May Fair Books Ltd
39 Upper Brook Street, London W1
Dorset House, 13a Old Burlington Street, London W1
and Armada House, Holmethorpe, Redhill, Surrey.
and 14, St James' Place, London SW1.
Later still, by 1971, William Collins took over the imprint from May Fair, working from the address in St James' Place.
In 1962 May Fair produced the first of their Armada children's paperbacks.
Whereas other publishers expected adults to buy paperbacks for youngsters, Armada Books
were aimed at the children themselves. Hence they were reprints of books by the most
popular children's authors of the time. And they were priced as pocket-money buys.
Enid Blyton, Richmal Crompton, W E Johns, Monica Edwards, Malcolm Saville and all the important and popular children's authors of their day found themselves published by Armada.
Many of the earlier Saville issues had the illustrations from the original books,
but the text was abbreviated in many cases to fit within the 190 page target.
There were 38 Malcolm Saville books issued by Armada between 1963 and 1980. They issued
all the Lone Pine, Buckingham, Jillies, Nettleford
and Brown Family series. They also issued the one-off book, Treasure at the Mill.
The earlier covers were credited, so we know some were done
by Charles Stewart and Mary Gernat. Many later ones are by Peter Archer
and some by Gordon King.
Most Armadas were reprints of best selling books, but some were first editions, and these
were called Armada Originals. Saville's Armada Originals were Home to Witchend,
Good Dog Dandy and The Roman Treasure Mystery.
Originally they were priced at two shillings and sixpence, 'two and six', or 'half a crown', written '2/6'
and maintained this price until 1970, when new and reprints rose to 3/6 then decimalisation took
hold and the prices rose throughout the seventies; by 1978 the books were 50p; four times the original cost.
A full list of Malcolm Saville's Armadas are, in published order:
This page is part of the Malcolm Saville Centenary Website. To enter this site by the front door, click here.
Illustrations copyright the artists and the respective Publishers
Text copyright John Allsup
Created November 2003
Last updated 13th May 2016