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THE PRISONERS OF WAR BOOK SERVICE




THIS PAGE The Prisoners of War Book Service



See also other War-time and fighting publications:
(FBC) FORCES BOOK CLUB
'SE' PENGUIN SERVICES EDITIONS
(Egypt) EGYPTIAN PENGUINS (20)
'PA' PRINTS BY TOPOLSKI (PA1 - PA4)
'H' PENGUIN HANSARD (H1 - H6)
'S-US' FIGHTING FORCES - PENGUIN SPECIALS USA
'F' ÉDITIONS PINGOUIN (F1 - F6)
'V' ÉDITIONS PENGUIN (V1 - V18)





In addition to the SERVICES EDITIONS and THE FORCES BOOK CLUB - both of which were intended for those in serving units - Penguin Books decided to produce and dispatch books to service personnel held as Prisoners of War. For three guineas a year an individual could receive a monthly parcel containing a selection of 10 books, very much like The Forces Book Club process. Very few copies of these books have survived, and there is no complete list. The books selected had to pass both the British censors, who vetted them to ensure that no vital information was inadvertently passed to the enemy, and the German security staff, to check that the contents did not aid escape or subversion. They were usually delivered as part of the Red Cross parcel system.

The books were made in standard Penguin format, and details of the PRISONER OF WAR BOOK SERVICE were included inside (see below).

Text from an advertising at the time (and in the books):
" THE PRISONER OF WAR BOOK SERVICE
Each month, in consultation with the organisation responsible for the distribution of printed matter to Prisoners of War Camps, and if necessary the Censors, the publishers select ten works of Modern Fiction, Crime, Travel, Biography, Humour, Science etc., which are packed and dispatched direct to individual prisoners of war through the usual channels. The annual subscription of three guineas payable in advance can be sent through any bookseller and will provide 120 books delivered regularly throughout the year at a cost per book, packed and delivered, of just over sixpence; six monthly and quarterly subscriptions will be accepted pro rata. "



Information and cover photographs of Prisoners of War Book Service Series:

PoW: 316
No.: PoW 316
Title: MODERN AMERICAN SHORT STORIES
Selected: by Alan Steele and Joan Hancock
Date Published: Forces Book Club 1942
Pages: 128pp.
Printer: Hunt, Barnard and Co Ltd
Price: (subscription of 3 guineas per year for 120 books)

This book was first published by Penguin in March 1941

Also shown is 'The Prisoner of War Book Service' information provided on the inside cover opposite the half-title page.
PoW: 422
No.: PoW 422
Title: CLAUDIUS THE GOD Volume II
Author: Robert Graves
Date Published: Forces Book Club March 1943
Pages: 440pp.
Printer: Hunt, Barnard and Co Ltd
Price: (subscription of 3 guineas per year for 120 books)

This book was first published by Penguin in August 1943 [printed date: March 1943]

Also shown is 'The Prisoner of War Book Service' information provided on the inside cover opposite the half-title page.
PoW: A5
No.: PoW A5
Title: A SHORT HISTORY OF THE WORLD
Author: H. G. Wells
Date Published: Forces Book Club March 1943 (Revised Spring 1943)
Pages: 296pp.
Printer: Wyman and Sons Ltd
Price: (subscription of 3 guineas per year for 120 books)

This book was first published by Penguin as No. 31 in March 1936 and as a Pelican in May 1937.

Also shown is 'The Prisoner of War Book Service' information provided on the inside cover opposite the half-title page.



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This page was last modified on 22 October 2013
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