This page last updated: May 18, 2004

I. O. Evans, F.R.G.S.

Translator and Editor
of the Fitzroy Edition of Jules Verne books

Idrisyn Oliver Evans (1894 - 1977)

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (F.R.G.S.)

Evans work editting and translating Jules Verne gained him an entry in the Science Fiction Encyclopedia (1979 ISBN: 0-385-14743-0)edited by Peter Nicholls:

  • EVANS, I(DRISYN) O(LIVER) (1894-1977). British civil servant and, especially after his retirement in 1956, editor and writer. He specialized in the works of JULES VERNE, many of shich he translated and edited for the FITZROY edition of Verne's work in translation, beginning in 1958. Some of these were reprinted by ACE BOOKS. Unfortunately, IOE in editing Verne occaisionally abridged him cruelly, rendering him more of a simple boys' action writer that was in fact the case. IOE also wrote Jules Verne and his Work (1965), and edited Science Fiction Through the Ages 1 (anth. 1966) and Science Fiction Through the Ages 2 (anth. 1966), the first volume of which is restricted to pre-20th-century sf. He also edited Jules Verne - Master of Science Fiction (coll. 1956), which assembles extracts from Verne's novels.....PN

NOTE: The franklyn cards website mentioned below quotes from the same book (maybe a different edition), with a few additions: ...South-African born UK civil servant... and ...His first book of sf reference was the nonfiction The World of Tomorrow (1933), about the possible future inventions, partly illustrated with reproductions of artwork from sf magazines, and thus - almost accidentally - the first anthology of sf illustration...

The cigarette card website, mentions IO Evans passion for cigarette cards (which, by the way, is reflected in Evans book Cigarette Cards and How to Collect Them (1937) ):

  • However it was I.O Evans, a man with a passion for cigarette cards who unfortunately passed away in 1977 but did give his collection of cards as a gift to the nation, and no small gift they were.

But it was his love of Jules Verne that led I. O. Evans to envisage a series of Jules Verne books where he could re-introduce to the public the many works that were not commonly known. It was the publisher Bernard Hanison (a 29 year old) who signed a contract with I. O. Evans in 1958 for such a series.

The address of the offices of Bernard Hanison was 10 Fitzroy Street, and hence the name of the series Fitzroy Edition.

Bernard Hanison says in Sept 2000:

  • Yes, you are right. "The Fitzroy Edition" was named after the street where my offices were, 10 Fitzroy Street. I had purchased the lease of 10 Fitzroy Street in 1952 for the remaining period of 20 odd years for a small amount, and £700 per year rent without any rent reviews. It turned out to be a great bargain and in 1962 when I sold the property to property developers made more money than I ever made in publishing. Somewhere there is a moral,but I cannot find it. Fitzroy Street was, or still is, a very famous street in central London in the heart of Bloomsbury. My own building was used in the 1920s and 1930s as the meeting place of the "Fitzroy Group" group of English artists, and many famous people had lived there. It was demolished in 1962 or 3 with all the attatched magnificant buildings tgo make way for a new office block which is now the offices of one of the famous advertising agents. Some original buildings still remain, however, especially in Fitzroy Square, that is adjacent.

Bernard Hanison published under his own name Bernard Hanison, London and also under ARCO Publications Ltd., London.

After signing the contract with I. O Evans, Bernard, in 1959, sold the companies and the works to be published to MacGibbon and Kee. It was MacGibbon and Kee who continued to publish the Fitzroy Edition under the ARCO Publications banner. Any books in the works at the time could still be published but recognition to the publishing entity Bernard Hanison had to be given.

So, the first books in the Fitzroy Edition, can be identified as such because of the Hanison markings:

  • The Begum's Fortune (Bernard Hanison, London, 1958)
  • From the Earth to the Moon (Bernard Hanison, London, 1959)
  • Dropped from the Clouds (Bernard Hanison, London 1959, Copyright 1959 by Bernard Hanison Limited)
  • Secret of the Island (Bernard Hanison, London 1959, Copyright 1959 by Bernard Hanison Limited)
  • Tigers and Traitors (Arco Publications with Bernard Hanison, London 1959, Copyright 1959 by Arco Publications)
  • Demon of Cawnpore (Arco Publications with Bernard Hanison, London 1959)
  • Round the Moon (Arco Publications with Bernard Hanison, London 1958)
  • Michael Strogoff (Arco Publications with Bernard Hanison, 1959)

Note, the first three books published by ARCO, and mentioned in the introduction written by I. O. Evans are:

  • A Floating City
  • Begums Fortune
  • Five Weeks in a Balloon

ARCO went on to publish 63 different titles in the Fitzroy Edition. and they are listed here:

l. Adrift in the Pacific (pt 1: Two Years Vacation)
2. Among the Cannibals (pt 2: Children of Captain Grant)
3. Anomalous Phenomena (pt 1: Hector Servadac) 
4. Around the World in 80 Days
5. At the North Pole  (pt 1: Captain Hatteras) 
6. Begum's Fortune (aka: 500 Millions of the Begum)
7. Black Diamonds (aka: Child of the Cavern)
8. Burbank the Northerner (pt 1: North Against South)
9. Carpathian Castle
10. Chancellor (aka: Wreck of the Chancellor)
11. City in the Sahara  (pt 2: Barsac Mission)
12. Claim on Forty Mile Creek  (pt 1: Golden Volcano)
13. Clipper of the Clouds
14. The Cryptogram (pt 2: Jangada/Giant Raft) 
15. Danube Pilot 
16. Demon of Cawnpore  (pt 1: Steam House) 
17. Down the Amazon  (pt 1: Jangada/Giant Raft)
18. Drama in Livonia 
19. Dropped from the Clouds  (pt 1: Mysterious Island)
20. Dr Ox and Other Stories
21. End of the Journey (pt 2: Thompson and Company, Agents)
22. Five Weeks in a Balloon
23. Flight to France
24. A Floating City
25. Flood and Flame  (pt 2: Golden Volcano) 
26. For the Flag
27. From the Earth to the Moon 
28. Green Ray + The Blockade Runners 
29. Homeward Bound  (pt 2: Hector Servadac) 
30. Hunt for the Meteor  (aka: Chase of the Golden Meteor)
31. Into the Abyss  (pt 2: Family Without a Name)
32. Into the Niger Bend  (pt 1: Barsac Mission)
33. Journey to the Centre of the Earth
34. Leader of the Resistance  (pt 1: Family Without a Name)
35. Masterless Man  (pt 1: Survivors of the Jonathan)
36. Master of the World
37. Measuring a Meridian  (aka: Adventures of 3 Englishmen...) 
38. Michael Strogoff 
39. Mysterious Document  (pt 1: Children of Captain Grant)
40. Mystery of Arthur Gordon Pym  (aka: Sphinx of the Icefields)
41. Package Holiday  (pt 1: Thompson and Company, Agents) 
42. Propeller Island  (aka: Floating Island) 
43. The Purchase of the North Pole 
44. Round the Moon 
45. Salvage from the Cynthia  (aka: Wreck of the Cynthia)
46. School for Crusoes  (aka: School for Robinsons) 
47. Sea Serpent  (aka: Tales of Jean-Marie Cabidoulin)
48. Second Year Ashore  (pt 2: Two Years Vacation) 
49. Secret of the Island  (pt of 2 Mysterious Island) 
50. Secret of Wilhelm Storitz 
51. Show on Ice (pt 2: Caesar Cascabel) 
52. Southern Star Mystery 
53. Sun in Eclipse  (pt 1: Fur Country) 
54. Texar the Southerner (pt 2: North Against South)
55. Through the Bering Straight (pt 2: Fur Country) 
56. Tigers and Traitors (pt 2: Steam House) 
57. Travelling Circus (pt 1: Caesar Cascabel) 
58. Tribulations of a Chinese Gentleman 
59. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea 
60. Unwilling Dictator  (pt 2: Castaways of the Jonathan)
61. Village in the Treetops
62. Wilderness of Ice  (pt 2: Captain Hatteras)
63. Yesterday and Tomorrow

Books on Jules Verne by I. O. Evans

on page: Cover Images - 13

Jules Verne: Master of Science Fiction
Sidgwick and Jackson

236 pages

Excerpts from Jules Vernes works with a critical study / introduction by I. O. Evans and an uncreditted bibliography

Excerpts included are from:

  • Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
  • The Steam House
  • Round the Moon
  • A Journey to the Center of the Earth
  • Hector Servadac
  • From the Earth to the Moon
  • For the Flag
  • The Floating Island
  • Five Weeks in a Balloon
  • The Clipper of the Clouds
  • The Child of the Cavern
  • The Begum's Fortune
  • An Antarctic Mystery

NOTE: It is interesting to note that the book was published in 1956 with these excerpts, but the first works in the Fitzroy Edition did not appear until 1959. I will need to investigate these excerpts to see if they are the same as the text in the Fitzroy Edition...Andrew Nash

on page: Cover Images - 13
Jules Verne and His Work
ARCO Publications

188 pages

Jules Verne and his Work
Twayne Publishers
New York

188 pages

Jules Verne and His Work
Aeonian Press
Mattituck, NY

All the following books are listed with the author or editor as I. O. Evans

Sensible Sun-Bathing


Note: I'm not 100% sure this is Idrisyn Oliver Evans, but there can't have been too many I O Evans as authors. Possibly this was written in his civil servant role? In any case, this book can be found in the Columbia University Libraries holdings, call #RM843.Ev1---Andrew Nash

Cigarette Cards and How to Collect Them
Herbert Jenkins Ltd

The book covers the beginnings of cards, types and curiosities. A good book on the collection of early cigarette cards including American. Many illustrations including early American cards. A useful book for the collectors.

NOTE: This IS "our" I O Evans. He was apparently an avid collector

Gadget City
Frederick Warne & Co

with Dustjacket

The Observers Book of British Geology (No. 10)
1949 (1st Ed)
Frederick Warne & Co
London, England

Forward by Professor H. L. Hawkins

The Book of Flags by Vice-Admiral Gordon Campbell, V.C., D.S.O. (1886-1953) and I O Evans, F.R.G.S.
1950 (1st Ed with Evans uncreditted), 1953 (2nd Ed with Evans creditted), 1957 (3rd Ed with Evans creditted)
Oxford University Press
Oxford, UK

ISBN:0192731327 & 0192731068

Note: only revisions were by Evans, and Campbell did the original work

The Observers Book of Flags
Frederick Warne and Co.
London & New York

210pp (or 203pp)?)

The New Observers Series #29

Inventors of the World
Frederick Warne and Co. Ltd
London/New York

Different though the work of these inventors was, you will see that they all had much in common. Not only had they a genius which enabled them to work out the answer to problems that baffled others, and to see possibl=ilities that nobody else had noticed; they also had great determination and force of character which enabled them, inspite of untold difficulties and setbacks, to press on undaunted with their work. You may be surprised to see that, far from being helped and encouraged in their labours, they almost all had to fact not only neglect, but active opposition.

includes: Archimedes, Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo Galilei, The Montgolfier Brothers, Robert Fulton, Samuel Finley Breese Morse, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Alva Edision, Wilbur and Orville Wright, Guglielmo Marconi, John Logie Baird, Robert Alexander Watson-Watt, Frank Whittle.

Written in an absorbing, anecdotal style, with that British clear and concise manner.

***The Fitzroy Edition isn't only Jules Verne***
The following edited and with an introduction by I O Evans
The Scarlet Plague and Before Adam
by Jack London
Arco Publications

1st Fitzroy Edition with dustjacket

Rocks, Minerals & Gemstones
Hamlyn Publishing Group

Includes many b+w illustrations and line drawings, and colour plates. This is a very pictorial guide to the fascinating world of rocks, minerals and gemstones.

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