Thursday, March 26, 2009
The Sopping Thursday
The Sopping Thursday is a milestone in Edward Gorey's publishing career. To this point, he has published books in several different formats; standard publications, privately printed books, self published volumes, and signed/numbered limited edition books. With this publication, he takes his signed/numbered limited edition books to the next level.
Published in 1970 by The Gotham Book Mart as a limited edition of 300 signed/numbered copies and 26 signed/lettered copies, The Sopping Thursday celebrates the 50th anniversary of GBM. This is the first title of EG's published by GBM. The 300 numbered copies were published in stiff wrappers and signed/numbered by Mr. Gorey (#134/300 shown). The 26 lettered copies set this edition apart from books that EG has previously published.
What makes the 26 lettered copies of this book extra special is that each was specially bound in hardcover, slipcased and contains an original drawing with a corresponding letter. The letter/limitation are in the lower right hand corners of each drawing, together with Edward Gorey's signature in initial form. Unfortunately, I still have not been able to add one of these special lettered book/drawings to my collection. My favorites amongst the drawings are letters A, I, S, W & X.
To advertise the publication of this very special limited edition, 15 photocopied sets of the drawings were available to perspective clients. I had the good fortune to be sent scans of these xeroxed pages by another collector a couple years ago. I am showing the scans here so others may also reference them (click on the images to view them larger). Before receiving these images, I had never seen any of the drawings that accompanied this rare volume.
The first trade printing of The Sopping Thursday was published in 1971 by Capricorn Press, Santa Barbara. The book is slightly thinner and smaller than the limited edition books, and the copyright page states "second printing" even though it is the first trade edition. My Capricorn edition is signed and inscribed to me by Mr. Gorey. This title was recently issued by Pomegranate as a hard cover book with matching illustrated dust wrapper. This is the first hard cover printing of this title. The Sopping Thursday also appears in Amphigorey Also.