I recently moved. That meant putting hundreds of books into boxes including all of my NCL collection. After the move was over and the new apartment’s furniture had found its place, it was time to re-shelve all the books I had packed the previous weeks. During this re-emergence, I came across an anomaly in the Series One books I had amassed.
Morley Callaghan’s Such Is My Beloved (#2 in the series) has two different author portraits on the front cover. I was quite surprised as I have had these books for years and never noticed it before. In my collection I have six copies of the book and all have the same portrait except one. Here is an image of the more common front cover:
Five of the six copies I own have the above author portrait. I should mention that Frank Newfeld is the artist. He created all the portrait images for the Series One covers. Now the sixth book does not, it has the portrait of Morley Callaghan you see on the covers of the two other books Callaghan has in Series One. That is, More Joy In Heaven (#17) and They Shall Inherit the Earth (#33). Here is the portrait I am speaking of:
After seeing both portraits, a question comes to mind, especially if you are not familiar with what Mr. Callaghan looked like in person (he died in 1990). We can assume the portrait of the man at an older age with the pipe is Callaghan, otherwise the people at M&S made one grand mistake having that portrait on three books in Series One. A quick look at Callaghan’s photo on his author’s page here on the website shows M&S got it right:
At least to me the two images are quite similar but I will let the reader decide for him or herself.
But the question I was mentioning that comes to mind is, Who is the person that is represented in the more common portrait drawing? The first thing that popped into my mind was that it was M&S making another one of their blunders putting the wrong author portrait on the front cover. I checked all the other portraits on the Series One books and this portrait did not show up on any of the 67 books. So who is this person? Then I reasoned that perhaps Newfeld created two images of Morley Callaghan, one of him in his youth and the other in middle-age. I went looking for a photo of Mr. Callaghan in his younger years and found one. I compared it to the Newfeld portrait and yes, it seems the two images look similar. But again, I will let the reader decide. Here is the comparison:
Now that the mystery of the portraits is solved, it leads to the question as to why the Series One book changed covers. What was the motivation? Looking at the reprint data on the copyright pages of the books, the Morley Callaghan portrait in middle-age was the later cover showing up at the end of the Series One publishing time period in 1969. Perhaps Newfeld withdrew the rights to the younger Callaghan image (if Newfeld had copyright over it anyway). Perhaps M&S lost the hard copy or negative of the image so switched it for the middle-aged portrait. I guess we will never know, but it does seems strange as to why they would change it. Perhaps, and this is my guess, they just made a mistake thinking the middle-aged image was the proper one to use when they began printing the books in 1969. That image was the one used for the other two Callaghan books in the series. It seems the most reasonable and simplest explanation. And the simplest answer is usually the right answer.