1 September 1908, Kildare's play "The Regeneration" opened on Broadway. Co-written with Walter Hackett, it retold in fictional form the story of My Mamie Rose in four acts, with Arnold Daly in the role of Owen Conway and Jessie Izett as Marie Deering, the doomed lovers. Kildare had begun work on the play almost a year earlier, working closely at first with Daly. It was enthusiastically reviewed in the New York Times, whose critic opined: "Judging by the many rounds of applause he [Daly] and his company received and the numerous curtain calls he was compelled to answer, he scored a success and his play bids fair to have a long run."

Not all reviews were as generous. J. Chris Westgate, in Staging the Slums, Slumming the Stage, describes how some reviews were hostile to the idea of romance across the classes, quoting a review in Theatre as saying "the introduction of the element of love is fatal to the full effectiveness of the play." One reviewer went even further, saying that "The drama implies what the dramatist dare not say—that their hero will one day marry his benefactress. It at least assumes that his benefactress loved him. This implied conclusion is preposterous ... the whole scheme is false to reasonable probability and incompatible with human nature."

The play ran for only a few weeks and closed in October 1908. The following month, papers carried the news that, on November 21, Kildare had collapsed from nerves, the failure of the play being given as chief reason. According to the New York Times, an angry Mrs. Kildare, "standing in their little flat last night at 60 West 101st Street, with her hand resting on his typewriter, where he had done all his recent work, and with trembling lips and eyes dimmed with tears," she declared "a cruel injustice" had been done to her and her husband by a report that said she had had him arrested for drinking.
"I did not have him arrested," she said. "Mr. Kildare is ill because of the failure of 'The Regeneration,' which was offered early in the present season at Wallack's Theatre. It was not played as Mr. Kildare wrote it. He saw it only once and was so furious with Arnold Daly for the changes in it that he wanted to fight him. It was all we could do to keep him from attacking the actor. He became morose, morbid, and frequently talked of suicide. Finally he was attacked by the nervous collapse from which he is now suffering.
    Mr. Kildare had the present acute attack of aphasia and nervous collapse on Sunday night. He was unable to speak, and soon became unconscious. Brandy was given him, but he stayed in a stupor. On account of his great weight—nearly 250 pounds—it was impossible to carry him upstairs, so he was sent to the J. Hood Wright Hospital in an ambulance.
    "I have no idea why he was sent to the police court," said Mrs. Kildare. "But I had him sent to Bellevue because the doctors said that was the best place for him. He is bitterly opposed to going to Bloomingdale, but the physicians say he will not recover in a private sanitarium, where he can do as he pleases, so I see no help for it but for him to go there. He does not drink, except a little occasionally, and his present trouble is due solely to his worry over the failure of 'The Regeneration,' which is his dramatization of 'My Mamie Rose,' the staging, indeed, of his own sad, strange life.
Further reports revealed that Kildare had been committed to the psychopathic ward in Bellevue Hospital by Magistrate Walsh in the West Side Court. According to Dr. M. S. Gregory, a few months' rest in the sanitarium would restore Kildare's mental faculties, which, he said, were seriously deranged. He was transferred to Bloomingdale on November 30.

Little more was heard of Kildare for the next two years. On 2 January 1911, a report appeared on the front page of the Washington Post:
Many of the friends of Owen Kildare, author and playwright, who rose from bartender in a Bowery dive to be one of the most successful writers of the time, will be surprised to learn that since his incarceration in the State hospital for the insane, on Wards Island, his wife, who was the beautiful Leita Russells Bogardus, has had her marriage to him annulled, and is now the wife of Lieut. Comdr. Charles A. Adams, U.S.N., retired.
    In spite of the severing of the legal ties that bound her to Kildare and her marriage to Comdr. Adams, the young woman still retains so strong an interest in her first husband that she and her young daughter visit him every other day at the institution where he is confined. Mrs. Adams says that Owen Kildare knows of, and approves of, the course she has taken.
    Mrs. Adams declined to say when or where she married Comdr. Adams.
Where indeed? Charles Albert Adams, born in New York on 28 May 1846, had served with the Royal Navy since 1863 and had been a Commander in 1901-03 before retiring on Boxing Day, 26 December 1903.

The pair had, in fact, married in Canada—in Windsor, Ontario—on 2 May 1910, the marriage certificate stating that their reason was to avoid publicity for the marriage; a more likely reason was that the certificate described Leita Kildare as a widow, which she was most certainly not. Adams was 63, whilst Leita gave her age as 23, implying she was born in December 1886.

The New York Times later reported: "Late last year his wife, known before their marriage to magazine readers as Leita Russell, but whose full name was Leita Russell Bogartus, went to the town in Massachusetts where they had been married and obtained an annulment." (New York Times, 7 February 1911)

In 1910, Lowen Kildare was aged only 3. She was registered as a boarder with Edwin H. Bailey and his wife, Mary, in Howell Village, Livingston, Michigan. At least, this is the only Lowen Kildare to be found on the US census records whose details match what is known about Owen and Leita's daughter. One interesting detail given is that, whilst Lowen and her mother were both born in New York, her father is listed as being Russian.

Shortly after the notice about Leita Kildare Adams appeared in the Washington Post, news broke about the death of her former husband. The New York Times carried the news on its front page: "KILDARE, WRITER, DEAD OF PARESIS". "The Kipling of the Bowery" had passed away on the night of Saturday, 4 February 1911, of paresis (partial paralysis). He had been in a good condition for most of the day, which had included a visit from his former wife, with whom he had taken a long walk along the paths about the hospital; he had also walked her as far as the ferry when it came for her to leave. But, shortly before 10:30 pm, a nurse heard a groan from his room. Hurrying in, she found him in convulsions. He died in two of three minutes of the first seizure.

It was following his death that reports arose that Kildare had suffered a fall ahead of his becoming a patient in the Manhattan State Hospital on Ward's Island. Whilst some reported that his sudden collapse was ascribed to the failure of his play 'The Regeneration', others reported that he had become "violently insane three years ago after falling down the stairs at the Times Square Subway station." (Urbana Daily Courier, 7 February 1911).

Kildare had written little whilst in hospital. According to the New York Times:
Kildare took an interest in many of the patients. To some who were without family or friends to visit them, he was the only source of cheer. He often spoke of writing stories while he was on Ward's Island, and would start for his room, as if seized with the desire to put the idea on paper. He did write sometimes in a desultory fashion, the doctor's say, but the work was confused and fragmentary.
Leita Kildare Adams completed the last book Kildare had started, which became his fifth and final title. However, this was not the final surprise in the story of Owen Kildare... as we shall see tomorrow.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Owen Kildare (part 1)

Owen Kildare is a bit of a side issue to the research that I've been doing in relation to my Caught In The Act project. However, sometimes it's interesting to explore these alleyways and he fits neatly into the historic reason I wanted to set up Bear Alley in the first place: as somewhere to publish material that I fancied researching but which didn't necessarily have a place in an article or book that I was writing.

Publishing these essays also helps me get my ducks in order when the story of a writer's career proves to be complex or confusing. This is certainly the case with Owen Kildare, an American author who penned an influential autobiography at the beginning of the 20th century that predated the confessional gangster biographies that began appearing a couple of decades later. It was filmed by Raoul Walsh's as Regeneration (1915), a key early movie in what became a cycle of gangster films, which, again, Walsh helped launch with Me, Gangster (1928).

But back to Owen Kildare—or Owen Frawley Kildare to give him his full name. His autobiography, My Mamie Rose. The story of my regeneration appeared in October 1903 from The Baker & Taylor Company, 38-87 East 17th Street, Union Square North, New York. It was an instant hit, telling the story of how Kildare, a child of the Bowery, overcame poverty to become a writer; in many ways it is the predecessor of the "misery memoir" which became popular in the mid-1990s. Kildare's tragic life story was published in the UK as Up From The Slums; or, My Mamie Rose by T. Fisher Unwin in 1904.

From his autobiography we learn that Kildare was born in the Bowery District of Manhattan Island and grew up in a top floor tenement on Catharine Street, raised by Irish foster parents. His biological  parents had died: his mother in birth and his father three months earlier. His foster father, Patrick McShane, was a longshoreman between periods of "idleness" and heavy drinking; his foster mother, Mary (nee McNulty) was a housewife, struggling to keep even their small, cheap home together.

At the age of seven he left home after a scene caused by his failure to repay his foster parents for his first pair of shoes by collecting sufficient waste coal by the river. That night—it was in December—he slept in the open with another boy he had met in similar circumstances. With a borrowed five cent piece, he started as a street news-vendor in a local gang led by Timothy D. "Little Tim" Sullivan.

Being of athletic build and, by his own confession, being something of a brute, he earned a reputation as a fighter, which eventually led him to being offered opportunities in the boxing ring. He became a "floor manager" but after some years of success was caught up in attempts to clean up sporting establishments. Kildare's employer and several other were thrown into prison, and he found himself out of work, spending his idle hours sitting outside a public-house insulting passers-by.

In 1894 he met "The good angel to whose influence I owe my regeneration," a young school teacher named Marie Rose Deering whom he protected from being assaulted by a drunken friend. He gave up working in dives—over the years he progressed to become a bouncer for Fatty Flynn's, bartender at Steve Brodle's resort, manager of sporting ventures, dock labourer and freight handler—and tried to make an honest living as a baggage porter. Every day he would visit the teacher to learn how ot read, write and count. They fell in love and, eventually, they were to be married in 1900. A week before the ceremony, she died of pneumonia.

Recovering from the shock, Kildare tried to continue his "regeneration", but an accident permanently incapacitated him and the cost of operations and enforced idleness soon exhausted his savings.

He was living in an attic and working as a dishwasher for $3 a week when he discovered that the Evening Journal newspaper was offering a prize for a love story of less than 750 words; written on wrapping paper he found on the floor, the tale appeared three days after he submitted it. An autobiographical piece appeared in Sunday Press and further pieces appeared in the Sunday Herald and Sunday News. For the latter he penned a series of "Bowery Girl Sketches" which were signed "The Bowery Kipling".

A further autobiographical piece in Success Magazine led to the publication of My Mamie Rose, which was written with the help of a Leita Bogardus (sometimes given as Bogartus). Born Leita Russell in Tarrytown, on 16 December 1889, she was reputedly a precocious child, selling poems and sketches to the Detroit Free Press when she was only ten. She travelled around the world with her mother, being educated by private tutors, studying law and languages and reading extensively of medicine.

As with Owen Kildare, the known facts about Leita Russell Bogardus raise a number of questions. There is no sign of her in early census records from around the turn of the century, prior to her marriage. According to Janet Beer (American Feminism: Key Source Documents, 1848-1920), Russell—whom she calls Leita Ouida Bogardus—married at 16; however My Mamie Rose was dedicated "To L.B.K." ... and who else could it be but Leita Bogardus Kildare? If that assumption is correct, the two were already married when the book appeared in October 1903 when—if we are to believe that she was born in December 1889—Leita was 13. Perhaps not surprisingly, obituaries and other resources skip over any mention of dates.

Leita described their courtship thus: she had then recently begun writing for newspapers under the name Leita Russell when Kildare sought her aid to write his autobiography. He met her only once more before they were married. "He never even courted me," said Mrs. Kildare. "I was in the Berkshires when I received a telegram saying: 'I am coming for you. I hope you will not be angry. I have never been denied anything.'"

Not knowing what he meant, she met him at the station. He hailed a carriage and they were driven to the home of a minister and, without even asking her consent, were married. Since then, she had aided her husband on all his work.

My best shot is that she is, in fact, the New York-born actress Leita Russell, who was boarding in Buffalo at the time of the 1900 US census, who gave her birth date as December 1883. This is, I'll admit, a guess but in its favour I did find a mention that "before her first marriage Mrs. Kildare  made a considerable name in literary and stage work." [My emphasis] If I am correct, she was 19 when she married rather than 13, which sounds more plausible. Leita Russell was, shortly before the publication of My Mamie Rose, a member of the Columbia Theater stock company in 1902 where she played in such plays as "My Friend From India" and "Shall We Forgive Her"; one review commented on the "pleasing specialties" introduced between the acts, which included "Leita Russell dancing and singing popular songs."

The success of the book led to others: The Good of the Wicked and The Party Sketches (Baker & Taylor Co., Aug 1904), The Wisdom of the Simple (Fleming H. Revell Co., 1905), a novel, and My Old Balliwick (Grosset & Dunlap, 1906). The latter was a collection of essays and stories about New York tenement life from various magazines, including Pearson's, The Outlook, Success, the Saturday Evening Post, The Independent and the Christian Herald. The introduction was signed by Owen Frawley Kildare, Hartford, Conn. Kildare had also set up his own publishing enterprise based at 1451 Broadway, New York, in order to publish Letters of a Politician to His Son by John Gulick Jr., which was due for publication in July 1904 but may not have appeared.

A fifth book, Such a Woman, credited to Owen and Leita Kildare, with illustrations by Joseph C. Chase, appeared from New York publisher G. W. Dillingham Co. in 1911. In her introduction, Leita noted that "Owen Kildare was working on the manuscript of this book, in collaboration with his wife, Leita Kildare, when he became ill and was unable to continue the work. The concluding chapters were completed by Mrs. Kildare."

In fact, by the time the book was published, Owen Kildare was dead.

Which is where we'll pick up the story tomorrow.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Comic Cuts - 25 September 2015

Our quiet little town seems to be a hotbed of news in recent weeks. Following the rather sad story of two schoolkids being injured on the High Street (about thirty yards from where I'm writing this), this week the headlines were about a fire that engulfed a train shed down at the local station... five minutes walk away. Certainly a walk we do regularly as the shed—which has been boarded up for as long as we've been here—is at the head of what's known as the Wivenhoe Cycle Trail, aka The Maurice Britton Walk.

Mel and I often start our Sunday walk sauntering past the station. I must admit that we never realised what was behind the hoardings and scaffolding. To us, it was the site of a war of words: a graffiti artist regularly targeted the plain boards with insults, which were then painted over. In the past few months the graffiti had turned into a dialogue with the people covering it up. You can see the last bit of graffiti on the photo below: "the tories don't care" in the lower left corner, which is admittedly far less interesting than some of the language we've been reading on our way past over the summer.

Two days later, in nearby Mersea, a steam engine fell off a flatbed lorry after it crashed into a bus, seriously injuring the driver and 21 passengers.

All this excitement makes up for the lack thereof in my own life. As related last week, I've been tied up with my day (part-time) job so tightly that I haven't had much time for anything else. The good news is that the latest issue went off to the printers on time—albeit, the revised time—on Tuesday and I was able to take a day off on Wednesday, which expanded into a day off also on Thursday. Not that I was idle. What happened was that I'd hoped to write up some of the research I was doing on Wednesday morning, but it grew so unwieldy that I decided to tackle something else. Which then did much the same thing. It has taken all of Thursday to whip it (mostly) into shape and I'll hopefully post it over the weekend, or Monday if I don't get it finished tomorrow.

No random scans this week as my cleaning-up efforts have all gone into the James Hadley Chase and Agatha Christie cover galleries.  Chase is now up to 73 images with at least that many again still to go; the Christie has 34 and an impossible-to-guess number left in the folder. I shall keep plugging away at both of these until I've eventually cleared the decks of scans.

Instead, here are a couple of pictures of the Colne taken last Sunday. The first is actually three pictures photoshopped together; the second two pictures of some recent works. We've no idea what's going on, whether they're demolishing something or building something. What we did discover was that, now they've cleared some of the trees on the far right of the picture, there's a road which we never noticed before. It's one of the reasons I enjoy just snapping photos around the town – there are subtle changes happening all the time and, if I'm lucky, I might just capture some of them.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Commando issues 4847-4850

Commando issues on sale 24 September 2015.

Commando No 4847 — Nature Of The Beast
The Convict Commandos had been on many dangerous missions as the War raged on. Now it looked as if their latest adventure could turn out to be their last.
   ‘Jelly’ Jakes wasn’t just an expert safecracker — he was an expert coward too! The quivering little man had become a vital part of a scheme to halt an insidious enemy threat — one that could undermine the Allies’ efforts to win the War. Jelly and the rest of the team would have to uncover THE NATURE OF THE BEAST.

Story: Alan Hebden
Art: Manuel Benet
Cover: Manuel Benet

Commando No 4848 — Stand And Fight
Perched high among the girders of the bridge spanning the jungle river, Private Dan Neal carefully aimed at the explosives charge lashed to the bridge supports. He knew that if this bridge wasn’t blown, the Japanese would pour over it, massacring any British troops who stood in their way. And if it was blown up, Dan knew he would go sky high with it.
   His trigger finger took the first pressure, then began the slow steady squeeze…

Down through the decades that Commando has been published, perceived cowardice has long been a recurring, but thankfully not over-used, plot motif. Indeed, one of our Silver Collection titles from earlier this month, “Day Of Shame” (No 4846) also had a similar theme but was completely different to this story.
   In my opinion, Stand And Fight is a memorable tale because – apart from Gordon Livingstone’s typically wonderful art and cover – the main character, Private Dan Neal, appears to be a rare Commando anti-hero. Flawed, secretive, morally ambiguous, as readers we’re not quite sure if we even like him. Right away that gives this adventure an edge. Adding a duplicitous enemy prisoner and a loyal, ice-cool Ghurkha to the mix makes it edgier still.—Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

Story: N. Allen
Art: Gordon Livingstone
Cover: Gordon Livingstone
Originally Commando No 467 (April 1970), re-issued as No 1343 (August 1979)

Commando No 4849 — Charge…Or Die!
They were an unlikely infantryman, a cavalry officer and a mechanic. Yet, when they put their petty squabbles aside this irregular Polish ‘unit’ were a force to be reckoned with.
   After Germany’s lightning-fast invasion of Poland, these three misfits were determined to fight back.
   Yes, indeed, they were an unlikely force…but one which, against the odds, still managed to strike fear into the hearts of the invading enemy.

Story: Kek-W
Art: Vicente Alcazar
Cover: Janek Matysiak

Commando No 4850 — King Of The Sky
They twisted and turned all over the sky, the two pilots trying to pull every trick in the book to be the one who drilled in the final killing burst.
   This was no ordinary dog-fight…for both aircraft carried the colours of the Royal Air Force. Something very odd was going on to have a Spitfire duelling savagely with a Mosquito…

Compared to our Gold Collection banner of re-issues, which were originally published 50 years ago, King Of The Sky is practically a young whipper-snapper of a book, what with being a mere quarter of a century old. However, at its core is a charmingly simple but effective premise that means it wouldn’t look out of place in the Gold Collection either.
   A ruthless Nazi pilot breaks out of a British POW camp and will stop at nothing to get back to the Fatherland and continue the War, pursued by an RAF man determined to catch him. It’s a classic scenario and still remains an enjoyable read.—Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

Story: Bernard Gregg
Art: Terry Patrick
Cover: Mike Cox
Originally Commando No 2400 (August 1990) 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Agatha Christie cover gallery (part 2)


Poirot Investigates (London, John Lane, 1924; New York, Dodd Mead, 1925)
Pan Books 326, (Mar 1955), 2/-. Cover by Roger Hall
---- [2nd imp.] 1955; 3rd imp., 1957 (see G139)
Pan Books G139 [4th imp.] (Jun) 1958. Cover by Keay
---- [5th imp.] 1959; [6th imp.] 1959.
---- [7th imp.] 1961, 192pp, 2/6. Cover by W. Francis Phillipps?
---- [8th imp.] 1961; [9th imp.] 1962; [10th imp.] 1963; [11th imp.] 1964.
Pan Books X243 [10th imp.] 1963
---- [11th imp.] 1964
Pan Books 0330-10243-5 [12th imp.] 1967, 192pp.
---- [13th imp.] 1967; [14th imp.] 1968; [15th imp.] 1969; [16th imp.] 1969; [17th imp.] 1970.

Partners in Crime (London, W. Collins Sons & Co., 1929; New York, Dodd Mead, 1929; reprinted in part as The Sunningdale Mystery, Collins, 1933)
Collins White Circle 231c, nd (Jan 1955), 192pp.
Pan Books G526, (Feb) 1962, 204pp, 2/6. Cover by W. Francis Phillipps
Pan Books X240 [xth imp.] (May 1963)

The Under Dog [bound with ‘Blackman's Wood’ by E. Phillips Oppenheim]. London, Readers Library, 1929; as Two Thrillers, London, London Daily Express Fiction Library, 1936.

The Mysterious Mr. Quin (London, W. Collins Sons & Co., 1930; New York, Dodd Mead, 1930)
Penguin Books 931, 1953. Typographical cover
---- [2nd imp.] 1955, 250pp, 2/-. Typographical cover
---- [3rd imp.] 1956; [4th imp.] 1958.
Collins White Circle 286c, nd (Mar 1959), 256pp.
Penguin Books 931 [5th imp.] 1961, 250pp, 2/6. Typographical cover

The Thirteen Problems (London, W. Collins Sons & Co., 1932; as The Tuesday Club Murders, New York, Dodd Mead, 1933; selection, as The Mystery of the Blue Geranium and Other Tuesday Club Murders, New York, Bantam, 1940; as Miss Marple and the Thirteen Problems, London, Penguin Books, 1953)
as Miss Marple and the Thirteen Problems, Penguin Books 929, 1953. Typographical cover
Pan Books G472,  (Jul 1961).
Pan Books X267 [3rd imp] 1963, 2/6. Cover by ?
Fontana Books 1133, 1965
---- [2nd imp.] Apr 1967, 192pp, 3/6. Cover by Tom Adams

The Hound of Death and Other Stories (London, Odhams, 1933)
Pan Books G377, (Jul 1960), 2/6.
---- [2nd imp.]
Fontana Books 977, 1964. Cover by Tom Adams
---- [2nd imp.] 1966.

Parker Pyne Investigates (London, Collins, 1934; as Mr. Parker Pyne, Detective, New York, Dodd Mead, 1934)
Penguin Books 932, 1953. Typographical cover
Collins White Circle 292c, nd (May 1959), 256pp.
Fontana Books 667, 1962, 157pp, 2/6. Cover by John L. Baker
Fontana Books 2043 [2nd imp.] May 1965, 158pp, 3/6. Cover by Tom Adams
Fontana Books 0006-16737-3 [Xth imp.] 1982, 158pp.

The Listerdale Mystery and Other Stories (London, Collins, 1934)
Hodder & Stoughton 271c, nd (Apr 1958), 256pp.
Fontana Books 493, 1961, 251pp, 2/6. Cover by Keay
Fontana Books 1309, 1966, 192pp.

Murder in the Mews and Three Other Poirot Cases (Poirot; London, Collins, 1937; as Dead Man's Mirror and Other Stories, New York, Dodd Mead, 1937)
Hodder & Stoughton 276c, nd (May 1958), 192pp.
Penguin Books 1637, 1961.
Pan Books 302, (Sep 1954). Cover by Roger Hall

The Regatta Mystery and Other Stories (New York, Dodd Mead, 1939)
(no UK paperback)

The Mystery of the Baghdad Chest (London, Todd Publishing, 1943)
Todd Publishing, (May 1943), 16pp, 4d.
Todd Publishing/Bantam, 1943, 16pp.
Vallency Press, (May 1945), 16pp, 4d. Cover by Jeffrey

The Mystery of the Crime in Cabin 66 (London, Todd Publishing, 1943; as Crime in Cabin 66, London, Vallancy Press, 1944)
Todd Publishing/Bantam, 1943, 16pp.
as Crime in Cabin 66, Vallency Press, (1944), 16pp, 4d. Cover by Jeffrey

Poirot and the Regatta Mystery (London, Todd Publishing, 1943)
Todd Publishing/Bantam, 1943, 16pp.
Vallency Press, (1944)m 16pp, 6d. Cover by Jeffrey

Problem at Pollensa Bay, and Christmas Adventure (London, Todd Publishing, Jun 1943)
Todd Publishing/Polybooks, Jun 1943, 16pp, 6d.

Poirot on Holiday (London, Todd Publishing, Nov 1943)
Todd Publishing/Polybooks, Nov 1943, 16pp, 6d.

The Veiled Lady, and The Mystery of the Baghdad Chest (London, Francis Hodgson, Jun 1944)
Francis Hodgson/Polybooks, (Jun) 1944, 16pp, 6d.

Poirot Knows the Murderer (London, Francis Hodgson, Mar 1946)
Francis Hodgson, Mar 1946, 62pp, 6d. Cover by Sington

Poirot Lends a Hand (London, Francis Hodgson, Mar 1946)
Francis Hodgson, Mar 1946, 64pp, 6d. Cover by Sington

The Labours of Hercules (Poirot; London, Collins, and New York, Dodd Mead, 1947)
Penguin Books 928, 1953. Typographical cover
Collins White Circle 288c, nd (Feb 1959), 256pp.
Fontana Books 1405 [1961, [2nd imp.] Apr 1963; [3rd imp] Jul 1966; [4th imp.] Feb 1967]
---- [5th imp.] May 1969, 256pp, 3/6. Cover by Tom Adams

The Witness for the Prosecution and Other Stories (New York, Dodd Mead, 1948)
(no UK Paperback)

The Mousetrap and Other Stories (New York, Dell, 1949; as Three Blind Mice and Other Stories, New York, Dodd Mead, 1950)
(no UK paperback)

The Under Dog and Other Stories (New York, Dodd Mead, 1951)
(no UK paperback)

The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding, and Selection of Entrées (London, Collins, 1960)
Fontana Books 3592, 1963, 224pp.
Pan Books 0330-02260-1, 1969, 219pp, 4/-. Cover photo
HarperCollins 0007-12108-3, 2002, 240pp.

Double Sin and Other Stories (New York, Dodd Mead, 1961)
(no UK paperback)

13 for Luck! A Selection of Mystery Stories for Young Readers (New York, Dodd Mead, 1961; London, Collins, 1966)
(no UK paperback)

Surprise! Surprise! A Collection of Mystery Stories with Unexpected Endings, edited by Raymond T. Bond (New York, Dodd Mead, 1965)
(no UK paperback)

Star Over Bethlehem and other stories (as Agatha Christie Mallowan), illus. Elsie Wrigley (London, Collins, 1965; New York, Dodd, Mead, 1965)
Fount 0006-27664-4, 1992, 84pp.
Fount 0006-27845-0, 1994, 85pp.

13 Clues for Miss Marple (New York, Dodd Mead, 1966)
(no UK paperback)

The Golden Ball and Other Stories (New York, Dodd Mead, 1971)
(no UK paperback)

Poirot's Early Cases (London, Collins, 1974; as Hercule Poirot's Early Cases, New York, Dodd Mead, 1974)
Fontana Books  0006-15676-2, 1979, 222pp, 80p. Cover by Tom Adams

Miss Marple's Final Cases and Two Other Stories (London, Collins, 1979; as Miss Marple’s Final Cases, London, Fontana, 1980; abridged as Miss Marple Short Stories, London, HarperCollins for Link House Magazines [giveaway with Caravan Magazine], 1995)
Fontana Books 0006-16795-0 [7th imp.] Jun 1983, 154pp, £1.25. Cover by M.B.

The Agatha Christie Hour (London, Collins, 1982)

Hercule Poirot's Casebook: Fifty Stories (New York, Dodd Mead, 1984; London, Fontana, 1989; as Agatha Christie’s Poirot Book 1[-4], Fontana, 4 vols., 1992)

Miss Marple: Complete Short Stories (New York, Dodd Mead, 1985)
(no UK paperback)

Best Detective Stories of Agatha Christie (Harlow, Longman, 1986)
(contains The Mystery of Hunter’s Lodge; The Million Dollar Bond Robbery; The Adventure of the Clapham Cook; Accident; The Lernean Hydra; The Stymphalian Birds; Tape-measure Murder)

Problem at Polensa Bay, and other stories (London, HarperCollins, 1991)

Poirot Short Stories [giveaway with BBC Holidays Magazine, May 1994] (London, BBC Holidays Magazine by arrangement with HarperCollins, 1994)

Miss Marple: The Complete Short Stories (London, HarperCollins, 1997)
Harper 49962 [15th imp.]

While the Light Lasts, and Other Stories, background notes by Tony Medawar (London, HarperCollins, 1997)
HarperCollins 978-0007-15485-2, (Aug) 2008, 256pp.

Hercule Poirot: The Complete Short Stories (London, HarperCollins, 1999)
Harper  51377 [19th imp.]

Friday, September 18, 2015

Comic Cuts - 18 September 2015

For long-time readers, you may recall that I managed to break a tooth recently on some fresh, crispy bread. The NHS swung immediately into action and, nearly three weeks later, I'm off to get an x-ray to see if the root needs to be dug out, which isn't going to be pleasant. I also need some work done on another tooth where a filling has come out, so if you don't see any activity from me for a while, don't worry—I'm probably just feeling sorry for myself.

Or still working on the October issue of Hotel Business, which was due to be sent off to the printers on Tuesday, but didn't quite make it. The delay was planned, so not unexpected, but while I'd hoped to have everything completed before disappearing today, there are still a few stray bits that need tidying up. Something for the weekend, perhaps, as we're going to need some proofing time Monday and Tuesday before we sign everything off.

And the joy of all this is that we now only have three weeks to get the next issue out. I haven't been sitting on my hands all week and a few bits have already started to trickle in. I've also started commissioning things for our December issue, so we don't run into any trouble with that one. That's the joy of magazines: it's only just autumn and I'm already worrying about Christmas.

I didn't get much opportunity to fill gaps in the Agatha Christie cover gallery; we started the week (last Friday) with four images and now have 21. Hopefully I'll at least get the skeleton of the collections section up in the next couple of days. The James Hadley Chase has improved slightly: we're up to 47 covers. I have quite a few more scanned and I might spend a bit of time over the weekend scanning a few more, as they're forming a teetering pile on top of a box behind me at the moment and constantly threatening to topple over.

I did take one break this week and managed to write up some notes on an old crime writer, just to see what I could dig out. His name, Charles G. Booth, came up in my research into the early days of hard-boiled fiction—the 1920s—and I've seen it suggested that he was an early user of criminal slang in his stories. However, I haven't been to prove that one way or the other, so I'm not sure yet what I'm going to do with the results of that research as it appears to be a blind alley.

I'm now looking again at Carroll John Daly, who has always interested me as he is often called the originator of the hard-boiled school of writing. He has also been called unreadable, which I have to disagree with. He was certainly hugely popular in the twenty years before America entered the Second World War and while he was not the most stylish writer and relied an awful lot on repetitive action, readable he most certainly was.

I only have a handful of his books, so I thought that they could be this week's random scans as they're actually sitting on the scanner. The two Harper reprints, second and third below, have really nice covers by Drew Bishop. The first is by Hernandez and Kinstrey. Can't say I've heard of any of the artists, but they've all done a fine job as all three covers are evocative of that early hardboiled era that the books were written in.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Agatha Christie cover gallery (part 1)

This is another skeletal cover gallery that I intend to create for Agatha Christie. Due to pressure of work, I've not been able to put this together in a timely fashion – I had hoped to have something together for the 125th anniversary of her birth - 15th September. Instead, I'll add more to this framework over the next few days and see how far I can get. Christie has been the subject matter for a fair number of posts here on Bear Alley over the years: quite a few of the Fontana covers have been featured but never in my usual gallery format alongside the same title's Penguin or Pan edition. The comparisons will be interesting.

Novels (series: Supt. Battle; Tommy & Tuppence Beresford; Miss Jane Marple; Hercule Poirot; Colonel Race)

The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Poirot; London, John Lane, 1920; New York, Dodd Mead, 1927)
Penguin Books 6, 1935. Typographical cover
Pan Books 310,  (Oct) 1954. Cover by Roger Hall
---- [2nd imp.] 1955; [3rd imp.] 1957.
Pan Books G112, [4th imp.] (Mar) 1958, 190pp, 2/6. Cover by Jack Keay
---- [5th imp.] 1959; [6th imp.] 1960; [7th imp.] 1960; [8th imp.] 1961.
---- [9th imp.] 1962, 190pp. Cover by W. Francis Phillipps
---- [10th imp.] 1962
Pan Books X284 [11th imp.] 1963, 190pp, 3/6. Cover by W. Francis Phillips (as per 9th imp.)
---- [12th imp.] 1965; [13th imp.] 1967; [14th imp.] 1967; [15th imp.] 1968.
Pan Books 0330-10284-2 [16th imp.] 1969, 190pp, 4/-. Cover: photo

The Secret Adversary (Beresfords; London, John Lane, and New York, Dodd Mead, 1922)
Pan Books 357, (Oct 1955), 221pp, 2/-. Cover by ?
---- [2nd imp.] 1956.
---- [3rd imp.] (Oct) 1957. Cover by Keay
---- [4th imp.] 1958; [5th imp.] 1959; [6th imp.] 1960; [7th imp.] 1961; [8th imp.] 1961; [9th imp.] 1962 (see X265)
Pan Books X265 [10th imp.] 1963, 221pp, 3/6. Cover by W. Francis Phillipps
---- [11th imp.] 1964. *as 10th.
Pan Books 0330-10265-6 [12th imp.] 1967
---- [13th imp.] 1967; [14th imp.] 1968; [15th imp.] 1968; [16th imp.] 1970
---- [17th imp.] 1970, 221pp, 5/-. Cover photo

The Murder on the Links (Poirot; London, John Lane, and New York, Dodd Mead, 1923)
Penguin Books 61, 1935, 6d. Typographical cover
Corgi Books T54, Jul 1954.
Pan Books G323, (Jan) 1960, 191pp, 2/6.
---- [2nd imp.] 1961; [3rd imp.] 1961; [4th imp.] 1962.
---- [5th imp.] 1962, 191pp, 2/6. Cover by David Tayler
Pan Books X241 [6th imp.] (May) 1963.
---- [7th imp.] 1964; [8th imp.] 1965; [9th imp.] 1967; [10th imp.] 1967.
---- [11th imp.] 1968, 220pp, 3/6. Cover: photo

The Man in the Brown Suit (Race; London, John Lane, and New York, Dodd Mead, 1924)
Pan Books 250, (Jul) 1953. Cover by J.P.
---- [2nd imp.] 1954; [3rd imp.] 1956; [4th imp.] 1957.
Pan Books G176 [5th imp.] (Jun) 1958, 190pp, 2/6. Cover by Sam Peffer
---- [6th imp.] 1959; [7th imp.] 1959; [8th imp.] 1960; [9th imp.] 1961; [10th imp.] 1962; [11th imp.] 1962.
Pan Books X242 [12th imp.] (May) 1963, 190pp, 3/6. W. Francis Phillipps.

The Secret of Chimneys (Battle; London, John Lane, and New York, Dodd Mead, 1925)
Pan Books 366, (Jul 1956).
---- [2nd imp.] 1957.
Pan Books G106 [3rd imp.] (Feb) 1958, 223pp, 2/-. *as 366
---- [4th imp.] 1958; [5th imp.] 1959, 2/6; [6th imp.] 1960
---- [7th imp.] 1961, 223pp, 2/6. Cover by W. Francis Phillipps
---- [8th imp.] 1961; [9th imp.] 1962; [10th imp.] 1962; [11th imp.] 1963, 3/6 (see X283)
Pan X283 [12th imp.] 1965; [13th imp.] 1967; [14th imp.] 1967
---- [15th imp.] 1968, 223pp, 3/6. Cover photo

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Poirot; London, W. Collins Sons & Co., 1926; New York, Dodd Mead, 1926)
Collins White Circle 19, Apr 1937.
Penguin Books 684, 1948, 2/-. Typographical cover
Fontana Books 155, 1957, 254pp, 2/6. Cover by ?
---- [2nd imp.] Mar 1959; [3rd imp.] Dec 1960.
Fontana Books 897 [4th imp.] Nov 1963, 254pp, 3/6. Cover by Tom Adams

The Big Four (Poirot; London, W. Collins Sons & Co., 1927; New York, Dodd Mead, 1927)
Penguin Books 1196, 1957, 159pp, 2/6. Typographical cover
---- [2nd imp.] 1957.
Pan Books G427, (Feb) 1961. Cover by W. Francis Phillipps
Pan Books X269, 1963, 3/6. Cover by W. Francis Phillips (as per 1st imp.)

The Mystery of the Blue Train (Poirot; London, W. Collins Sons & Co., 1928; New York, Dodd Mead, 1928)
Collins White Circle 132c, Mar 1941.
Penguin Books 691, 1948. Typographical cover
Pan Books 284, (Apr 1954). Cover by Pollack.
Fontana Books 258, 1959.

The Seven Dials Mystery (Battle; London, W. Collins Sons & Co., 1929; New York, Dodd Mead, 1929)
Collins White Circle 47, Sep 1938, 288pp.
Penguin Books 687, 1948. Typographical cover
Fontana Books 23, (Apr 1954), 2/-. Cover by John Rose
Pan Books G571, (Jul 1962). Cover by W. Francis Phillipps
Pan Books X244, 1963. * same as above
Fontana Books 1561 [6th imp.] Aug 1970. Cover by Tom Adams
---- [7th imp.] 1971.
Fontana Books 0006-16541-9 [xth imp.] 1985. Cover M.B.?

The Murder at the Vicarage (Marple; London, W. Collins Sons & Co., 1930; New York, Dodd Mead, 1930)
Collins White Circle 32, Jan 1938.
Collins White Circle 87, Oct 1939 (Dec 1939), 256pp.
Collins White Circle 129c, Mar 1941 (Apr 1941), 192pp.
Penguin Books 686, 1948, 256pp. Typographical cover
---- [2nd imp.] 1949; [3rd imp.] 1950; [4th imp.] 1952.
Collins White Circle 212c, nd (Feb 1953), 192pp.
Collins White Circle 257c, nd (Jun 1957)
Fontana Books 0006-16130-8 [16th imp.] Jun 1982, 189pp, £1.25. Cover by M.B.?

The Sittaford Mystery (London, W. Collins Sons & Co., 1931; as The Murder at Hazelmoor, New York, Dodd Mead, 1931)
Collins White Circle 75, Jun 1939 (Aug 1939)
Penguin Books 690, 1948. Typographical cover
Collins White Circle 248c, nd (Feb 1956), 192pp.
Pan Books X401, (Jul 1965).
Fontana Books 0006-16816-7 [11th imp.] Nov 1983, 191pp, £1.50. Cover by M.B.

Peril at End House (Poirot; London, W. Collins Sons & Co., 1932; New York, Dodd Mead, 1932)
Collins White Circle 220c, nd (Jan 1954), 256pp, 2/-.
Penguin Books 688, 1948. Typographical cover
Fontana Books 513, 1961, 191pp, 3/6. Cover by John Rose
---- [2nd imp.] May 1963. *as 1st.
Pan Books X521, (Jul 1966).

Lord Edgware Dies (Poirot; London, W. Collins Sons & Co., 1933; as Thirteen at Dinner, New York, Dodd Mead, 1933)
Collins White Circle 41, Apr 1938 (May 1938), 256pp.
Collins White Circle 88, Jan 1940.
Penguin Books 685, 1948, 252pp. Typographical cover
---- [2nd imp.] Dec 1948.
Fontana Books 31, (Jul 1954), 2/-.
---- [2nd imp.] Nov 1956.
---- [3rd imp.] Aug 1958, 192pp, 2/6. Cover by ?
Fontana Books 0006-14215-X [13th imp.] Jul 1976, 192pp, 60p. Cover by Tom Adams

Why Didn't They Ask Evans? (London, W. Collins Sons & Co., 1934; as The Boomerang Clue, New York, Dodd Mead, 1935)
Collins White Circle 9, Jun 1936, 256pp.
Collins White Circle 219c, nd (Jan 1954), 192pp
Fontana Books 114, (Jul 1956), 191pp, 2/-. Cover by ?
---- [2nd imp.] 1957; [3rd imp.] 1958, 2/6.
Pan Books X736, 1968, Cover photo
Fontana Books 0006-14208-7 [7th imp.] May 1973.
---- [11th imp.] Jun 1976, 191pp, 60p. Cover by Tom Adams

Murder on the Orient Express (Poirot; London, W. Collins Sons & Co., 1934; as Murder in the Calais Coach, New York, Dodd Mead, 1934)
Collins White Circle 1, Apr 1936.
Penguin Books 689, 1948, 223pp. Typographical cover
---- [2nd imp.] 1948; [3rd imp.] 1949; [4th imp.] 1950; [5th imp.] 1952.
Collins White Circle 226c, nd (Feb 1954), 192pp.
Fontana Books 299, 1959, 192pp, 2/6. Cover by John L. Baker
---- [2nd imp.] Apr 1961. *as 1st.
Fontana Books 0006-13712-1 [11th imp.] Dec 1974, 191pp, 40p Cover still. Movie tie-in.

Three Act Tragedy (Poirot; as Murder in Three Acts,  New York, Dodd, Mead, 1934; as Three Act Tragedy. London, W. Collins Sons & Co., 1935)
Collins White Circle 13, Oct 1936.
Collins White Circle 201c, nd (Dec 1951), 256pp.
Fontana Books 184, 1957, 192pp.
Pan Books X275, (Jan ) 1964, 204pp, 3/6,. Cover by W. Francis Phillipps
---- [2nd imp.] 1964; [3rd imp.] 1966.

Death in the Clouds (Poirot; London, Collins, 1935; as Death in the Air, New York, Dodd Mead, 1935)
Collins White Circle 51, Jan 1939.
Collins White Circle 231c, nd (Jan 1955), 192pp.
Fontana Books 195, 1957, 188pp, 2/-. Cover by ?
---- [2nd imp.] 1958; [3rd imp.] 1959.
Fontana Books 586 [4th imp.] 1961, 188pp, 2/6. Cover by John Rose
Pan Books X317, (Jul 1964). Cover by W. Francis Phillipps.
Fontana Books 1923 [12th imp.] Apr 1972, 190pp, 25p. Cover by Tom Adams

The A.B.C. Murders (Poirot; London, Collins, and New York, Dodd Mead, 1936; as The Alphabet Murders, New York, Pocket Books, 1966)
Collins White Circle 63, Apr 1939, 256pp.
Collins White Circle 217c, nd (May 1953), 192pp.
Penguin Books 683, 1948, 224pp.
---- [2nd imp.] 1948; [3rd imp.] 1949; [4th imp.] 1950; [5th imp.] 1952.
Pan Books GP95, (Jan 1958). Cover by Keay

Cards on the Table (Battle; Poirot; Race; London, Collins, 1936; New York, Dodd Mead, 1937)
Pan Books 176, (Jul 1951), 2/-. Cover by Carl Wilton
---- [xth imp.] 1954.
---- [xth imp.] 1955, 2/-.
Fontana Books 166, 1957, 192pp, 2/6. Cover by ?
---- [2nd imp.] Oct 1958; [3rd imp.] Jan 1960.
Fontana Books 645 [4th imp.] Jan 1962, 192pp, 2/6. Typographical cover
Fontana Books 1729 [7th imp.] Jun 1968, 192pp, 3/6. Cover by Tom Adams
---- [8th imp.] Jan 1969; [9th imp.] Apr 1969. *as 7th.

Murder in Mesopotamia (Poirot; London, Collins, and New York, Dodd Mead, 1936)
Collins White Circle 94, May 1940.
Penguin Books 1099, 1955, 220pp.
---- [2nd imp.] 1957; [3rd imp.] 1958; [4th imp.] 1959.
Pan Books 200, (Apr 1952), 2/-. Cover by Wilding
---- [xth imp.] 1953, 2/-.
Fontana Books 618, 1962, 190pp, 2/6. Cover by Keay

Death on the Nile (Poirot; London, Collins, 1937; New York, Dodd Mead, 1938)
Penguin Books 927, 1953. Typographical cover
---- [2nd imp.] 1955.
Pan Books 87, (Apr) 1949, 256pp, 2/-. Cover by ?.
---- [2nd imp.] 1949, 2/-.
Fontana Books 374, 1960. Cover by Eileen Walton
Fontana Books 1844 [3rd imp.] Nov 1968, 222pp, 3/6. Cover by Tom Adams
Fontana Books 0006-15356-9 [20th imp.] Jul 1978.
---- [33rd imp.] Jan 1981, 222pp, 95p. Cover still. Movie tie-in.

Dumb Witness (Poirot; London, Collins, 1937; as Poirot Loses a Client, New York, Dodd Mead, 1937)
Pan Books 82, (Mar) 1949, 256pp, 2/-. Cover by ?
---- [2nd imp.] 1950, 2/-. * restyled version of same cover
---- [3rd imp.] 1951.
---- [4th imp.] 1953.
---- [5th imp.] 1954, 2/- * restyled version of same cover
Fontana Books 250,  1958
---- [2nd imp.] 1959; [3rd imp.] Feb 1960.
---- [4th imp.] Jan 1962, 255pp, 2/6. Cover by ?
Pan Books 0330-02334-9 [6th imp.] 1969
---- [7th imp.] 1969; [8th imp.] 1970; [9th imp.] 1971.
---- [10th imp.] 1972, 218pp, 25p. Cover photo

Appointment with Death (Poirot; London, Collins, and New York, Dodd Mead, 1938)
Collins White Circle 119c, Jan 1941.
Collins White Circle 209c, nd (Jun 1953), 192pp.
Penguin Books 682, 1948, 1/6. Typographical cover
Pan Books 419, (Jun 1957). Cover by Stowe
Pan Books G155 [2nd imp.] (Aug) 1958, 160pp, 2/6. Cover by ?
---- [3rd imp.] 1959.
Fontana Books 0006-14045-9 [9th imp.] Jun 1977, 160pp, 65pp. Cover by Tom Adams

Hercule Poirot's Christmas (Poirot; London, Collins, 1939; as Murder for Christmas, New York, Dodd Mead, 1939; as A Holiday for Murder, New York, Avon, 1947)
Collins White Circle 149c, Jan 1945, 160pp.
Collins White Circle 200c, nd (Dec 1951).
Fontana Books 175, 1957, 188pp.
---- [xth imp.] 1960.
Pan Books X721, 1967. Cover photo
Fontana Books 0006-14126-9 [13th imp.] Aug 1976, 189pp, 60p. Cover by Tom Adams

Murder Is Easy (Battle;. London, Collins, 1939; as Easy to Kill, New York, Dodd Mead, 1939)
Collins White Circle 145c, 1944?
Pan Books 161, (Dec 1950). Cover by KF
---- [xth imp.] 1952, 2/-.
---- [xth imp.] 1954, 2/-.
Fontana Books 428, 1960, 190pp, 3/6. Cover by John L. Baker
---- [2nd imp.] Mar 1963.

Ten Little Niggers (London, Collins, 1939; as And Then There Were None, New York, Dodd Mead, 1940; as Ten Little Indians, New York, Pocket Books, 1965)
Collins White Circle 237c, nd (Feb 1955), 256pp.
Penguin Books 1256, 1958, 201pp.
---- [2nd imp.] 1959.
---- [3rd imp.] 1960, 201pp, 2/6. Typographical cover
Pan Books 4, (Jun) 1947, 192pp, 1/6. Cover by Plante
---- [2nd imp.] 1950, 190pp, 1/6. Cover by John Pollack
---- [3rd imp.] 1950. *as 2nd.
---- [Xth imp.] 1951. Cover by D.P.
Fontana Books 806, 1963, 190, 3/6. Typographical cover
---- [2nd imp.] Apr 1964.
Fontana Books 1355 [3rd imp.] Mar 1966, 190pp, 3/6. Cover stills. Movie tie-in.

One, Two, Buckle My Shoe (Poirot; London, Collins, 1940; as The Patriotic Murders, New York, Dodd Mead, 1941; as An Overdose of Death, New York, Dell, 1953)
Collins White Circle 186c, nd (Mar 1950),  256pp, 1/6.
Pan Books 380, (Jun 1956). Cover by Stowe
Fontana Books 334, 1959, 191pp, 2/6. Cover by ?
Fontana Books 2022 [3rd imp.] Apr 1965.
---- [4th imp.] Feb 1967.
---- [5th imp.] Dec 1968, 191pp, 3/6. Cover by Tom Adams

Sad Cypress (Poirot; London, Collins, and New York, Dodd Mead, 1940)
Collins White Circle 147c, Apr 1944, 160pp.
Pan Books 271, (Jan 1954). Cover by M.G.
Fontana Books 342, 1959, 191pp, 2/6. Cover by John L. Baker
---- [2nd imp.] Jul 1961; [3rd imp.] Jan 1963.

Evil Under the Sun (Poirot; London, Collins, and New York, Dodd Mead, 1941)
Collins White Circle 189c, nd (May 1950), 256pp.
Collins White Circle 216c, nd (Apr 1953), 256pp.
Fontana Books 212, 1957, 189pp, 2/6. Cover by ?
Pan Books X170, 1963, 218pp, 3/6. Cover by W. Francis Phillipps?
---- [2nd imp.] 1963; [3rd imp.] 1964.
Fontana Books 0006-16598-2 [23rd imp.] Mar 1982, 189pp, £1.25. Cover still. Movie tie-in.

N or M? (Beresfords; London, Collins, and New York, Dodd Mead, 1941)
Collins White Circle 162c, nd (Feb 1947), 192pp.
Collins White Circle 213c, nd (Apr 1953), 192pp.
Pan Books G259, (Jul) 1959. Cover by Glenn Steward
---- [2nd imp.] 1960.
---- [3rd imp.] 1961, 189pp, 2/6. Cover by Sam Peffer
Fontana Books 0006-14415-2 [10th imp.] Jan 1979, 189pp, 70p. Cover by Tom Adams
Fontana Books 0006-16301-7 [9th imp.] Jul 1981, 189pp, £1.00. Cover by M.B.?

The Body in the Library (Marple; London, Collins, and New York, Dodd Mead, 1942)
Collins White Circle 163c, nd (Apr 1947), 160pp.
Collins White Circle 198c, nd (Feb 1951), 160pp.
Penguin Books 924, 1953. Typographical cover
Pan Books G221, (Mar) 1959, 158pp, 2/6. Cover by ?
---- [2nd imp.] 1959.
Fontana Books 1515, [3rd imp.] Jun 1967, 191pp, 3/6. Cover by Tom Adams

The Moving Finger (Marple; New York, Dodd Mead, 1942; London, Collins, 1943)
Collins White Circle 164c, nd (Apr 1947), 160pp.
Penguin Books 930, 1953. Typographical cover
Pan Books 55, (Jul) 1948, 192pp, 2/-. Cover by Sington
---- [xth imp.] 1950, 190pp, 1/6. Cover by Geo. Woodman
---- [xth imp.] 1952.
Collins White Circle 274c, nd (Feb 1958), 160pp.
Fontana Books 480, 1961, 160pp, 2/6. Cover by John L. Baker
---- [2nd imp.] Dec 1962. *as 1st.

Five Little Pigs (Poirot; London, Collins, 1942; as Murder in Retrospect, New York, Dodd Mead, 1942)
Collins White Circle 168c, nd (Jun 1947).
Collins White Circle 197c, nd (Jan 1951), 192pp.
Pan Books 264, (Oct) 1953, 190pp, 2/-. Cover by FVM
---- [2nd imp.] 1954.
---- [3rd imp.] 1955, 190pp, 2/-. *as 1st.
Collins White Circle 258c, nd (Feb 1957), 192pp.
Fontana Books 309, 1959, 192pp, 2/6. Typographical cover
---- [2nd imp.] Dec 1960; [3rd imp.] Aug 1962. *as 1st.
Fontana Books 0006-13983-3 [22nd imp.] Jun 1979, 189pp, 75p. Cover by Tom Adams

Death Comes As the End (New York, Dodd Mead, 1944; London, Collins, 1945)
Collins White Circle 182c, nd (Jan 1950), 160pp.
Penguin Books 926, 1953. Typographical cover
---- [2nd imp.] 1954.
---- [3rd imp.] 1957, 189pp, 2/6. Typographical cover
---- [4th imp.] 1958, 189pp, 2/6. Typographical cover
Pan Books X213, (Jul 1963).
Fontana Books 1736 [2nd imp.] Jun 1968, 191pp, 3/6. Cover by Tom Adams

Towards Zero (Battle; London, Collins, and New York, Dodd Mead, 1944)
Collins White Circle 160c, nd (Feb 1947), 160pp.
Pan Books 54, (Jun) 1948, 200pp, 2/-. Cover by ?
---- [xth imp.] 1952. Cover by Mendoza
Collins White Circle 233c, nd (Jan 1955), 160pp
Collins White Circle 263c, nd (Mar 1957), 160pp
Fontana Books 319, 1959
---- [2nd imp.] Dec 1961, 192pp, 2/6. Cover by ?
Fontana Books 0006-16385-8 [10th imp.] Nov 1983, 192pp, £1.50. Cover by M.B.?

Sparkling Cyanide (London, Collins, 1945; as Remembered Death, New York, Dodd Mead, 1945)
Collins White Circle 179c, nd (Aug 1949), 160pp.
Pan Books 345, 1955. Cover by ?
Pan Books G156 [xth imp.] (Aug 1958).
Fontana Books 419, 1960, 2/6. Cover by John L. Baker

The Hollow (Poirot; London, Collins, and New York, Dodd Mead, 1946; as Murder After Hours, New York, Dell, 1954)
Pan Books 119, (Jan 1950)
---- [xth imp.] 1952 * restyled version with same cover
Fontana Books 70, (Jul 1955), 2/-.
---- [2nd imp.] 1956; [3rd imp.] 1957.
---- [4th imp.] 1958, 190pp, 2/6. Cover by ?
Fontana Books 546 [5th imp.] 1961, 190pp, 2/6. Cover by Barbara Walton

Taken at the Flood (Poirot; London, Collins, 1948; as There Is a Tide..., New York, Dodd Mead, 1948)
Collins White Circle 206c, nd (May 1952), 192pp, 1/6.
Collins White Circle 254c, nd (Jan 1957), 192pp.
Collins White Circle  284c, nd (Jan 1959), 192pp.
Fontana Books 520, 1961, 2/6. Cover by ?
Pan Books X348, (Feb 1965).

Crooked House (London, Collins, and New York, Dodd Mead, 1949)
Penguin Books 925, 1953. Typographical cover
---- [2nd imp.] 1954.
Collins White Circle 267c, nd (May 1957), 192pp.
Fontana Books 328, 1959, 191pp, 2/6. Cover by John L. Baker
Fontana Books 0006-13798-9 [23rd imp.] Sep 1980, 160pp, 95p, Cover by Tom Adams

A Murder Is Announced (Marple; London, Collins, and New York, Dodd Mead, 1950)
Fontana Books 7, (Oct 1953), 3/-.
Pan Books G144, (Jul 1958), 205pp, 2/6. Cover by Keay
---- [2nd imp.] 1959; [3rd imp.] 1959; [4th imp.] 1960.
Fontana Books 657, 1963, 3/6. Cover by ?
Fontana Books 2085 [7th imp.] Oct 1969, 221pp, 4/-. Cover by Tom Adams

They Came to Baghdad (London, Collins, and New York, Dodd Mead, 1951)
Fontana Books 15, (Feb 1954), 2/-. Cover by Johnson
---- [2nd imp.] Aug 1956; [3rd imp.] Sep 1957.
Fontana Books 403 [4th imp.] May 1960, 192pp, 2/6. Cover by John L. Baker

They Do It with Mirrors (Marple; London, Collins, 1952; as Murder with Mirrors, New York, Dodd Mead, 1952)
Fontana Books 80, (Oct) 1955, 187pp, 2/-. Cover by ?
---- [2nd imp.] Oct 1956; [3rd imp.] Oct 1957; [4th imp.] Apr 1960. *as 1st.

Mrs. McGinty's Dead (Poirot; London, Collins, and New York, Dodd Mead, 1952; as Blood Will Tell, New York, Detective Book Club, 1952)
Fontana Books 41, (Jan 1955), 2/-. Cover by John Rose
Fontana Books 0006-16371-8 [12th imp.] May 1981, 188pp, £1.00. Cover by Tom Adams?

After the Funeral (Poirot; London, Collins, 1953; as Funerals Are Fatal, New York, Dodd Mead, 1953; as Murder at the Gallop, London, Fontana, 1963)
Fontana Books 110, (Jun 1956), 190pp, 2/-. Cover by ?
---- [2nd imp.] 1957; [3rd imp.] 1958; [4th imp.] 1959; [5th imp.] 1961. *as 1st.
---- [6th imp.] Jul 1963.
as Murder at the Gallop, Fontana Books 912 [7th imp.] Nov 1963, 192pp, 3/6, [stills]. Movie tie-in

A Pocket Full of Rye (Marple; London, Collins, 1953; New York, Dodd Mead, 1954)
Fontana Books 0006-16086-7 [24th imp.] Jun 1980, 188pp, 85p. Cover by Tom Adams

Destination Unknown (London, Collins, 1954; as So Many Steps to Death, New York, Dodd Mead, 1955)
Fontana Books 228, 1958, 192pp.
---- [2nd imp.] 1959; [3rd imp.] 1960.
Fontana Books 654 [4th imp.] Jun 1962, 192pp, 2/6. Typographical cover
Fontana Books 1506 [7th imp.] Apr 1967; [8th imp.] Nov 1968.
---- [9th imp.] Nov 1969, 191pp, 4/-. Cover by Tom Adams

Hickory, Dickory, Dock (Poirot; London, Collins, 1955; as Hickory, Dickory, Death, New York, Dodd Mead, 1955)
Fontana Books 237, 1958, 192pp, 2/6. Cover by ?
---- [2nd imp.] 1959. *as 1st.
Pan Books X598, (Jan) 1967. Cover photo

Dead Man's Folly (Poirot; London, Collins, and New York, Dodd Mead, 1956)
Pan Books X468, (Feb 1966).
Fontana Books 0006-15172-8 [9th imp.] May 1980, 192pp, 85p. Cover by Tom Adams

4:50 from Paddington (Marple; London, Collins, 1957; as What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw!, New York, Dodd Mead, 1957; as Murder She Said, New York, Pocket Books, 1961)
Fontana Books 434, 1960, 190pp, 2/6. Cover by ?
---- [2nd imp.] Sep 1960.
---- [3rd imp.] Oct 1961, 190pp, 2/6. Cover still. Move tie-in.

Ordeal by Innocence (London, Collins, 1958; New York, Dodd Mead, 1959)
Fontana Books 574, 1961, 192pp, 2/6. Cover by ? [signed]
Fontana Books 0006-16424-2 [17th imp.] Sep 1983, 192pp, £1.50. Cover by M.B.

Cat Among the Pigeons (Poirot; London, Collins, 1959; New York, Dodd Mead, 1960)
Fontana Books 627, 1962, 188pp, 2/6. Cover by John L. Baker
Fontana Books 950, [2nd imp.] Apr 1963; [3rd imp.] Apr 1964; [4th imp.] Nov 1964; [5th imp.] Nov 1965.
---- [6th imp.] Jan 1968, 188pp, 3/6. Cover by Tom Adams?

The Pale Horse (London, Collins, 1961; New York, Dodd Mead, 1962)
Fontana Books 1000, 1964, 191pp, 3/6. Cover by Tom Adams

The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side (Marple; London, Collins, 1962; as The Mirror Crack'd, New York, Dodd Mead, 1963)
Fontana Books 1077, 1965
---- [2nd imp.] Sep 1965; [3rd imp.] May 1966; [4th imp.] Aug 1966; [5th imp.] Aug 1970.
---- [6th imp.] Dec 1970, 192pp, 5/-. Cover by Tom Adams
Fontana Books 0006-16135-9 [as The Mirror Crack’d on cover] [6th imp. [actually later]] Mar 1981, 192pp, £1.25 Cover design/still. Movie tie-in.

The Clocks (Poirot; London, Collins, 1963; New York, Dodd Mead, 1964)
Fontana Books 0006-16173-1 [21st imp.] Feb 1981, 221pp, £1.00. Cover by M.B.

A Caribbean Mystery (Marple; London, Collins, 1964; New York, Dodd Mead, 1965)
Fontana Books 1418, 1966.
---- [2nd imp.] Jun 1967, 158pp, 3/6. Cover by Tom Adams
Fontana Books 0006-15359-3 [23rd imp.] Sep 1978, 158pp, 70p. Cover by Tom Adams

At Bertram's Hotel (Marple; London, Collins, 1965; New York, Dodd Mead, 1966)
Fontana Books 0006-13487-4 [20th imp.] Mar 1979, 192pp, 75p. Cover by Tom Adams

Third Girl (Poirot; London, Collins, 1966; New York, Dodd Mead, 1967)
Fontana Books 2136, 1968, 190pp, 4/-. Cover by Tom Adams
---- [2nd imp.] Aug 1969. *as 1st.

Endless Night (London, Collins, 1967; New York, Dodd Mead, 1968)
Fontana Books 0006-13192-4 [16th imp.] Oct 1976, 191pp, 60p. Cover by Tom Adams

By the Pricking of My Thumbs (Beresfords; London, Collins, and New York, Dodd Mead, 1968)
Fontana Books 2682, 1971, 191pp, 25p. Cover by Tom Adams?

Hallowe'en Party (Poirot; London, Collins, and New York, Dodd Mead, 1969)
Fontana Books 3005, 1972, 189pp, 30p. Cover by Tom Adams?

Passenger to Frankfurt (London, Collins, and New York, Dodd Mead, 1970)
Fontana Books 0006-13295-2, 1972, 192pp, 30p. Cover by Tom Adams
---- [10th imp.]. Cover by Tom Adams
---- [xth imp.]. Cover by M.B.?

Nemesis (Marple; London, Collins, and New York, Dodd Mead, 1971)
Fontana Books 0006-13458-0, 1974, 192pp, 35p. Cover by Tom Adams

Elephants Can Remember (Poirot; London, Collins, and New York, Dodd Mead, 1972)
Fontana Books 0006-13930-2, 1975, 160pp, 45p. Cover by Tom Adams
Fontana Books [2nd imp.] 1978. Cover by Tom Adams
Fontana Books [xth imp.]. Cover by M.B.

Postern of Fate (Beresfords; London, Collins, and New York, Dodd Mead, 1973)
Fontana Books 4255, 1976. Cover by Tom Adams
Fontana Books 5297, 1980. Cover by Tom Adams
Fontana Books 0006-16527-3 [7th imp.] Aug 1982, 221pp, £1.00. Cover by M.B.

Curtain: Hercule Poirot's Last Case (Poirot; London, Collins, and New York, Dodd Mead, 1975)
Fontana Books 0006-14277-?. Cover photo
Fontana Books 0006-16800-0 [9th imp.] Feb 1986, 188pp, £1.95. Cover by M.B.

Sleeping Murder (Marple; London, Collins, and New York, Dodd Mead, 1976)
Fontana Books 0006-14590-6, 1977, 192pp, 75p. Cover by Tom Adams
Fontana Books 0006-16533-8 [8th imp.] Jan 1982, 192pp, £1.25. Cover by M.B.