Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Raymond Sheppard and Fifty...stories by Odhams

Fifty Great Sea Stories p547
I own three 700 page hardbacks published by Odhams Press Limited with no dustjackets and no publication dates. Both have one Sheppard illustration each. Part of the fun of doing this and other blogs is the help tiny corners of research can give to people, so I've gone down another 'rabbit hole' looking at this Odhams series... which I've put on my Visual Rants blog

But first the three I own with Sheppard illustrations...


Here's the page listing the illustrators - really unusual for such a book to go to this trouble!:
Fifty Great Sea Stories p12
 As you can see at the top of this article Sheppard did one illustration for a story called "The First Shot" by J. J. Bell As Wikipedia has a better listing than I could do I've linked to his biography and works here

Fifty enthralling stories of the mysterious east is edited by Sheik A. Abdulla and contains 17 full page black and white illustrations. The copyright information on the contents page says "Copyright G737" which I can't decode - does anyone know how this was constructed? The first story is titled "The man with the shaven skull" by the Fu Manchu creator Sax Rohmer.

Here's the contents pages for collectors to peruse

Unusually the illustrators are all credited here. They are:

E. S. Annison, Dudley Cowes, J. Harris, Cyril Holloway, T. Grainger Jeffrey, Ronald Lampitt, H. Charles Paine, Eric Parker, Pisani, Tony Royle, James Short, A. Sindall, E. B. Thurston (x 2), S. Tresilian, Gilbert Wilkinson

The story that Sheppard does an illustration for is "Out of the jungle" by Hubert S. Banner. The image below appears on page 39

Fifty enthralling stories of the mysterious east p.39
The story is of a British couple and how the wife does not believe the Malay superstitions. A man from Kominchi in Sumatra (a town well-known by Malays to have men who turn into tigers comes to them selling his wares. he tells the story of the 'were-tigers'  and is scoffed at. he is so angry that this woman does not believe he says he will bring proof in a week's time. Sudrono leaves to sell his wares praying for Allah to help him prove to her that such things happen in the jungle. He comes upon a woman who tells him that a local saw just nights ago the tiger attacking a heifer and that he saw the change take place before the man took to the shadows. Sudrono is told to get a bone from the heifer from the village chief with writing on it to prove it happened.On his way to the village, Sudrono is chased by the tiger and finds himself in a tiger-trap. I'll keep the ending to myself so you can be surprised when you might read it!

The author Hubert Stewart Banner appears to have written about the Malay Peninsula and Archipelago as well as Indonesia. He lived from 1891-1964.
"Known for his travel books and romances with a Dutch East India setting, [Kentish Fire] was written in his capacity as the Ministry of Information's Chief Regional Officer for the South East region. In it he writes of his experiences in Kent and Sussex (known as 'Hell's Corner' by the Nazi airmen), observing the impact of the Battle of Britain and afterwards, of the spirit in which the men and women of South East Britain met them"

Here's a short bibliography:
  • Romantic Java as it was and is: A Description Of The Diversified Peoples.  London: Seeley, Service & Co, 1927.
  • The Mountain of Terror. London: Thornton Butterworth, 1928.
  • Red Cobra. London: Thornton Butterworth, 1929.
  • A Tropical Tapestry: Sketches of the Malay Peninsula and Archipelago. London: Thornton Butterworth, 1929. [Banner, a prolific fiction and non-fiction writer of the pre World War II era, takes his readers on a tour of the Malay Archipelago. The tour is not meant to be comprehensive, but rather a series of sketches to evoke further interest.]
  • The Clean Wind. London: Hurst & Blackett, [1931]
  • Great Disasters of the World London: Hurst & Blackett, 1931.
  • Flamboyante. London: Hurst & Blackett, [1932]
  • Calamities of the World London: Hurst & Blackett, 1932. [ Includes The Paris charity bazaar affair; the tragic fate of H.M.S. Captain; the Silvertown munition-works explosion; the 'Black Hole' of Paris; London's second biggest blaze; the great Kingston earthquake; the catastrophic storms of 1881; the Paisley cinema tragedy; the French floods of 1875; the 1906 Vesuvius eruption; Hell loose on the Hooghly; the Albion Colliery disaster; the Chatsworth railway horror; the Iroquois Theatre calamity; the Hook of Holland catastrophe of 1907; the Valparaiso earthquake terror, and R.38's last voyage]
  • Amy Johnson. London: Rich & Cowan, 1933.
  • Wanted on Voyage London: Hurst & Blackett, [1933]
  • These Men Were Masons. A series of biographies of Masonic significance London: Chapman & Hall, 1934. [It includes: Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Sir Walter Scott, Lord Kitchener, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Johann Goethe among other notables]
  • Hell's Harvest.London: Hurst & Blackett, [1934]
  • Terror Wave. London: Hurst & Blackett, [1935]
  • Kentish Fire: A Tribute to the Men and Women of Kent and Sussex - Their Courage and Humour - Under Fire.  London: Hurst & Blackett, [1944]
  • Thus my Orient: 12 short stories. London: Dorothy Crisp & Co, [1946]
and I have found 2 short stories at Phil's Fictionmags Index:

  •     Out of the Jungle (ss) The Story-teller May 1933
  •     Old Sugar Bags (ss) The 20-Story Magazine Jul 1935

The second book of 704 pages, is Fifty world famous heroic deeds again by Odhams with no date except "Copyright S638". This time the artists are not listed and they drew the 17 black and white images and very strangely the images are all grouped after the contents pages! They are, as far as I can make out from the signatures:
S. van Abbe(?), Norman Howard, ?, ?, Holland(?), ?, ?, Clive Uptton, double page spread by Dudley S. Cowes, De Mornay, ?, Ronald Lampitt, Yates Wilson(?), ?, ?, 
Here are the contents:

As can be seen "Charlotte Corday, Tyrannicide" is the first story and the Sheppard illustration - which is the frontispiece, is titled "The Hero of “King Solomon's Mines”" referring to the story by Denis Clark.

The story makes tough reading as the mass killing of elephants and other animals grates an awful lot now, knowing about the extinction of some species. This is so different from reading about Jim Corbett, who only killed man-eaters. The story title is based on the person of Frederick Courteney Selous, DSO (31 December 1851 – 4 January 1917), who apparently was the real-life inspiration for Alan Quatermain in King Solomon's Mine and to be fair to Selous he was an early conservationist and indeed has a game reserve named after him

Denis Clark, the story's author contributed 6 stories to this particular book as can be seen above in the Contents page.

I've created a partial bibliography of his books below:

  • Golden Island. London: T. Nelson & Sons, 1939.
  • Tail End Charlie. London: Lutterworth Press, 1946.
  • Bandit's Bay. A story about Corsica. London: Lutterworth Press, 1946.
  • The Sea Kingdom of Corsica. London: Jarrolds, [1949]
  • Neptune laughed. London: Lutterworth Press, 1949.
  • Ships and Seamen. London, Longmans 1950.
  • Swordfish and Stromboli. Beachcombing round Sicily. London: Jarrolds, 1951.
  • In Search of Food. The story of man's quest for food. London: Longmans, 1951.
  • Explorers and discoverers. London: Longmans,Green, 1951.
  • Black Lightning. The story of a leopard. London: Hutchinson & Co, 1951.
  • Boomer: The life of a kangaroo. London: Hutchinson & Co, 1954.
  • The Jungle Monster. London: Lutterworth Press, 1959.
    CLARK, DENIS (fl. 1940s-1970s) (stories)
    • Last Round-up in Corsica (ar) Courier Jun 1949
    • Bontekoe’s Desperate Voyage (ar) Argosy (UK) Jun 1973
    • The Slave Who Defied Napoleon (ar) Argosy (UK) Jul 1973

"Undersea Hunting in Corsica" article from the Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, 1947

Fifty world famous heroic deeds Frontispiece
Thanks to Steve Holland for informing me Sheppard has no illustrations in 2 of these -Fifty Adventures and Fifty Masterpieces of Mystery and to all the booksellers who put up with my question regarding Sheppard illos!

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