THE W. E. JOHNS ARMADA PAPERBACKS

PAGE two OF FIVE

         

THE ARMADA BOOK LOGOS ARE SHOWN ABOVE.  TO THE LEFT, THE LOGO FROM THE 1960s AND TO THE RIGHT THE LOGO FROM 1970 ONWARDS

 

GORDON LANDSBOROUGH sold Armada books to the publishers, Collins around 1965/66 (which is now HarperCollins, one of the world’s largest publishing companies).

Collins had their own paperback division called Fontana but used the popular Armada books for children’s books aimed at the 10 to 15 age range.

After this change, there eventually came a change of logo for the Armada books in 1970 as shown above.   The price also increased from the 1960s price of 2/6 to 3/6.  With decimalisation, 3/6 became 17.5 pence.

Effectively no new Armada Biggles titles appeared after 1972 – merely reprints of old Armada titles.  There was one exception – a new title was published in 1982.

Prices increased fairly rapidly in the 1970s – and the books were reprinted often with the same cover artwork and just increased prices.  Biggles books fell out of favour in the 1980s.

Armada published their last “new” Biggles book title in 1982 – Biggles Pioneer Air Fighter -  but reprints continued until the mid-1980s

Armada books ceased all publication in 1995.

 

 

 

THIS PAGE SHOWS THE 14 “NEW” ARMADA BIGGLES BOOKS PUBLISHED BETWEEN 1963 AND 1972 AND THE 15th BOOK PUBLISHED IN 1982

Note that each book has artwork on both the front cover and the rear cover

 

 

REF C45 – BIGGLES LEARNS TO FLY – FRONT

Originally published in 1935 – This paperback was published in 1963.  (This book erroneously says that this was first published in 1935 by Brockhampton Press but it was, in fact, published by the Amalgamated Press in 1935 and then reissued by Brockhampton Press in an amended version in 1955).  160 pages.  No cover artist is credited but the illustration is remarkably similar to that painted by Stead for the 1955 Brockhampton hardback reissue of the book

which can be seen here

 

 

 

 

REF C45 – BIGGLES LEARNS TO FLY – REAR

This book contained 9 original illustrations done for this book by an uncredited artist.  They are on pages 4, 14, 23, 48, 83, 99, 119, 126 and 140 and are mainly small drawings at the end of chapters, with the noticeable exception of the frontispiece at page 4.

 

 

REF C46 – BIGGLES IN THE BALTIC – FRONT

Originally published in 1940 – This paperback was published in 1963.

158 pages.  No cover artist is credited.

 

 

REF C46 – BIGGLES IN THE BALTIC – REAR

This book contained no original illustrations.

 

 

REF C51 – BIGGLES FLIES EAST – FRONT

Originally published in 1935 – This paperback was published in 1963.  192 pages.  No cover artist is credited.

 

 

REF C51 – BIGGLES FLIES EAST – REAR

This book contained no original illustrations.

 

 

REF C52 – BIGGLES IN SPAIN – FRONT

Originally published in 1939 – This paperback was published in 1963.  190 pages.  No cover artist is credited.

 

 

REF C52 – BIGGLES IN SPAIN – REAR

This book contained no original illustrations.

 

 

REF C138 – BIGGLES IN THE SOUTH SEAS – FRONT

Originally published in 1940 – This paperback was published in 1965.  159 pages.  The cover art is credited to PETER ARCHER.

 

 

REF C138 – BIGGLES IN THE SOUTH SEAS – REAR

This book contained FIVE of the SIX original illustrations from the first edition by NORMAN HOWARD.  They are on pages 26, 48, 101, 127 and 144.  The missing illustration had been repainted by PETER ARCHER as the cover.  Click the rear cover to see all original illustrations from the first edition which includes the missing one.

 

 

REF C145 – BIGGLES IN THE JUNGLE – FRONT

Originally published in 1942 – This paperback was published in 1966.  157 pages.  The cover art is credited to PETER ARCHER.

 

 

REF C145 – BIGGLES IN THE JUNGLE – REAR

This book contained the FOUR original illustrations from the first edition by TERENCE CUNEO.  They are on pages 18, 61, 100 and 152.

 

REF C119 – BIGGLES FLIES NORTH – FRONT

Originally published in 1939 – This paperback was published in 1966.  157 pages.  The cover art is credited to PETER ARCHER.

 

 

REF C119 – BIGGLES FLIES NORTH – REAR

This book contained the SIX original illustrations from the first edition by WILL NARRAWAY, however what was originally the third illustration was moved to be a frontispiece.  The illustrations are on pages 4, 38, 63, 103, 119 and 141.

 

 

REF C151 – BIGGLES FLIES SOUTH – FRONT

Originally published in 1938 – This paperback was published in 1966.  158 pages.  The cover art is credited to PETER ARCHER.

 

 

 

REF C151 – BIGGLES FLIES SOUTH – REAR

This book contained FIVE out of SIX of the original illustrations from the first edition by JACK NICOLLE – plus the map.  They are on pages 4, 38 (the map), 69, 87, 126 and 147.  You can see all the first edition illustrations by clicking on the rear cover.  The first illustration after the map is the missing one.  The third illustration of Ginger being attacked by a crocodile was moved to be a frontispiece.

 

 

REF C327 – BIGGLES AND THE BLACK RAIDER – FRONT

Originally published in 1953 – This paperback was published in 1970.  127 pages.  The cover art is credited to PETER ARCHER.

 

 

REF C327 – BIGGLES AND THE BLACK RAIDER – REAR

This book contained no original illustrations.

Note the new style Armada logo on the front cover and the price increase from 2/6 to 3/6 on the rear cover.

 

 

REF C328 – BIGGLES IN AUSTRALIA – FRONT

Originally published in 1955 – This paperback was published in 1970.  126 pages.  The cover art is credited to PETER ARCHER (although the book says “cover design by” rather than “cover illustration by” as previously).

 

 

 

REF C328 – BIGGLES IN AUSTRALIA – REAR

This book contained no original illustrations.

Note how the price is 3/6 with 17.5 p in brackets.

 

REF C369 – BIGGLES IN THE ANTARCTIC – FRONT

Originally published in 1949 – This paperback was published 1970.  The ORIGINAL 1949 title of this book was

“BIGGLES BREAKS THE SILENCE”.

158 pages.  No cover artist is credited.

 

 

REF C369 – BIGGLES IN THE ANTARCTIC – REAR

This book contained no original illustrations.

Note how the price is now 17.5 p with 3/6 in brackets.  This book features a note on page 1 saying the story is based on fact, although the re-discovered of the treasure is fictitious.

 

 

REF C412 – BIGGLES WORKS IT OUT – FRONT

Originally published in 1951 – This paperback was published in 1971.  158 pages.  No cover artist is credited.

 

 

 

REF C412 – BIGGLES WORKS IT OUT – REAR

This book contained no original illustrations.

This is a later edition re-priced at 50p.  Originally it was 17.5p.

 

REF C508 – BIGGLES FOREIGN LEGIONNAIRE – FRONT

Originally published in 1954 – This paperback was published in 1971.  160 pages.  No cover artist is credited.

 

 

REF C508 – BIGGLES FOREIGN LEGIONNAIRE – REAR

This book contained no original illustrations.

This is a later edition re-priced at 40p.  Originally it was 20p.

 

REF C530 – BIGGLES FOLLOWS ON – FRONT

Originally published in 1952 – This paperback was published in 1972.  127 pages.  No cover artist is credited.

 

 

REF C530 – BIGGLES FOLLOWS ON – REAR

This book contained no original illustrations.

This is a later edition re-priced at 40p.  Originally it was 20p.

 

 

 

AFTER 1972 ARMADA STOPPED PUBLISHING NEW BIGGLES TITLES AND IT WAS MAINLY “KNIGHT” BOOKS PUBLISHING BIGGLES PAPERBACKS IN THE 1970s.   HOWEVER,  AFTER A GAP OF 10 YEARS, ARMADA PUBLISHED THIS BOOK

 

REF C1957 – BIGGLES PIONEER AIR FIGHTER – FRONT AND REAR

Originally published in 1954 – This paperback was published in 1982

158 pages.  No cover artist is credited.  This book contained no original illustrations.

The printing information in this book said “First published in the U.K. in 1932 under the title “The Camels are Coming” by John Hamilton Ltd, London.  First published as “Biggles, Pioneer Air Fighter” in 1954 by Thames Publishing Co., London.  This edition was first published by Armada in 1982 by Fontana Paperbacks, 14 St. James’s Place, London.  SW1A 1PS.

 

At first glance this appears to be extremely accurate, but of course BIGGLES PIONEER AIR FIGHTER is NOT an exact reprint of THE CAMELS ARE COMING

– Certain stories from Camels were not included in Pioneer Air Fighter as they had already been published in BIGGLES OF THE SPECIAL AIR POLICE.

Click on the red titles of these books to find out the full details.

 

 

 

 

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