|Monte Carlo Casino
(General Pierre Polovtsoff)
Fifteen halftone illustrations and
288 pages of loving description
dedicated to a remote clip joint.
The Romance of Lloyd’s:
From Coffee-house to Palace
(Glyn Griffith and Frank
Worsley) It takes a certain
mindset to find an insurance
wholesale marketplace romantic.
The joys of risk, detailed. The
full story beginning with "Sea
risk before Lloyd's" and
"Insurance through the ages,"
and includes "Famous swindles"
and a chapter on piracy.
Games For Two or How to
Keep the Reno Wolf away
from Your Door
(Gloria Goddard and Clement
Wood) A games instruction
manual with an odd title.
|How to Draw What You See and
Something About How to See
What You Draw
(Norman Moore) And nothing about
how to give your book a
straightforward title. I’m not sure if
Hillman was following a trend here or
simply dealing with authors who had
more leverage than normal.
Weather Science For Everybody
(David Brunt) Books on radio and
electronics had been popular in the
previous era. Hillman himself caught
the radio bug. Sometimes expansions
on the theme seem questionable in
North to the Rime-Ringed Sun: An
(Isobel Wylie Hutchison) I can hear it
now: “Could you please put ‘sun’ in
the title? Otherwise a travelogue
about Alaska is going to be a hard
Not all books are published in response to market demand. Some are pay offs, pet projects, legacy issues (in
the case of Godwin’s history offerings) and some are a matter of what I would call Publisher Drift. You start
publishing one thing and the next thing you know, you suddenly have attracted authors who are also good at
another thing. We saw this with Hillman’s group in the crossover of Streamlined Romance writers into other
forms. Publisher Drift is also responsible for the theme of modern history books which started to crop up in this
imprint. They start off as rah rah books about Western Science and then go into hitting topical issues and
people. Sometimes, as we saw with some of the last listings, you should draw a line beyond which you will not
go. But sometimes following drift is a boon. Hillman had his best sellers in this non-fiction genre.
|I Guarded Kings: The Memoirs of a
Political Police Officer
(Harold Brust) This royal bodyguard’s
life story was the first actual hit of the
line. It was primarily distributed outside
of the Commuter Library market.
|Tombs, Travel and Trouble
(Lawrence Griswold) This one
straddles travelogue and biography
and adventure story. The story of a
dealing with natives, headhunters,
poisonous snakes, dead employees
and a stranded ship. Made it to a
second printing by 1937. Another
|Kemal Ataturk, a Biography
(Hanns Froembgen as translated by
Kenneth Kirkeness) This translated
German work on a somewhat unlikely
subject was an instant best seller. A
Book of the Month Club offering.
|The Endless Quest: Three
Thousand Years of Science
(F.W. Westaway) Another book from
the author of Scientific Method, this
one is all history, detailing how one
idea led to the next.
|Death of an Empire:
(Imre Balassa) Although not the first
draft of history, pretty close.
Hillman-Curl started focusing on near
|Days of Our Years
(Pierre Van Passen) Biography of Dutch citizen with a front row seat
to European history. An informative chronicle of many important but
obscured events. You will live the first thirty-eight years of the 20th
century through the astute observations of this wise son of Holland,
liberated from his Calvinist upbringing. This author was wherever
History was being made--in France, Germany Morocco, Syria,
Palestine, Ethiopia and Spain.
|In 1937 Alex Hillman and Sam Curl
bought out the interests behind
Godwin and Arcadia House. Taken
as a whole, the group was a very
diverse publisher. They also made
stabs at other genres, including
humor (Mr. Birdsall Breezes
Through), genre adventure (The
Whalers) and chic lit (Speak for
Yourself, Michael). They even
published a book of poetry
(America a Re Appraisal).
|Freed from their printing house patron’s apron strings, Hillman-Curl began to expand into other publishing
mediums, starting with…