Friday 20 November 2009

Ripley's Claim

It's always nice to come home to a package from the postman (sounds a bit smutty, but anyway...), and waiting for me yesterday was a book I won on eBay for £3.50: the first Pan edition of The Talented Mr. Ripley. An actual 1957 first edition of this book (UK, that is; 1955 in the States) is somewhat out of my price range (hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds), but this 1960 paperback version is just as good really. It has a great, evocative cover:

by David Tayler, about whom I know virtually nothing, other than he used to take about a month to work up his covers. The large, dark head in the background is, I imagine, Tom Ripley, and the grinning smaller head Dickie Greenleaf. I can't find the Pan edition for sale anywhere online at the moment, but I suspect I got a rather good deal. The book's in lovely condition, with a bright cover and slight tanning to the pages, but nothing you wouldn't expect from a book that's nearly forty years old. A good find.


  1. Hi:
    It is a buzz seeing David Tayler mentioned here. He was my mum's cousin and I got to know him in the 80's when we three shared a house. Yes he was slow and meticulous, but the results were remarkable.
    He continued painting till late in years, even after a stroke.
    Pan books were his bread and butter, and I have a collection for nostalgia. But his real love were wildlife paintings (blackbuck, puma, antelope).
    Dave Wilcox

  2. Hi Dave. Thanks for the comment! And for the extra info about David Tayler. Much appreciated.