Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell (HPL 54)

Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell

George Orwell is mostly known by the casual reader as the author of the dystopian masterpiece 1984 and the allegorical Animal Farm. However, he had far more tricks up his sleeve than just commentaries on surveillance and political corruption. Down and Out in Paris and London is a somewhat whimsical tale about a homeless man who spends time in London and Paris. The book explores the underbellies of both cities in a semi-autobiographical work about poverty.

This edition of the book was published by Harbrace Paperbound Library, which seems to be an imprint of Harcourt Brace Jovanovich (now known simply as Harcourt). Down and Out in Paris and London is listed as HPL 54 in the Paperbound Library series.

Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell

The cover art for this edition, a sketch of a man sitting at a table, is credited to Ken Braren, though it’s possible he was only responsible for the design of the elements and not the sketch.

Braren did some other work for Harcourt, including the cover for Arthur C. Clarke’s Expedition to Earth and Reach for Tomorrow. Braren also has a smattering of credits for covers of various creative projects, including the 1959 album Blue Spring by the Kenny Dorham Septet.

Here is a newer cover for Down and Out in Paris and London. The edition shown below was also published by Harcourt, but this particular cover is not by Ken Braren. The photo is the copyright of Underwood & Underwood, and the design is by Liz Demeter.

Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell

Interestingly enough, this same photo was used on the cover of the Barnes & Noble Classics edition of The Complete Sherlock Holmes, Volume I.