Edward Gorey


A while back, Google changed its logo to commemorate Edward Gorey’s 88th birthday.



Gorey was an illustrator. I still have a number of paperback books from the 1960s and 1970s with covers drawn by Gorey. (His style is unmistakeable: scratchy, mock-Victorian, mock-Gothic.)



But all the while, quietly, he was publishing his own little books: children’s alphabets, morality stories, horror stories, and limericks.



If you ever watched “Mystery!” on PBS, you’ve seen Gorey’s work; that wonderful animation at the beginning, with sighing women and huge urns crashing on people’s head. Here it is:





Gorey passed away in 2000. He lived on the north shore of Cape Cod, in Yarmouthport, Massachusetts. Partner and I have visited his house; it’s a big rambling structure, with a huge bay laurel tree in the yard.



Gorey collected things. There are buckets full of doorknobs on display! (Older American readers will remember Aunt Clara, on the TV show “Bewitched,” who always had doorknobs in her purse. It’s a sweet affectation to collect doorknobs. To be sure, they can be very pretty.)



I snatched a laurel leaf from the yard before we left, and pressed it in my ancient copy of “Amphigorey.”



Happy 88th, Edward. We miss you.


About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to futureworld@cox.net.

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