Rediscovered: The Don Grant “Time-Lost”s, and Others

Some more commentary on last weekend’s autographs rolled in, with Kevin Cook stating: “Great to finally see an Arthur O. Friel autograph. Congratulations to Brian for tracking that one down.”

But Kevin adds, “I hope that Brian realizes that the Time Lost paperbacks from Donald M. Grant had his typical tampering with the texts, and The Pathless Trail was horribly abridged. Probably not known as well (because who’s seen the pulp text?) but Grant also edited and abridged The Bowl of Baal by Robert Ames Bennet. I only have two of the four parts in All Around, but checked the text just to see what damage Grant inflicted.

“Still, they were my first exposures to Friel — and to J. Allan Dunn as well with The Treasure of Atlantis. I had to wait decades to read that one untouched by Grant, when I finally found a copy of the December 1916 issue of All Around.

“(There’s some fascinating texts in the pulps that few people are aware of anymore. It is pretty well known that Burroughs killed off Jane in the magazine version of ‘Tarzan the Untamed’ but then changed his mind when the book was published.

“(Everyone also knows that Burroughs had tigers in Africa in the magazine version of ‘Tarzan of the Apes.’  He also made the same error in ‘The Return of Tarzan’ — but few people have ever seen the magazine version serialized in seven parts in New Story Magazine. Both instances were corrected in book form.)”

And Brian replies: “Yep, I know about Grant and his heavy hand at editing, but he was always nice to me through the mail. He helped me break into the Adventure authors, so I’m grateful.”

Kevin agrees: “Don Grant was a great guy in person; I talked with him at a number of East Coast conventions back in the 1970’s. And yes, of course Adventure was his favorite pulp.

“Thanks to Grant for introducing us to authors like Friel and J. Allan Dunn. Plus, of course, I owe another offer of thanks for City of Wonder by E. Charles Vivian which sparked one of the largest collecting interests of my life.

“Grant also allowed me to read The Werewolf of Ponkert with the Centaur Press paperback years before I bought a copy of the hardcover, my only signed H. Warner Munn book.”

Kevin and I have had numerous discussions of how Don Grant also botched his various editions of Robert E. Howard — essentially, he Politically Corrected them. The editorial tampering put a real ding in the value of his line.

And I guess if we ever get around to doing H. Warner Munn autographs, it’ll mostly be up to me. Leno tells me that “I was thinking about it and I don’t think I have a single signed Munn.”

Every book and chapbook by The Munnster I’ve got is inscribed. 

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