Edward Gorey’s first miniature book, The Eclectic Abecedarium is an illustrated adventure through the English alphabet, accompanied by rhyming couplets penned by Gorey, who described his creations as “literary nonsense.”
Inspired by popular moral primers for children, Gorey created an updated version of Isaac Watts’ alphabetic aphorisms.
Part sweet songs of unseen birds and part cautionary tales, this abecedarium fully lives up to the epithet “eclectic.”
Originally published as a miniature, limited edition book, The Eclectic Abecedarium is now being published for the first time as a trade book.
About the ARTIST
Edward St. John Gorey was a Harvard grad, a brilliant artist, a celebrated set and costume designer (his costumes for a Broadway production of Dracula earned him a Tony Award), a lover of animals (particularly cats) and the arts (he seldom missed a performance of the New York City Ballet), and an avid deltiologist—an obscure word so Gorey—like you might think he invented it himself (it means “a collector of postcards”).
His humorously unsettling drawings of vaguely Victorian innocents often facing unfortunate ends became familiar to a wide audience after appearing in the opening credits of the PBS television series Mystery!