Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Gorey Festival

Published in 1968, The Gorey Festival brings together 4 early Edward Gorey titles into one slipcased edition. Put together by Astor-Honor Inc., New York, The Gorey Festival re-issues the four Gorey titles originally published by Ivan Obolensky.

The slipcase is blue/green cloth with an illustrated, pasted label on the front. This set includes The Sinking Spell, The Fatal Lozenge, The Curious Sofa and The Hapless Child. The four books have been made into uniformly sized volumes to fit into the slipcase, and the colors of the bindings are different than the original printings (with the exception of The Sinking Spell).

While the spines of all four volumes read Obolensky, the title pages of three of the books have been changed to read Astor-Honor, Inc., New York. All copyright page information in the books remains the same as the original printings, which can cause confusion today. These reprints were also sold as single volumes, so individual books with these variant bindings can be found today.

Obolensky Publishers obviously still had unsold copies of The Sinking Spell when this project was undertaken, because the books used for this slipcased edition are first edition printings. Also confusing today is the fact that The Sinking Spell, while still a first edition printing, was trimmed to fit into the slipcase. The width of the book was trimmed about 1/8" so all four books would match in size. The height was not trimmed and remains unchanged.

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