Paul Hogarth for Penguin

                 Second-hand Penguin books featuring cover illustrations by Paul Hogarth 

A few years ago I decided I should read some of the 'classics' in English literature, but whilst browsing the shelves at a local second-hand bookshop I was drawn to a series of Graham Greene books because of the front cover illustrations!  On a whim and knowing very little about Graham Greene's books (apart from watching 'Travels with my Aunt' with the fabulous Maggie Smith) I bought the books, and later learnt the illustrations I admired were by English artist and illustrator Paul Hogarth.

Paul Hogarth illustrated all of Greene's novels for publisher Pengiun, and I love the power of the simplicity found in these cover images.  Predominantly created in inks and watercolour and utilising a limited colour palette - or simply just black ink.  Whilst the illustations are simple, they cleverly manage to capture the mood and feel of Green's stories.

"The distinctive style of the artist Paul Hogarth is instantly recognisable: a strong line, a broad watercolour wash and a flamboyant signature.  They are characteristically simple colour drawings which manage to capture a mood – whether of menace or anxiety or general seediness and invariably set in an exotic location – true to the writer's work".  Taken from the obituary in The Independent newspaper, 7th January, 2002

Whilst I love the illustrations of these second-hand books by Paul Hogarth, I've also enjoyed reading Green's stories, the majority of which were written in the 1940's, 50's and 60's and are set in various countries around the world, incorporating his writing with his love for travel.

You can see some more images of Paul Hogarth's cover illustrations for Penguin at this fab Vintage Penguins blog! 

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