Thursday 27 November 2014

A Victor Canning Birdcage First Edition Book Cover Gallery

Since I became interested in Victor Canning's "Birdcage" espionage series earlier this year I've been collecting first editions of the novels as and when I come across them online, and as and when I judge prices on those first editions to be reasonable. The eight titles which comprise the series were published in hardback by Heinemann in the UK from 1971–1985, and while most are reasonably readily available in first via the usual suspects – AbeBooks, Amazon Marketplace, eBay and so forth– conditions and prices vary considerably. Even still, I've managed to procure seven of the eight novels in first, and in most cases haven't had to pay as much as a tenner for 'em. (At time of writing I've yet to find an affordable non-ex-library first of the final Birdcage book, 1985's Birds of a Feather; I'll update this post as and when I do.)

There's an appealing simplicity to some of their dust jacket designs, but by and large I can't say I'm making any great claims for the wrapper designs of these books – a similar disclaimer to the one on the Existential Ennui British Thriller Book Cover Design of the 1970s and 1980s page, oddly enough, where their front covers also reside. I gather these jackets together here, then, partly as a stopgap post – I haven't yet finished reading the next book I intend to blog about, plus I have some other, non-blog stuff to deal with, so I'm buying myself some time with this missive – and partly because bringing them together like this – complete with links to whatever, if anything, I've written about each book – may prove of some use to someone, somewhere, sometime. Although I struggle to imagine who/where/when.

Firecrest (Heinemann, 1971); dust jacket illustration by Bob Lawrie

The Rainbird Pattern (Heinemann, 1972); dust jacket photography by Graham Miller

The Mask of Memory (Heinemann, 1974); dust jacket photography by Bill Richmond

The Doomsday Carrier (Heinemann, 1976); dust jacket uncredited

Birdcage (Heinemann, 1978); dust jacket illustration by Alun Hood

The Satan Sampler (Heinemann, 1979); dust jacket uncredited

Vanishing Point (Heinemann, 1982); dust jacket photograph Andy Williams Photo Library

Birds of a Feather (Heinemann, 1985); dust jacket illustration by Tony Ansell