Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Edward St John Gorey  

Pen Name: 

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Adult; Young Adult; Children;

Born: February 22, 1925 in Chicago, Illinois

Died: 2000 in Massachusetts

-- Edward St John Gorey on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Gorey was born in Chicago and grew up in Wilmette. He attended a variety of local grade schools and then the Francis W. Parker School. In 1943, he spent one semester at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Edward Gorey was a writer and artist noted for his "playfully macabre" illustrated books.From 1953 to 1960, Gorey lived in New York City and worked in the art department of Doubleday Anchor, illustrating book covers and in some cases adding illustrations to the text. He worked for Doubleday in New York for eight years and, while there, illustrated Bram Stoker's ''Dracula'' and T.S. Elliot's ''Old Possum's Book of Practiacal Cats''. In 1953, he illustrated his first independent work, ''The Unstrung Harp''. Gorey never married and was never particularly fond of children yet his books were popular with them. In all, Gorey wrote over 100 books and used many different pseudonyms. His illustrated (and sometimes wordless) books, have long had a cult following for his macabre, Victorian and Gothic-like illustrations. Gorey became particularly well-known through his animated introduction to the PBS series ''Mystery!'' in 1980, as well as his designs for the 1977 Broadway production of ''Dracula'', for which he won a Tony Award for Best Costume Design. He was also nominated for Best Scenic Design.

Selected Titles At Your Library

A Halloween treat ;
ISBN: 160819616X. OCLC Number: 808802862

Bloomsbury,. .

Kids and cats go trick or treating, and gather loot that might be tricks--or perhaps the best treat imaginable: their very own monsters. Turn the book over to its back cover to read from the other direction, and you'll delve into a collection of Gorey's ghosts, curated from his extensive oeuvre. Charmingly spooky, these ghastly phantasms come in all shapes and sizes--the perfect thing to curl up with on a chilling Halloween night.

Amphigorey :
ISBN: 0399504338. OCLC Number: 8089875

Putnam,. .

A collection of fifteen works by Edward Gorey, featuring his gothic pen and ink illustrations, and often gruesome story lines.

Amphigorey also /
ISBN: 0156056720. OCLC Number: 10128997

. .

Les échanges malandreux /
ISBN: 0911381090. OCLC Number: 12169214

Metacom Press,. .

Saint Melissa the Mottled /
ISBN: 1608198855. OCLC Number: 772106523

. .

A rare and irreverent, previously unpublished story by the late author of The Wuggly Ump profiles offbeat Saint Melissa, whose canonization occurred despite her Miracles of Destruction, through which she would induce migraines, refine lust and set supernatural traps that have yet to be sprung.

The blue aspic /
ISBN: 0764950622. OCLC Number: 300462701

Pomegranate,. .

Ortenzia Caviglia is an undiscovered opera understudy whose lucky break results from the mysterious murder of the reigning diva. Upon hearing her sing, Jasper Ankle becomes her deepest admirer, undaunted by perilous weather and abject poverty in his quest to hear her sing. As Ortenzia's star rises, Jasper sinks further into despair, until performer and fan collide in true Edward Gorey fashion. Exquisitely illustrated with Gorey's signature pen-and-ink crosshatching, The Blue Aspic is a heart-wrenching and oddly hilarious tale of unrequited love and the dangers of celebrity.

The curious sofa /
ISBN: 0151003076. OCLC Number: 37116137

. .

"Gorey’s naughty, hilarious travesty of lust-now reissued in a special gift edition. “A master of the genre of graphic storytelling and a brilliant draftsman” (New York Times Book Review)."--Publisher's description.

The doubtful guest /
ISBN: 0151003130. OCLC Number: 38542803

. .

The epiplectic bicycle /
ISBN: 0151003149. OCLC Number: 38542798

. .

A brother and sister take "an intrepid voyage of epic proportion" on a bicycle.

The evil garden /
ISBN: 0764958852. OCLC Number: 682891159

Pomegranate,. .

The shrewd Edward Gorey leads us through this nefarious garden with a light step. -- Book flap.

The Gashlycrumb tinies, or, After the outing /
ISBN: 0151003084. OCLC Number: 37037367

. .

Drawings show an alphabet of young victims and how they died.

The hapless child /
ISBN: 0764944681. OCLC Number: 229336343

Pomegranate,. .

The short, tragic life of Charlotte Sophia is told in this satire of sentimental Victorian orphan tales.

The haunted tea-cosy :
ISBN: 0151004153. OCLC Number: 40146254

. .

In his Preface to "A Christmas Carol", Charles Dickens wrote that he tried "to raise the Ghost of an Idea" with readers and trusted that it would "haunt their house pleasantly". In December 1997, 154 Christmases later, the "New York Times Magazine" asked its own Edward Gorey to refurbish this enduring morality tale. The result is this "dispirited and distasteful diversion for Christmas".

The listing attic [and] The unstrung harp
ISBN: 0200721038. OCLC Number: 2189734

Abelard-Schuman,. .

The osbick bird /
ISBN: 076496335X. OCLC Number: 785868010

Pomegranate,. .

The raging tide, or, The black doll's imbroglio /
ISBN: 0825304377. OCLC Number: 15162238

. .

Imaginary characters found nowhere but in Gorey's wild imagination struggle for supremacy, assaulting one another with implements like buttonhooks and library paste amid thumblike monoliths. Readers may turn the pages sequentially or select their own path in response to a series of choices put by the author.

The tunnel calamity /
ISBN: 0399210555. OCLC Number: 10984413

. .

Unexpected appearance of the Uluus (thought to have been extinct for over a century) in the tunnel connecting East Shoetree and West Radish, St. Frumble's Day, 1892.

The unstrung harp :
ISBN: 0747550344. OCLC Number: 59579468

Bloomsbury,. .

The west wing /
ISBN: 1608190641. OCLC Number: 368048265

Bloomsbury,. .

The West Wing is an invitation to the imagination. On each page, a room beckons, inviting the reader to wonder why three shoes lie here abandoned, what is retreating in that mirror's reflection, or why there is an imprint of a body on the wallpaper, faded and floating four feet above the floor. A wordless mystery, it is one of Gorey's finest works.

The Willowdale handcar, or, The return of the black doll /
ISBN: 0151010358. OCLC Number: 52086148

Harcourt,. .

In this enigmatic, surreal, wonderfully entertaining tale, three mysterious figures set out from Willowdale, traveling by handcar. On the way to nowhere in particular they pass a number of odd characters and observe a series of baffling phenomena, from a house burning down in a field to a palatial mansion perched precariously on a bluff.At once deeply vexing and utterly hilarious, darkly mysterious and amusingly absurd, The Willowdale Handcar is vintage Edward Gorey.

Thoughtful alphabets :
ISBN: 0764963368. OCLC Number: 815682526

. .