|Vintage Pulp||Jun 23 2021|
Below, seven more examples of vintage paperbacks using the Eiffel Tower on their covers. You can add these to the collection of twenty-two we put together a few years back.
|Vintage Pulp||May 1 2017|
We've talked about French author Louis-Charles Royer and mentioned the staying power of his novels, which enjoyed many English language reprints throughout the 1950s. Love Camp is Royer doing what he does best, which is exploring sexual niches and conjuring up romance in far flung locales. The story is as the art depicts—women are chosen for the honor of attempting to mate with Nazi soldiers in order to breed a master race. The program was known as Lebensborn, or Fount of Life, and was under control of the SS. The book interweaves the lives of characters brought to a lakeside monastery for some state sponsored bonin'. Some of them fall in love, others struggle with shame, one fights to preserve a female friend's virginity, and so forth, while the doctor who runs the show manages to knock up an eager young recruit only to later reject her and blame her pregnancy on another soldier. It's all exactly as titillating as it sounds, with women paraded naked before men, a lesbian matron having her way with rejected recruits, nude exercise sessions, and other indulgences, all under the dark Nazi aegis. There were many naziploitation books written during the mid-century period, and while it's probably a good thing the trend died, it really did lend itself quite well to exploring perversion and evil. But considering the Nazis' real world toll, such lightweight books can only minimize the horror. The Pyramid paperback you see here is from 1953 with art by Julian Paul.
|Vintage Pulp||Nov 25 2015|
Science has given humanity a lot over the centuries. What will turn out to be one of its most important gifts is its conclusion, widely disseminated beginning in 1950 but by today firmly proven thanks to DNA sequencing, that race doesn’t exist in any scientific way. Of course, many don’t consider that fact a gift—but many people also had serious problems with the revelation that the Earth wasn’t flat. The concept of race comes entirely from the human imagination, and anti-black racism dates from within about the last five-hundred years, created principally as a means to justify the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Seen in that light, scientific proof that race doesn’t exist represents not new knowledge, but a return to knowledge that was the norm before the drive for riches caused men to deliberately warp human thought as a means to cover for mass cruelty.
As an imaginary construct, however, race is persistently powerful, which the collection of paperback fronts above and below strongly illustrate. We weren’t around when any of these were written, but their existence reveals a surprisingly (to us) lively market in such material. Were all the books you see here of great worth? Certainly not. But even with their flaws—particularly woman-blaming for rape—these books are artifacts of a fascinating racial dialogue that we suspect, on balance, was beneficial. We have fifty examples and there are at least a couple dozen more we didn’t include (Black Dicks for Marcie was just a bit too out there). Some of those pieces will pop up later in a slightly different themed collection. In addition to what you see here, we also put together a related group last year featuring an Asian theme and you can see that here.
|Vintage Pulp||Aug 24 2015|
This issue of Paris Magazine features a beautiful Louis-Charles Royer cover of Ziegfeld star Claire Luce, one of the most popular celebrities of her time. Her heyday was the 1920s and ’30s, a period during which—though this is little remarked upon today—substantially more women began to have sex before marriage. By the time the first surveys took place in the 1940s about 50% of women admitted to having pre-marital sex. Anecdotally, during the 1920s probably at least one in four women had sex as singles. Claire Luce was a pioneer of the female right to choose. A mere eight-year span of her diary describes sixty lovers.
Of course, there are many factors behind any social shift, but rapid change typically derives from chaos. Ask any neo-con or disaster capitalist. The primary effect of war or warlike events upon society is to alter how it views life, death, and personal freedom. In the past, the spectre of death made people want more freedom to live as they saw fit; in our present era, traumatic events have resulted in people agreeing to sacrifice their personal freedom (thanks to powerful suggestions and hard work by opportunistic governments).
Anyway, just an interesting digression concerning Paris Magazine’s cover star. Like predecessors such as Dorothy Parker, and peers like Tallulah Bankhead, she was a sexual trendsetter, a new type of woman for a radically reordered Western world. She’s also about as pulp as it gets. We may get back to Claire Luce a bit later, but in the meantime we have a bunch of interior scans from Paris Magazine below, and more issues available at the click of a mouse. This edition, number 34, appeared in 1934.
|Vintage Pulp||Apr 11 2013|
|Vintage Pulp||Jun 18 2012|
That old rascal Louis-Charles Royer is at it again, this time with French Doctor, which appeared as a Pyramid paperback in 1951 and was popular enough to be reprinted multiple times. Originally published in 1942 as Le désir, it’s the story of a French doctor and the internal medicine he provides to three women named Magoune, Elise, and of course, Kitty, because no French sleaze novel would be complete without a Kitty. Royer wrote beginning in the 1920s, and his work proved enduringly popular, with both new novels and English translations of his old books appearing throughout the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s. It’s interesting that as widely read as he was, there’s virtually no info on him. There isn’t even a web page—French or English—listing his full bibliography. Maybe we’ll step up to the plate on that one later. The cover of French Doctor was painted by Hunter Barker, as was the one immediately below. We also found a third American version. And finally, in panel four we thought we’d show you the French paperback, with art by the genius painter Emile Baes.
Update: there is now, a couple of years after we originally wrote the above, a French Wikipedia page, which you can access here.
|Reader Pulp||Apr 16 2012|
A delightfully decaying cover from what remains of my collection.
submitted by scorzonera
Even our girlfriends liked this one. Thanks a million, sir. We gather that this was written by French author Louis-Charles Royer in 1931, near the beginning of his prolific career.