Adapted with permission from a bibliography of Dennis Wheatley by Mr R Humphreys, 2002

1933-1939

 

The Forbidden Territory

Published: January 1933.  Wheatley’s second full-length novel though the first to be published.(note 1)  After a massive advertising campaign, orchestrated mainly by Wheatley himself, the book went into seven reprints in as many weeks.(note 2)  It was filmed in 1934.(note 3)

Dust wrapper designed by Joan Wheatley.  End-papers designed by Joan and Dennis Wheatley. Printed by Gainsborough Press.  Some have plain end-papers.

288 pages with a catalogue (Autumn 1932) of forty-eight pages at the rear.  Bound in red cloth.  Cr 8vo.  7/6.  Undated.

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Such Power is Dangerous

Published: June 1933.  Wheatley wrote this book in two weeks(note 4) and following the success of ‘The Forbidden Territory’ his publishers put it into print even though Wheatley had reservations about its quality.(note 5)

Printed by The Mayflower Press.

285 pages plus one page advertising ‘The Forbidden Territory’ and Hutchinson catalogue at the rear. It is bound in red cloth.  Cr 8vo. 7/6.  Undated.

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‘Old Rowley’ A Private Life Of Charles II

Published: September 1933.  Along with Wheatley’s previous two books, it was written in 1932 and was intended to form part of a series of royal biographies published by Peter Davies. They turned it down on the grounds that Wheatley was an unknown author but, after the success of his first two novels, it was published by Hutchinson with illustrations by Frank C. Papé.(note 6)  Printed by The Mayflower press.

This book was also produced in a limited edition of 26, each lettered alphabetically, signed by Wheatley and Papé and bound in white linen with gilt lettering to the spine.(note 7)

201 pages with a further 12 pages of advertising.  Bound in blue cloth.  Demy Cr 8vo. 9/-.  Dated.

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Old Rowley Special Limited Edition 1933

Produced in a limited edition of 26 lettered copies.  Inscribed by Wheatley and the artist Frank C. Papé.  Bound in white linen with gilt lettering to spine, t.e.g., a page of the original manuscript and the trade edition dust wrapper bound in.

The known copies collate as follows :

Copy Recipient Bound insert
JJoe Links Page VIII 4 of the manuscript
NNancy (DW’s first wife) Page III 9 of the manuscript
RAmy Robinson’s (Nancy’s mother) Page V 19 of the manuscript
WJoan Wheatley (DW’s second wife) Page V 12 of the manuscript
XDennis Wheatley’s own copy Page III 8 of the manuscript

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Black August

Published: January 1934.  Wheatley spent most of 1933 writing this book.  Set in the future (approx. 1960) though firmly rooted in the 1930s, it is the book that introduced Gregory Sallust.  Because it is set in the future it confuses the chronology of the later Sallust novels.(note 8)  Printed by The Gainsborough Press.

Reprinted six times prior to publication, it is bound in red cloth with illustrated end-papers designed by Joan and Dennis Wheatley.  349 pages with a further 56 page catalogue plus eight pages advertising Wheatley’s work.  Cr 8vo. 7/6.  Undated.

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The Fabulous Valley

Published: August 1934.(note 9)

Bound in red cloth.  The illustrated end-papers were designed by Joan and Dennis Wheatley with contributions from Diana Younger, Wheatley’s step-daughter.  Printed by The Gainsborough Press.

286 pages with 2 pages of advertising plus forty-eight page Hutchinson catalogue (Summer and Early Autumn 1934).  Cr 8vo. 7/6.  Undated.

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The Devil Rides Out

Published: December 1934. This has become Wheatley’s most popular novel.(note 10)  Although he had written at least one short story involving the occult (The Snake’ 1933) this was the first time he had made it the subject of a full-length novel.  It was filmed in 1968 (aka ‘The Devil’s Bride’).(note 11)

Bound in red cloth, the dust-wrapper was designed by Diana Younger who along with Joan and Dennis Wheatley also designed the end-papers.  Printed by The Gainsborough Press.

329 pages (a variant has page 329, on which Wheatley asks for opinions of this type of story, excised) plus 5 pages of advertising and a forty page catalogue (spring 1935) bound at the rear (some copies omit the catalogue). Cr 8vo. 7/6. Undated.

Some copies of this book have a wrap-around band - see the Hutchinson and other publicity material section for details

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The Eunuch of Stamboul

Published: July 1935, it quickly became one of Wheatley’s most popular books(note 12) and was filmed in 1936 as ‘The Secret of Stamboul’ with James Mason in the lead role.(note 13)

Bound in red cloth, the dust-wrapper was designed by Abbey and the end-papers by Joan and Dennis Wheatley with Diana Younger. Printed by Gainsborough Press.

298 pages with 9 pages of advertising and a catalogue of 48 pages bound at the rear. Cr 8vo. 7/6. Undated.

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A Century of Horror

Published: October 1935 and forms part of Hutchinson’s ‘Century of. . . .’ series of omnibuses which ran to about twenty-six titles.  Wheatley edited this title and wrote an introduction.

Bound in red cloth with a design in black stamped to spine and top board.  The dust-wrappers for this series are very scarce owing to the fact that on the reverse of the wrappers were order forms for other titles in the series.  They were also printed on thin, unglazed paper.

1024 pages.  Demy Cr 8vo.  3/6.  Undated.

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1st Gift Box

Published: December 1935, this is the first of two Gift Boxes both subtitled ‘The Thrilling Romances of Dennis Wheatley’ (note 13a)

This set contains Wheatley's first four novels: ‘The Forbidden Territory’, ‘Such Power Is Dangerous’, ‘Black August’ and ‘The Fabulous Valley’.

The books are bound in black cloth with a distinctive blue-coloured top edge which appears unique to the gift set(?s), and are basically reprints from the 1st editions, being a 15th thousand; 7th thousand; 8th impression, and 10th thousand respectively, although there are exceptions to this; there is one known example of a boxed copy of ‘The Forbidden Territory’ bearing no ‘thousand’ but having an Autumn 1935 catalogue at the back, and one example of ‘The Fabulous Valley’ which appears originally to have come from a Gift Box set and which has no mention of a ‘thousand’ or ‘impression’.

It is perhaps worth noting that in early adverts, the drop-down flap is shown printed in white on a black background, whereas the known surviving boxes have the drop-down flap printed in black on a white background, like the illustration on the website.

The date of the gift box is also something of a puzzle. Advertisements for it first appear in They Found Atlantis (Jan 1936), which is consistent with a release date of December 1935. The only known complete boxed sets, and all the books that can be identified as having come from these sets, contain stickers listing DW’s various publications. All the stickers are identical, and all include Contraband, which was only published in the Autumn of 1936. Many of the books so far identified as having come from First Gift Boxes are inscribed in DW’s hand, and while several of the inscriptions are dated ‘Xmas 1936’, one is dated ‘Xmas 1935’.

Exactly how these conflicting pieces of dating evidence are to be interpreted is currently unclear.

12/6. Undated.

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They Found Atlantis

Published: January 1936 and is the first of Wheatley’s ‘lost civilisation’ novels.(note 14)

Bound in red cloth.  The illustrated end-papers were designed by Joan and Dennis Wheatley with Diana Younger.  Printed by Gainsborough Press.

339 pages with 5 pages of advertising and a 40 page catalogue bound in at the rear. Cr 8vo. 7/6. Undated.

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Murder Off Miami

Published: July 1936. Devised with Wheatley’s friend, the furrier Joe Links, it incorporated actual physical clues and became a best seller.(note 15)  This and the other three dossiers were reprinted in the late 1970s as facsimiles.  The real editions can easily be identified as they all state on the bottom of the front cover: ‘Published for the Crime Book Society’.

138 pages with a sealed section containing the solution at the rear.  4to.  3/6.  Undated.

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Contraband

Published: October 1936. The first true Gregory Sallust adventure. Bound in red cloth with black lettering stamped to spine and top board. The end-papers were designed by Joan and Dennis Wheatley.

281 pages with 7 pages of advertising and a catalogue of 56 pages bound in at the rear.

Printed by Gainsborough Press.  Cr 8vo.  7/6.  Undated.

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The Secret War

Published: January 1937.(note 16)

Bound in red cloth with black lettering stamped to the spine and top board.  The dust-wrapper was designed by Abbey and the end-papers were designed by Joan and Dennis Wheatley and Diana Younger.  Printed by Gainsborough Press.

288 pages with a further 7 pages of advertising and a catalogue of 40 pages bound in at the rear.  Cr 8vo.  7/6.  Undated.

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Who Killed Robert Prentice?

Published: June 1937 and is a more complicated mystery than the first.  As before, Wheatley devised it with Joe Links.

It has 117 pages and a sealed section of 17 pages at the rear.  4to.  3/6.  Undated.

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Red Eagle

Published: October 1937 and was Wheatley’s second biography following on from the success of 'Old Rowley' four years earlier.(note 17)

It has mapped end-papers and colour frontispiece.  Bound in grey cloth with a design in red stamped onto the spine and top board.  Printed by Mayflower Press.

It runs to 390 pages with a further 9 pages of advertising and a catalogue of 16 pages bound at the rear.  Demy Cr 8vo.  12/6.  Dated.

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2nd Gift Box

Published: December 1937 and is the second of two Gift Boxes both subtitled ‘The Thrilling Romances of Dennis Wheatley’.(note 13a)

This set contains Wheatley's second four novels: ‘The Devil Rides Out’, ‘The Eunuch Of Stamboul’, ‘They Found Atlantis’ and ‘Contraband’.

The books are bound in black cloth with a blue-coloured top edge and are reprints from the 1st editions.  12/6.  Undated.

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Uncharted Seas

Published: January 1938.  This novel again explores one of Wheatley’s favourite themes, the lost civilisation, which had proved such a success in ‘They Found Atlantis'.  This book, like many of Wheatley’s novels, is marred by extreme racism which probably renders it unprintable by today’s standards.  Filmed in 1968 as ‘The Lost Continent’.(note 18)

Diana Younger designed both the dust-wrapper and the end-papers.  It is bound in black cloth.  Printed by Gainsborough Press.

408 pages in length with a further 8 pages of advertising and a catalogue of 24 pages bound at the rear.  Cr 8vo.  8/6.  Undated.

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The Malinsay Massacre

Published: April 1938.  By the time of its appearance the original novelty of this type of dossier had become rather stale and this is much weaker than the previous two having very few physical clues.

101 pages with a sealed section of 10 pages at the rear.  4to.  3/6.  Undated.

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A Century of Spy Stories appeared in June 1938 and continued the series of Hutchinson omnibuses.  Wheatley selected the collection of stories and wrote an introduction.  831 pages.  Demy Cr 8vo.  3/6.  Undated.

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The Golden Spaniard

Published: August 1938.  As with ‘The Secret War', Wheatley again used contemporary events as background, in this case The Spanish Civil War.  It was the third de Richleau novel to be published.(note 19)

The dust-wrapper was again designed along with the end-papers by Diana Younger.  Bound in black cloth, the book runs to 454 pages with a further 8 pages of advertising and a catalogue of 24 pages at the rear.  Printed by Gainsborough Press.

Cr 8vo.  8/6.  Undated.

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Invasion

Published: 1938.

Board game comprising: a 25" x 26” coloured playing board showing a map of parts of pre-war England and Europe with fictional place names, the back of the board being a mottled dark red colour; a large ‘matchbox style’ box containing 160 playing pieces (16 red, 26 blue, 24 yellow and 20 green cubes; 12 red, 4 blue and 8 yellow diamonds; 12 red, 10 blue, 8 yellow and 20 green pyramids plus 2 spare white pieces of each shape); 2 dice with shaker and an 8 page rule book.

Invasion was issued in a standard and a de luxe edition and due to its popularity it was re-issued in second and third editions as well.

The de luxe edition differs from the standard first edition in a number of respects. It comes in a mottled brown box with a separate compartment on the left which contains all the individual pieces, and the board consists of four fold-out sections rather than the two fold-out sections found in the standard edition. The de luxe edition also comes with 13 (?) pins with white flags and 2 (?) spare pins which are not to be found in the standard edition. The de luxe edition is altogether a much more sumptuous piece of work.

Published by Hutchinson & Geographia, London. 7/6 (standard edition) or 12/6 (de luxe edition). Undated.

The second edition has ‘second edition’ printed on the labels of both the box and the board, but otherwise the box (which once again opens ‘matchbox style’) and its contents appear the same as those of the ‘standard’ first edition.

The second edition board is the same size as the standard first edition board, but the back of the board is textured and bright red in colour rather than dark red. The map is considerably more detailed. Some of the major place names have been changed - for example ‘Rueville’ becomes ‘Roueville’, ‘Copenbourg’ becomes ‘Heilbourg’, and ‘Bratograd’ becomes ‘Marxgrad’. A large number of new place names (generally humorous) have been added, and a minor connecting road has also been added at the top left of the board.

The rulebook is also different – it is marked ‘revised edition’, and it is now 12 pages long. It now contains rules for simple and advanced games, and two of the pages are blank.

The third edition has third edition’ printed on the labels of both the box of pieces and the board.

The third edition board is considerably smaller than its predecessors, measuring only 18 ¾” x 19 ¾”, and the back of the board is again mottled and with a shade of red somewhere between the reds of the standard first and second edition boards. Size apart, the second and third edition maps are identical.

Unlike the standard first and second editions, the third edition box of pieces opens by means of a standard ‘lift off’ lid, and while the box size is the same, the pieces are slightly smaller – no doubt because they are going to fit on a smaller board. The colour of the pieces is also slightly deeper – at least in the set I compared.

The rulebook is similar to, but not identical to the second edition rulebook. Again it is marked ‘revised edition’. The main difference is that while it is 12 pages long, the blank pages have been filled with adverts.

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The Quest of Julian Day

Published: January 1939.  It introduced a new character into Wheatley’s stable.  Julian Day, however, proved to be less enduring than his others and he appeared in only three books (although a fourth was considered).(note 20)

Bound in black cloth, the dust-wrapper was designed by Abbey and the end-papers by Diana Younger.

422 pages with a further 8 pages of advertising and a catalogue of 16 pages at the rear.  Printed by Gainsborough Press.  Cr 8vo.  8/6.  Undated.

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Herewith the Clues

Published: July 1939 and is the last and weakest of all the dossiers.  Marred by a weak ‘mystery’ and utterly preposterous photographs of Wheatley’s friends and family, it is almost a parody of the format that had originally been so successful.

64 pages with a sealed section of 10 pages at the rear.  4to.  3/6.  Undated.

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Sixty Days to Live

Published: August 1939.  It is one of Wheatley’s most satisfying novels marred only by a rather unlikely ending.(note 21)  His descriptions of a frozen England are quite compelling.

Bound in black cloth, the dust-wrapper and end-papers were designed by Diana Younger.  Printed by Gainsborough Press.

391 pages with 9 pages of advertising plus Hutchinson booklist of 32 pages at the rear.  Cr 8vo.  8/6.  Undated.

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Those Modern Musketeers

Published: December 1939 and is the first of the omnibus editions of Wheatley’s work.  This book contains the first four de Richleau novels and is notable for including ‘Three Inquisitive People’ for the first time in print.(note 22)  Printed by The Mayflower Press.

It runs to 1270 pages.  Bound in brown cloth with black lettering stamped to spine and top board, and with a dust-wrapper almost certainly designed by Diana Younger.  This omnibus was again printed in the 1950s (see section ‘1952-1955’) without ‘The Devil Rides Out’.  Cr 8vo.  7/6.  Undated.

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Blockade

Published: 1939.  Wheatley's second board game.

Published by Hutchinson & Geographia, London.

Board game comprising: a 19 1/2" x 19 1/2” coloured playing board showing a fictional map of various coastlines and islands, 3 dice with dice shaker, 108 coloured wooden playing pieces (7 red, 6 blue, 3 yellow and 2 green diamonds; 1 red, 4 blue, 7 yellow and 6 green cylinders; 8 red, 6 blue, 12 yellow and 18 green pyramids; 7 red, 7 blue, 7 yellow and 7 green cubes), 2 spare white playing pieces for each shape, rule book and 2 reference sheets.

8/6.  Undated.

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