Edward Gorey (American, 1925–2000)
Illustrations from the book covers: Adders on the Heath (1963), The War of the Worlds (1960), The Sot-Weed Factor (1960), Lafcadio’s Adventures (1953), What Nigel Knew (1981), Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats (1982), Tales of Good and Evil (1957), The Duke of Palermo and Other Plays (1969), The Sibyl in Her Grave (2000), No Vacation for Maigret (1953), Sam and Emma (1971), Amerika (1955), From Beowulf to Virginia Woolf (1963), The Comic Looking Glass (1961), Come Back, Dr. Caligari (1965), Edward Gorey’s Dracula (1979), A Hero of Our Time (1956), The Dream World of Dion McGregor (1964), The Perfect Joy of St. Francis (1955), Chance (1957), Instant Lives (1974), The Autobiography of William Butler Yeats (1958)
Before his now iconic books drew critical acclaim and a dedicated following, Edward Gorey designed book covers in the crowded single room of Doubleday Anchor’s art department. Not yet thirty and recently graduated from Harvard, Gorey initially illustrated paperback covers and dust jackets for the likes of Joseph Conrad, Henry James, and Charles Dickens, establishing a pen-and-ink hand-lettered style that would challenge prevailing American publishing standards and help define his publishers’ visual identities. Today, Gorey’s prodigious output of hundreds of dust jackets and paperback covers evidences his distinctive flair for design and his extraordinary ability to portray the essence of the books that came his way.
These covers appear in Steven Heller’s Edward Gorey: His Book Cover Art & Design (Pomegranate, 2015).
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