One of Edward Gorey's more enigmatic offerings is The Nursery Frieze. This small oblong book has orange wrappers and the pages inside show a procession of hippopotamus-like creatures (they may well be hippos) parading in single file emitting seemingly disjointed words. Scattered about the landscape are large letters which seem random until you realize they string together to spell out - The Nursery Frieze by Edward Gorey.
The front cover of The Nursery Frieze has a large number 15 and on the reverse, is the word TWO. This signifies that this is Mr. Gorey's fifteenth published book and it is the second volume published by his Fantod Press. This title was published in an edition of 500 unnumbered copies and appears in Amphigorey Too. My copy is signed by Mr. Gorey (not all copies are signed).
What makes this book unique is that Edward Gorey created drawings that could be enlarged and used as a wallpaper frieze to go around the top of a room. That he calls it a frieze for a nursery implies that it will entertain and instruct the young inhabitant of the room. But with words such as dismemberment, mistrust and remorse, perhaps this frieze is actually intended for the nursery of The Beastly Baby! If this is an instructional frieze, then most of the words need to be looked up by many readers. Examples: etui, ganosis, thurible, accismus. It would have been interesting to play Scrabble with EG!
Photostat enlargements of this book were made by Gotham Book Mart and used as decoration for their booth at a New York Book Fair. Some of these enlargements were on display in the "old" Gotham on 47th Street positioned near the ceiling. These "full sized" papers have appeared on the market recently through Bromer Booksellers.