Hogarth in Greeneland

cover of Graham Greene Penguin book showing lonely man on footpath
Paul Hogarth illustration for Graham Greene’s A Gun for Sale, Penguin, 1963

Paul Hogarth’s illustrations for Graham Greene covers

In 1962, Paul Hogarth was an established artist with a distinctive watercolour style. He had worked in collaboration with literary artists, including Brendan Behan, so it was natural for him to illustrate the covers of a new edition of sixteen Graham Greene novels.

The Hogarth Greenes are a notable series in Penguin history and were one of the early successes of the Marber grid. This new design layout enabled Penguin to maintain its typographic branding while introducing eye-catching cover art. Hundreds of thousands of the Greenes were were sold.

Paul-Hogarth-Graham-Greene-ministry-of-fear      Paul-Hogarth-Graham-Greene-confidential-agent

The choice of Hogarth for Greene was an interesting one. Both came from an ideological background that permeated their work, communism for Hogarth and catholicism for Greene. Both were inveterate travellers and both had seen the best and worst of humanity in their travels. They shared a jaundiced if hopeful view of mankind, and on top of that, they got on well. “There are writers who are immensely sympathetic towards artists and certainly he was one of them. He was easy to work with, but very exacting.”

Paul-Hogarth-Graham-Greene-stamboul-train     Paul-Hogarth-Graham-Greene-burnt-out-case

Paul-Hogarth-Graham-Greene-end-of-the-affair      Paul-Hogarth-Graham-Greene-heart-of-the-matter

The series started an association between Penguin, Greene and Hogarth that lasted for many years. Despite his long career and considerable reputation Hogarth is possibly still best remembered for his Penguins Graham Greenes of the 1960s.  

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.  (hogarth.org.uk)

Paul-Hogarth-Graham-Greene-Our-Man-In-Havana      Paul-Hogarth-Graham-Greene-back-cover-layout/


In the mid-1980s, Hogarth travelled 50,000 miles to draw the locations of Greene’s novels. His pen and ink watercolours were published in this impressive book published by Pavilion in 1986.


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