Cover Me: The Vintage Art of Pan Books: 1950-1965 by Colin Larkin
Hardcover – Telos Publishing – Nov 2020 – 256 pages
In Cover Me, renowned author Colin Larkin presents an affectionate and thoroughly-researched celebration of the classic Pan Books paperbacks published between 1950 and 1965, beautifully illustrated with sumptuous full-colour reproductions of over 300 of the original cover artworks.
Pan books represented a cultural beacon as Britain recovered from World War II and slowly moved from the harsh austerity and rationing of the 1950s into the more upbeat 1960s. While in many respects the public of that period had to endure a life in monochrome – black-and-white TV, low-budget B-movies and grainy holiday snaps – Pan books presented escapist images in glorious colour. They perfectly encapsulated the spirit of the era, as people sought out cheap reading material that astutely reflected contemporary tastes: crime novels, westerns, historical fiction, movie tie-ins, true-life war memoirs and early science fiction.
Cover Me presents the highlights of a unique archive of original Pan cover paintings, many of them iconic images of the era. Larkin has owned this major art collection since 1990, and has lovingly researched the Pan Books history, the many superb artists who worked with the company, and the fascinating production process. His own experience makes him ideally qualified to chronicle a subject that has been a passion of his since childhood.