Possibly the single most obscure author to be published by Gnome, H. Chandler Elliott – the H stands for Harry – was an neuroanatomist trained in Canada who later taught at the School of Medicine at the University of Nebraska. He wrote only this one novel, and the sum total of his previous work comes to two short stories purchased by Horace Gold, one published in Galaxy, one in Beyond Science Fiction in 1954. His later production was equally small, a short story in each of 1959 and 1963. Most of his writing was high-level nonfiction about neuroanatomy.
The book was reviewed in all the major magazines of the day, though, and evidently sold sufficiently well for Greenberg to reissue it. This is not listed in any source I’m familiar with and I found the variant only by chance – exactly the kind of find I’m hoping to make less chancy with this site. I’m assuming that since all the known references are to the green cloth state, the beige boards must be a later and scarce one.
Fortunately, the two colors used as so distinct that no additional information seems needed. Scans don’t reveal how odd the colors really are. The green is a kind of teal green, with some blue tones mixed in. The maroon – dark red – spine lettering is more obviously that color on the book than on this scan. I’m calling the other state beige solely because that’s the way it was described in the listing. Tan or light brown might do equally well.
Groff Conklin reviewed the book in the February 1956 Galaxy:
The blurb says this is a beautifully written book. True enough, but Chandler has overdone a good thing.
Reprieve From Paradise, by H. Chandler Elliott, 1955, title #52, 256 pages, $3.00, 4000 copies printed.
Hardback. Cover design by Mel Hunter. No first edition stated on copyright page. Printer designated as H. Wolff, New York. Back cover: 39 titles. Gnome Press address given as 80 East 11th St., New York 3.
1) Green cloth, spine lettered in maroon
2) Beige boards, spine lettered in black
No known priority. Not in Chalker.