It seems that the NCL is not lacking in variation covers. The inconsistency in design corresponds to its length of existence, that being over fifty years and counting, and its penchant for changing printing companies with each series or each decade. The main culprit is the Series Two covers. It seems the NCL went through two variations before settling in on the more common design that shows a portrait drawing of the author on the back cover (if a portrait photo existed of the author that could be used as a template).
The two variations used italic lower-case lettering for the author’s name, but even this was not consistent as some titles capitalized the first letter of the author’s first and last name. One variation used black lettering on the spine, the other used white. Here is the latest book I found that falls into the white-lettering variation with the more common example of the book below it:
As you can see the variation cover has white lettering on the spine and at the top of the front cover, there is no “N” above the numbering at the bottom part of the spine. Even the quote on the front cover changed. The early examples of Series Two books were not consistent in design as they eventually would become. And I’m coming across these variations frequently in my travels so the books are not scarce. We will see how many more I can find in the future.
This week has been a goldmine in finding NCL titles and their competitors. I found three more books in Forum House’s Canadian Writers and their Works, I added a Copp Clark Studies in Canadian Literature page to the site due to the fact I found two books in that series. I also found books in the Laurentian Library, New Press Canadian Classics, and Macmillan Paperbacks. But the biggest jewel to the crown was finding seventeen NCL books, including one of the twelve missing titles from Series One, and two poetry books from the “O” series in Series Two. See the picture below for all of the NCL books I purchased this week: