RARA-AVIS: Re: McCoy, They Shoot Horses

EJM Duggan (ejmd@cwcom.net)
Sat, 10 Apr 1999 22:36:58 +0000 On Fri, 9 Apr 1999, "Frank Glenewinkel" <frank.glenewinkel@Uni-Koeln.DE>

> Is it possible that there were two Signet paperback editions?
> I have got a 1948 Penguin Signet (is this a real Signet?) paperback
> which bears the proud inscription "Complete and Unabridged" on
> the front cover.

and Bill Crider <abc@wt.net> wrote:

> Frank: I checked my Signet (which doesn't mention Penguin anywhere)
> edition of KISS TOMORROW GOOD-BYE. It's a 1949 (not 1948) edition, and
> the cover says it's "A Special Edition."

According to Piet Schroeder's _The Book of Paperbacks_ [aka _Paperbacks
USA_], the US Penguin "imported" European/UK titles between 1941-1948,
under Ian Ballantine and, later, Kurt Enoch. A rift between Allen Lane
(UK's Mr Penguin) and the US Penguin, over titles, covers and
distribution, caused Ballantine to split and set up Bantam in 1945.
Some changes to US format/cover style took place in 1945/46, and US
Penguin saw itself as an "independent publisher" with a "special
relationship" with Penguin UK. But by 1948 Enoch split too, to set up
New American Library.

Penguins issued by NAL between March and July 1948 were called Penguin
Signets (and Pelican Mentors). After August, the break with is Penguin
complete, and the first Signet proper appears (number 660 --- the first
Mentor is M31).

Thus Frank's book is from the 'transitional' period (with a Robert Jonas
cover?) while Bill's must be Signet 754 with the wonderful cover
painting by James Avati. Geoffrey O'Brien, _Hardboiled America_ notes
that the 1949 issue is an abridged edition, so I guess that's what "A
Special Edition' means (ie this is *not* one of the "complete and
unabridged" titles).

(PS I just picked up a few neat vintage paperbacks from the book market
on Spui, in Amsterdam--at prices *nothing like* those asked by online
book dealers. I also picked up a 1959 Dell sci-fi compilation on the
strength of Gerald Kersh's name on the cover ('River of Riches') which
is a pretty good yarn.)


|                                                          |
|                The Big House of Knowledge                |
|               <http://www.ejmd.mcmail.com>               |

# # To unsubscribe, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to majordomo@icomm.ca. # The web pages for the list are at http://www.vex.net/~buff/rara-avis/.