White Circle

White Circle 002William Collins, Sons & Co., publisher of the White Circle series of paperbacks, had its roots in Glasgow in the 19th Century as a printer of bibles.  It moved into publishing, specialising to start with in religious and educational books, but it eventually found success in fiction and particularly in crime fiction.  White Circle 102The Collins Crime Club was launched in 1930, publishing many of the most popular and most influential crime authors of the twentieth century, including Agatha Christie.  The business still exists as part of the HarperCollins publishing group.

Collins was closely involved in the success of the continental Albatross Books, which stimulated the creation of Penguin Books in 1935, launching the paperback revolution in the UK.   The White Circle series of UK paperbacks followed a few months later, in 1936, and over the next 20 years was one of the most persistent of Penguin’s competitors.

Ceylon GC1 the stone of chastityDuring the Second World War, Collins launched White Circle series in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India and Ceylon as well as a long series of Services Editions for the British armed forces.   The blog explores various aspects of all these series, which are generally little known and little researched.  Copies of the books are often rare, with only a handful of collectors interested in them, and in some cases there are no known copies remaining.

There are links below to some blog posts exploring the history of Collins and particularly the White Circle Editions:

The Crime Club goes paperback

Gunfight at the White Circle

The Collins Services Editions

Going into Service – the start of the Collins series

Collins White Circle in Australia

An Indian Summer

Collins paperbacks in Ceylon

It ain’t half hot Mum – Indian Services Editions

Agatha Christie in Services Editions

A wrong turning (Collins 7d hardbacks)

Back to basics – Collins White Circle paperbacks

It should’ve been me!

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