The New Drifters Petra Christian
The New English Library or NEL as it quickly became to be known was formed in 1961 when the Times Mirror Company of Los Angeles bought two small British paperback publishers Ace Books and Four Square Books.
Although the company initially concentrated on fantasy, science fiction and suspense novels it soon realised that to differentiate from other publishers it needed to attract and engage with a growing teenage readership. NEL closely followed popular trends and fashions and got hack writers to write exploitative novels about skinheads, Hells Angels and groupies.
It wasn’t just youth movements that got the NEL treatment. When the television series Roots became a huge success the publishers started to bring out novels based around slaves or ‘Negro warriors’ with titles such as ‘Black Queen – The rebel slave became a savage pirate queen’ and ‘Sable Adventure – A slave ship – the most corrupt that sailed the Atlantic’. These books and others like them became incredibly popular with covers blatantly using sex to encourage the punters.
Despite these books selling in their tens of thousands back in 1970s some of the classics such as the Richard Allen skinhead series are incredibly rare and are now difficult to get hold of. Incidentally Allen was the pseudonym of a man called James Moffat – a middle aged Canadian who wrote his books in a cottage in Devon and had never been anywhere near Upton Park.
Children of Kaywana by Edgar Mittelholzer. New English Library 1973. Cover artist Renato Fratini
79 Parke Avenue by Harold Robbins. 1971.
Witch – we intend to create havoc Jane Harman
A Portion for Foxes by Jane McIlvaine McClary, 1974
Up the City Road John Stroud
A Time of Predators by Joe Gores 1971
André Pieyre de Mandiargues/ The girl on the motorcycle. Original title/ La Motocyclette. Translated from the French by Alexander Trocchi 1968.
Sable Adventure Clint Rockman
Knuckle Girls Richard Allen and Gang Girls by Maisie Mosco
Clint Rockman Black Gold 1972
The Drop Out by Hugh Miller
Black Queen Clint Rockman 1974
Promotion Tour Terry Harknett
Bonnie by Hugh Barron
The Leather Boys Gillian Freeman
Double Deal by Hugh Miller 1974
The Con Game Hillary Waugh 1970
The Hard Game by Trevor Hoyle 1973
The Necrophiles – A Modern Essay in the Macabre David Gurney – NEL 1969 – ‘a brilliant and horrifying piece of fiction’ or so it says in the blurb. The cover photo is by Ron Alexander
The Blood Circus Thomas K. Fitzpatrick May 1970
French Party Games NEL publication from December 1967
Proposition 31 NEL edition from July 1969
The Premar Experiments Published March 1976
The Prize Pubished by NEL July 1978
The Intimate Enemy by Doctor George R. Bach and Peter Wyden. New English Library 1972. Cover photograph Ron Alexander
Fast Work NEL/ Four Square edition from March 1969
Seymour Kern/ Fifty. New English Library 1977. Cover photograph/ Rayment Kirby.
Diary of a Hooker Lucy Graham
Edgar Rice Burroughs/ Pirates of Venus. New English Library 1975
Sex Manners for the Young Generation by Robert Chartham
Sex Manners for Men by Robert Chartham. NEL Four Square 1968
Sex Manners For Advanced Lovers by Robert Chartham. New English Library 1970
Sex Manners, The French Art of. By Dr. Georges Valensin. New English Library 1970