I received this book through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program. I requested it based on my familiarity with some of Gorey’s work that has shown up on various greeting cards I’ve received, as well as his delightfully macabre alphabets. The book is a companion to a current exhibit of the artist’s work at the Brandywine River Museum, and features a variety of plates of Gorey’s drawings.
I learned a number of things from this book, first of which is that Gorey is actually a contemporary artist (he only passed away in 2000, and was younger than my grandparents). Given his typically Victorian style, I’d always assumed he was an early 20th century artist.
Another surprise was that he did set design. A number of sketches for his designs for The Mikado are included. His design combines Victorian England and high Japanese fashion, and it actually works.
This is definitely an interesting book, with a wide survey of his work, even including some illustrated envelopes from the letters he sent to his mother when he was in college. I’d highly recommend this to anyone like me that’s only familiar with the public face of Gorey, and would like to learn more.