Sunday, September 05, 2010

gorey story

Have you been to the Gorey House in Yarmouth Port?  I decided it was the perfect thing to do while waiting for Not-A-Hurricane Earl to arrive.  You know Edward Gorey, author and illustrator of such books as Amphigorey, The Gashlycrumb Tinies, and of Masterpiece Mystery Fame?  Or for you American Idol fans, you might know him from the tattoo that Cape Cod's own Siobhan Magnus sported on her arm (you can see a video about it here.)

I suddenly remembered, as I was touring the house, that I went to see Gorey Stories when it was playing off-Broadway in 1978.  Wow -- instant flashback!

But those books and the play are just the tip of the iceberg -- he wrote and illustrated hundreds of books and other works,  and was a collector of all manner of wonderful things. Here are just a few.

Gorey died in 2000, and this is his last remaining cat -- perhaps the fattest cat I've ever seen.

X is for Xerxes devoured by mice.

Z is for Zillah who drank too much gin.

B is for Basil assaulted by bears.

J is for James who took lye by mistake.
G is for George smothered under a rug.

There's so much more incredible stuff to see here, but I'll let you discover the rest of it on your own. 

You can read the whole Gashlycrumb Tinies alphabet here.  You can also see more photos of the house in the beautifully photographed book The Elephant House with photographs by Kevin McDermott and an introduction by John Updike.  You can learn more about Edward Gorey and his house at the Gorey House website.


  1. I've always loved, "N is for Neville, who died of ennui."

    This is a lovely blog.

  2. Wonderful imagery. Food for thought.

  3. Excellent collection! I love Gorey's illustrations. One day, I will have to check this place out. Thanks for sharing!

  4. N is for Neville, who died of ennui, is my favorite too!!

    I am so jealous. Adding it to my list of "places to go"

    perfect photo! i might stay there for hours.

  5. Lucy, I think you and I are kindred spirits. First the typewriters, now Gorey! I visited the Gorey house ago four years ago when my husband took me there for my birthday (along with a trip to the Welfleet Oyster Festival). I've always been a huge Gorey fan, including the intro to Mystery on PBS, and I LOVED that museum. I'm hoping to go back again this year. I keep a Gashleycrumb Tinies lunchbox on the desk in my studio.

    Oh, and one of my cats, Scout, gives Gorey's last remaining cat a run for its money. Scout is the fattest cat I've ever met. She eats he same food as our very normal-sized cat and is a mystery to all who meet her! I think Gorey would have loved her. Thanks for this fabulous post!

  6. I have always loved Edward Gorey's sense of humor as well as his illustrations...and yet I had never heard of this museum! I live close enough that I will be sure to visit fairly soon...lovely post!

  7. That looks like a fun place! Great photos -- you really have a way of capturing things.

  8. I was just searching for a picture of the Edward Gorey gin bottle and found your blog. Thanks for this. As it happens, I was in Cape Cod the week of Not-A-Hurricane Earl as well and did go to the E.G. House. We were the only ones there at the time we visited, so could not have crossed paths with you. Lovely memory, and your photos are perfect.