THE W. E. JOHNS ARMADA PAPERBACKS

PAGE ONE OF FIVE

 

28 DIFFERENT BIGGLES TITLES WERE PUBLISHED BY “ARMADA” BOOKS PLUS 33 REPRINTS WITH DIFFERENT COVERS

 

OF THESE 61 BIGGLES BOOKS, 12 W.E. JOHNS BIGGLES BOOKS WERE PUBLISHED BY ARMADA WITH THE DISTINCTIVE “BIGGLES HEAD” LOGO (SHOWN ABOVE) ON THE FRONT COVER

FIVE IN 1962 AND SEVEN IN 1963.  A THIRTEENTH ARMADA PAPERBACK PUBLISHED IN 1963, UNIQUELY, HAD THIS “BIGGLES HEAD” LOGO ON THE REAR COVER.

 

 

Armada books were created by GORDON LANDSBOROUGH (1913 – 1983) in 1962 as the paperback imprint of his company “May Fair Books Ltd”.  He had the idea of producing children’s paperbacks at “pocket money” prices.  The paperback books cost 2/6 (2 shillings and 6 pence – “30 d” in old money but 17.5 pence in new money after decimalisation).   By way of comparison, in 1962 hardback Biggles books cost 8/6 (that being “102 d” in old money).  The books were given reference numbers on the spine starting with the letter “C” and these appear to show the order of publication, so for these pages, I have followed that order.  I have collected all of W.E. Johns’ Armada books and ALL book cover illustrations shown are from the paperback books in my own collection – although the copyright remains with the original company.

 

It appears from the dates in these books that SEVEN Biggles books were initially printed in 1962.  A further TEN Biggles books were then printed in 1963.  The first seven books and six of the next ten had the distinctive “Biggles Head” logo – although, uniquely, Sergeant Bigglesworth C.I.D. had the logo on the rear of the book – presumably because the length of the word “Bigglesworth” made it hard to get the logo on the front cover(!)

 

Armada published 28 individual and separate Biggles titles as paperbacks.  SEVEN in 1962, TEN in 1963, ONE in 1965, THREE in 1966, THREE IN 1970, TWO IN 1972, ONE IN 1971 and a final ONE in 1982.  There were also 33 reprints with different covers, so there are a total of 61 different Biggles Armada books.  In addition, there were 9 Gimlet Armada paperbacks and 2 “Space” books (‘Kings of Space’ and ‘ Return to Mars’). This makes a grand total of 72 different Armada books by W. E. Johns.  The front and rear book covers for ALL Johns’ Armada books can be seen from this page, including all Biggles reprints with DIFFERENT cover art.

 

The two Armada science-fiction space books can be seen HERE

 

These pages DO NOT show EVERY ARMADA EDITION, showing EVERY SINGLE price –

but they do show the artwork for EVERY different Armada Biggles and Gimlet cover – AND THAT INCLUDES THE REAR COVER ARTWORK AS WELL

 

PAGE ONE – Shows the 13 Armada Biggles books that were published in 1962 and 1963 that had the distinctive “Biggles Head” logo.

PAGE TWO – Shows the 15 other (different) Armada Biggles book titles published. Fourteen of them published between 1963 to 1972 – with one final book published in 1982.

PAGE THREE – Shows the first 20 of the reprints, which commenced in 1965, which all feature covers with different artwork.

PAGE FOUR – Shows the final 13 Armada Biggles books (all of which are reprints) which had the distinctive WHITE covers with the “Biggles” title set as white text within a large red logo.

PAGE FIVE – Shows the 9 (out of 10) GIMLET titles that were published as Armada paperbacks.

 

 

IF YOU CLICK ON THE FRONT COVER OF ANY BOOK ILLUSTRATED BELOW, YOU GO TO THE STORY SUMMARY AND DETAILS OF THE FIRST EDITION.

IF YOU CLICK ON THE REAR COVER OF ANY BOOK, YOU CAN SEE THE ILLUSTRATIONS  THAT APPEAR WITHIN THAT BOOK – (IF IT WAS ILLUSTRATED).

 

Note that each book has artwork on both the front cover and the rear cover except “Biggles in the Orient” which for some reason did not.

(The artwork on the back of “No Rest for Biggles” is merely stormy skies but that is still ‘artwork’ of some sort)

 

 

REF C5 – BIGGLES IN AFRICA – FRONT

Originally published in 1936 – This paperback was published in 1962.  157 pages.  No cover artist is credited.

 

 

REF C5 – BIGGLES IN AFRICA – REAR

This book contained the SIX original illustrations from the first edition by ALFRED SINDALL – plus the map.  They are on pages 18 (the map), 32, 47, 81, 100, 136 and 152.

 

 

REF C9 – BIGGLES & CO. – FRONT

Originally published in 1936 – This paperback was published in 1962.  160 pages.  No cover artist is credited.

 

 

REF C9 – BIGGLES & CO. – REAR

This book contained the SIX original illustrations from the first edition by ALFRED SINDALL.  They are on pages 27, 46, 59, 102, 142 and 153.

 

 

REF C12 – BIGGLES DEFIES THE SWASTIKA – FRONT

Originally published in 1941 – This paperback was published in 1962.  159 pages.  No cover artist is credited.

 

REF C12 – BIGGLES DEFIES THE SWASTIKA – REAR

This book contained 4 original illustrations done for this book by an uncredited artist.  They are on pages 9, 62, 79 and 152.

 

REF C13– BIGGLES HITS THE TRAIL – FRONT

Originally published in 1935 – This paperback was published in 1962. (This book erroneously says that this was first published in 1941).

160 pages.  No cover artist is credited.

 

 

REF C13– BIGGLES HITS THE TRAIL – REAR

This book contained 4 original illustrations done for this book by an uncredited artist.  They are on pages 11, 43, 107 and 147.

 

 

REF C14 – BIGGLES – THE RESCUE FLIGHT – FRONT

Originally published in 1939 – This paperback was published in 1962. (This book erroneously says that this was first published in 1941).

159 pages.  No cover artist is credited.

 

 

REF C14 – BIGGLES – THE RESCUE FLIGHT – REAR

This book contained 4 original illustrations done for this book by an uncredited artist.  They are on pages 22, 60, 92 and 147.

 

 

REF C15 – BIGGLES – CHARTER PILOT – FRONT

Originally published in 1943 – This paperback was published in 1962.  158 pages.  No cover artist is credited.

 

 

REF C15 – BIGGLES – CHARTER PILOT – REAR

This book contained 4 original illustrations done for this book by an uncredited artist.  They are on pages 11, 41, 69 and 135.

These are remarkably similar to the four original illustrations by Mendoza from the first edition of this book.

You can see a comparison here

 

 

REF C16 – BIGGLES GOES TO WAR – FRONT

Originally published in 1938 – This paperback was published 1962.  159 pages.  No cover artist is credited.

 

 

REF C16 – BIGGLES GOES TO WAR – REAR

This book contained 4 original illustrations done for this book by an uncredited artist.  They are on pages 22, 72, 99 and 115.

 

 

REF C27 – NO REST FOR BIGGLES – FRONT

Originally published in 1956 – This paperback was published in 1963.  159 pages.  No cover artist is credited.

 

 

REF C27 – NO REST FOR BIGGLES – REAR

This book contained no original illustrations but it did have, on page 4, the map of the compound which featured in the first edition of the book.  You can see that by clicking on the rear cover which takes you to all of the original illustrations in the first edition of this book.

 

 

REF C28 – SERGEANT BIGGLESWORTH C.I.D. – FRONT AND REAR

 Uniquely, the “Biggles Head” logo is on the rear of this book – presumably because of the length of the word “Bigglesworth”

Originally published in 1947 – This paperback was published in 1963.  160 pages.  This book contained no original illustrations and credits no cover artist but the cover illustration is in fact, by the well-known Biggles artist  LESLIE STEAD  as it is the same illustration as the colour frontispiece that featured in the first edition of the book.

You can see that original frontispiece by clicking on the rear cover of the book.

 

 

 

REF C33 – BIGGLES IN THE ORIENT – FRONT

Originally published in 1945 – This paperback was published in 1963.  160 pages.  No cover artist is credited.

 

 

 

REF C33 – BIGGLES IN THE ORIENT – REAR

This book contained no original illustrations.

 

 

REF C34 – BIGGLES GETS HIS MEN – FRONT

Originally published in 1950 – This paperback was published in 1963.  144 pages.  No cover artist is credited.

 

 

REF C34 – BIGGLES GETS HIS MEN – REAR

This book contained no original illustrations.

 

 

REF C39 – BIGGLES HUNTS BIG GAME – FRONT

Originally published in 1948 – This paperback was published in 1963.  159 pages.  No cover artist is credited.

 

 

REF C39 – BIGGLES HUNTS BIG GAME – REAR

This book contained no original illustrations.

 

 

REF C40 – BIGGLES AIR COMMODORE – FRONT

Originally published in 1937 – This paperback was published in 1963.  158 pages.  No cover artist is credited.

 

 

REF C40 – BIGGLES AIR COMMODORE – REAR

This book contained no original illustrations but it did have, on page 100, the map of Elephant Island which featured in the first edition.  You can see that by clicking on the rear cover which takes you to all of the original illustrations in the first edition of this book.

 

 

 

 

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