08 May 2010

Anything for a Buck (or Thereabouts)

Well, will you look at what I found at the local Salvation Army Thrift Store. You don't see much erotica in charity shops; I'm pretty sure this is the first I've come across. Do they weed out these things? Or is it that no one thinks it appropriate to donate grandpa's porn collection? Maybe they just haven't found his stash.

Whatever the case, this particular Fanny is a good example of the rush to cash in on The Queen v. C. Coles Co. Ltd. It was a bit expensive for its day, but was priced identically to the seized Putnam edition that had caused all the fuss.

Thrown together at the end of 1964, Swan's Fanny went through four printings, helping to launch a peculiar publishing program that lasted at least six years. There were few titles; sixteen, if one includes Canadian Indians Colouring Book and Stag Party Humor, their one-off digest. Looking at the list, it's evident that Fanny Hill was no anomaly; Swan seems to have always been on the prowl for something to exploit.

Just look at this quickie memorial from 1965.

Forty-four pages of photographs, eight "suitable for framing", along with a chronology of his life. Hard to argue that 1874 to 1965, the years the man was alive, weren't his greatest.

And Bond... Bond's hot, right?

Fleming wasn't two years dead when this appeared, but Swan had already been beaten to the bookstores by Henry A. Zelger's Ian Fleming: The Spy Who Came in with the Gold (1965). Such a tortured, needlessly confusing title – Fleming, LeCarré, Leamas, Bond – Ian Fleming: Man with the Golden Pen (1966) is an obvious improvement... so obvious that another Fleming biography was published the very same year with the title Ian Fleming: The Man with the Golden Pen. First time in paperback, claims the cover. True enough, though there never was a hardcover edition. While the Pelrines didn't collaborate on another book, Eleanor went on to write a second biography: Morgentaler: The Doctor Who Couldn't Turn Away. Just as timely as it was when first published by Gage in 1975.

More Swan anon.

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  1. Happy memories, of Dusty Bookshelf's Sherbrooke St. apartment, and Morgentaler: The Doctor Who Came By for the Rent.

    The Bond title looks pretty great. But even a publisher of paperback originals could have probably sprung for another "the."

  2. Seems right from the beginning, Swan scrimp on that word. "INCLUDING (MAJORITY DECISION ONTARIO COURT OF APPEAL)" promises their Fanny. On the other hand, they generously throw in a couple of parentheses. Unnecessary, but appreciated.