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Saturday, May 01, 2010

Nevil Shute Cover Gallery

Nevil Shute Norway had parallel careers as an aircraft engineer and, under the abbreviated name Nevil Shute, as a best-selling author. He was a novelist, not tied to any particular genre: his best-known novels are probably No Highway, an aeronautical thriller involving an engineer predicting the failure of aircraft due to metal fatigue six years before metal fatigue hit the headlines when it caused three Comet passenger planes to crash; A Town Like Alice, a wartime romance later voted one of the nation's 100 best-loved novels during the BBC's The Big Read in 2003; and On the Beach, an unsentimental and realistic story following the final eight months of the small group of survivors of the nuclear holocaust.

Switching between adventure, war, romance, historical fantasy and science fiction, Shute created believable characters and situations for all his novels, mostly set in the UK or Australia. To quote from The Times, "As [a] novelist his virtues are in the first place those of a storyteller. He had a narrative ease and liveliness that made him never less than readable, a fund of sympathy, especially with the young, that warmed the reader, and a quiet air of veracity that enabled him to communicate excitement and danger without ever shocking the reader's sense of probability. Nevil Shute was, in brief, the sort of novelist who genuinely touches the imagination and feeling of the book-borrowing public."

Norway was born in London and, after serving in the Suffolk Regiment in 1918, worked in the aircraft industry throughout the 1920s and 1930s, founding his own company, Airspeed, in 1931. He moved to Australia in 1950 to escape Britain's 'supertax' . He died in Melbourne in 1960.

More information about Norway's life and literature can be found at the Nevil Shute Norway Foundation website.

Marazan (London, Cassell, 1926)
Pan X343, 1964
Pan 10343, 1968

So Disdained (London, Cassell, 1928; as The Mysterious Aviator, New York, Houghton, 1928)
Pan X478, 1966

Lonely Road (London, Cassell, 1932)
Pan G554, 1962. Cover by Tayler
Pan X188, 1963
Pan M268, 1968

Ruined City (London, Cassell, 1938; as Kindling, New York, Morrow, 1938)
Pan X204, 1963
Pan 10204-4, 1968

What Happened to the Corbetts (London, Heinemann, 1939; as Ordeal, New York, Morrow, 1939)
Pan X380, 1965

An Old Captivity (London, Heinemann, 1940)
Pan X419, 1965
Pan 10419-5, 1969
Pan, 1973. Cover by Renato Fratini

Landfall (London, Heinemann, 1940)
Pan X165, 1962
---- [4th imp.], 1965

Pied Piper (London, Heinemann, 1942)
Pan X399, 1965

Pastoral (London, Heinemann, 1944)
Pan X292, 1964
Pan 10292-3, 1968

Most Secret (London, Heinemann, 1945)
Pan X320, 1964.
Pan M264, 1968

The Chequer Board (London, Heinemann, 1947)
Pan X117, 1962
Pan M267, 1968
Pan 0330-20267-7 [15th imp.] n.d., 271pp, £1.95. Cover by George Sharpe

No Highway (London, Heinemann, 1948)
Pan X224, 1963
---- [2nd imp.] 1964; [3rd imp.] 1965; [4th imp.] 1966.
Pan 0330-02072-2 [5th imp.], 1968
---- [6th imp.] 1969; [7th imp.] 1969; [8th imp.] 1971; [9th imp.] 1972; [10th imp.] 1973
---- [11th imp.] 1974, 280pp, 40p. Cover by Roger Coleman 
---- [12th imp.] 1974.

A Town Like Alice (London, Heinemann, 1950; as The Legacy, New York, Morrow, 1950)
Pan X96, 1961. Cover by Tayler
Pan X96 [3rd imp.], 1964.
Pan 02070. Cover by Roger Coleman?

Round the Bend (London, Heinemann, 1951)
Pan 02018-8, 1968

The Far Country (London, Heinemann, 1952)
Pan X624, 1967
Pan M260, 1968

In the Wet (London, Heinemann, 1953)
Pan 02291-1, 1969

Slide Rule (autobiography; London, Heinemann, 1954)
Pan 02251-2, 1968

Requiem for a Wren (London, Heinemann, 1955; as The Breaking Wave, New York, Morrow, 1955)
Pan 02672-0, 1971

[Cover Missing]

Beyond the Black Stump (London, Heinemann, 1956)
Pan 02965-7, 1972

On the Beach (London, Heinemann, 1957)
Pan X570, 1966
Pan 10570-1, 19??
Pan, 1982. Cover by George Sharp

The Rainbow and the Rose (London, Heinemann, 1958)
Pan 23550-8, 1973. Cover by Roger Coleman
---- [2nd imp.] 1973, 266pp, 35p. Cover as above
Mandarin 0749-30420-0, 1991, 299pp, £4.50.

[Cover Missing]

Trustee from the Toolroom (London, Heinmann, 1960)
Pan 02307-1, 1970

Stephen Morris (London, Heinemann, 1961)
Pan 23985-6, 1974
Dales Large Print 978-1842-62623-8, 2008, 380pp. Cover by Arcangel Images


[Cover Missing]

Vinland the Good (London, Heinmann, 1946)
(no UK paperback)


  1. Hi Steve, Just a quick bit of info. The double cover you show of 'No Highway' is by Roger Coleman as Ballantine used the same covers for the Shute titles and they acknowledge him inside. I'm reliably informed he is still with us but has become a recluse but I'm still trying to meet up with him. Cheers, Tim K

  2. Hi Tim,

    Thanks for the i.d. Much appreciated. And good luck with tracking down Coleman.