10 Missee Lee

Missee Lee, 1st edn 1941 (Arthur Ransome)The Swallows and the Amazons sail off with Captain Flint on Wild Cat which is destroyed by fire off some islands of China. They are captured by a most unusual sort of pirate.

This, like Peter Duck, has been described as 'fictional fiction' in that it's a story dreamed up by its own main characters, although this is never explicitly stated. Ransome visited China in 1926-7, meeting the wife of Sun Yat-Sen, and he partly based the title character on her.

The publisher's name is positioned too high within its frame, remaining uncorrected for several years. Looking at the list of books on the back panel, we see the present title where we would have expected the previous one, The Big Six.

ReproJacket #94-A-1, size 203.1x505mm.
Missee Lee, 1st edn 1943 (3rd printing) (Arthur Ransome)So a couple of years on and the jacket illustrations are already less delicate. The reviews on the back panel now include The Big Six, and the wartime Ministry of Information has updated the exhortations on the back flap aimed at readers abroad.

Note that the front flap labels this jacket as the Second Impression despite the fact that it came from a 3rd printing of the book. The price of the books has risen to 8s 6d net.

ReproJacket #94-C-1, size 203.1x521mm.
Missee Lee, 1st edn 1946 (6th printing) (Arthur Ransome)The back flap is now clear of wartime propaganda. This issue of the jacket was printed on a ribbed paper which is simulated in the ReproJacket (not shown in these images).

ReproJacket #94-F-1, size 204x454mm.
Missee Lee, 1st edn 1953 (9th printing) (Arthur Ransome)The principal colour has become rather yellower, and the coloured separators are much less delicate than the original impressions. The price has only risen by 6d since the 1943 printing a decade earlier. By now the publisher's name is centred in its frame.

ReproJacket #94-I-1, size 203.1x475mm.