Sunday, November 19, 2006

Farewell, My Lovely

Back in 1995, Penguin Books celebrated their 60th anniversary and made quite a splash with merchandising -- the 'Penguin Sixties' range of booklets was probably the most visible bit of merchandise. One of my favourites was a deck of Penguin cards which included the covers of 52 classic Penguin titles including, as the 10 of diamonds, Raymond Chandler's Farewell, My Lovely, first published by Penguin back in 1949. The early issues were in the classic green livery of the Penguin mystery and crime series with variations in the cover lettering for the first 7 impressions (1949, 1950, 1952, 1954, 1956, 1959, 1961); the 8th impression (1966) introduced a cover illustration for the first time; the 9th impression (1971) was a radical redesign by James Tormey which encompassed all of Chandler's Penguin novels as they were reissued over the next two years. The 1975 11th impression introduced a movie tie-in cover design (by Michael Farrell) based on the Robert Mitchum movie. There have been quite a few new cover designs over the last thirty years but these are the editions I have in my collection, starting with the 6th and 7th impressions.

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