OPERATION SEABIRD


First Published 1957 by Collins

patched 1st edn d/w by Geoffrey Whittam. Click to enlarge (File size=34KB)
First Edition wrapper by Geoffrey Whittam
illustrated by Geoffrey Whittam

Set around Rye Harbour, Sussex.

First edition: Red cloth, silver lettering on spine only; map endpapers by Whittam; 256pp; title page vignette and fourteen line illustrations.
Dustwrapper: full colour illustration of the four main characters on the beach; rear advertises five other Marsh stories and four Farm stories; rear flap advertises Frenchman's Secret; cover price 10s 6d.


Other Editions:

Children's Book Club: Choice for August 1958:
Hardback, pale cream boards, black lettering; publisher name missing from spine; 125x190mm; 256pp; no map; This Edition 1958 on rear of title page; title page vignette and 14 b/w illustrations, four full-page.
Dustwrapper illustration as first edition, but with the lettering repositioned lower down the artwork. No publisher stated on the spine.
The Children's Book Club edition. Click to enlarge (File size=31KB)
Children's Book Club dustwrapper

Chivers 'New Portway' edition cover. Click to enlarge
Chivers 'New Portway' edition cover

New Portway(Chivers) (1970?)
Described by a dealer as 'Hardback edition with dustwrapper; 256pp; cover price £1.25; ISBN 85594-371-8'
The copies I've seen have the dustwrapper laminated to the boards, or were issued in pictorial boards and bear no ISBN, nor cover price, nor indeed a publication date.
Produced at the request of a branch of the Library Association, the vast majority appear to have gone into libraries in the UK and abroad and have thence drifted out of circulation and sunk with little trace.
As can be seen, the cover artwork is based on Whittam's, but excludes the boys, removes Tamzin from the spine and reduces Rissa to a ghostly apparition in the sea.
However, the text is all there and so are all the illustrations but, in my copy at least, there is no map.

Girls Gone By 2007:
Published March 2007.
A new paperback edition. This has the full text and the Geoffrey Whittam illustrations of the first edition. Size: 19x13mm (7.5x5 inches); 272pp.
The publishers have used full colour for the cover, reproducing the front of the first edition wrapper; the rear is a plain mid-blue showing the first edition spine and the story summary from the front flap of the original wrapper.
Click to enlarge
Girls Gone By edition
2007
rear cover
In addition to the story there is a new piece by Shelley, Monica's daughter, which introduces the book, followed by an introduction to the author and the story's settings by Joy Wotton. These articles are both illustrated with photographs. The publication history of the book follows, and then the story really begins.

This is another quality paperback from Girls Gone By and, with the added bonus of the extra material, a real investment !

Click to enlarge
Front cover
by Geoffrey Whittam
GGB 2007
ISBN 978-1-84745-011-1; Cost price £10.99 including postage from the publishers. (Now out of print)

Title page vignette by Geoffrey Whittam


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Illustrations copyright the respective Publishers
Text copyright John Allsup
Last updated August 2013