Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Duke of Palermo

It is always fun to seek out book stores while traveling to other cities and to see what you might be able to find. I recently traveled to Milwaukee and Chicago and found a couple Edward Gorey illustrated titles that I did not have in my collection. It can be amazingly easy to spot a Gorey-illustrated book on a shelf since the spines usually have Mr. Gorey's distinctive hand rendered type.

One book I found is by literary critic and writer Edmund Wilson which has a wonderful Gorey cover design. The skeleton on the cover seems to have mugged The Doubtful Guest and made off with his scarf!

The Duke of Palermo, and Other Plays, with an Open Letter to Mike Nichols is a collection of three short plays by Edmund Wilson. It was published in 1969 by Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Inc., New York. Mr. Wilson is infamous in Gorey circles as the man to whom Edward Gorey dedicated The West Wing (see my posting from November 29, 2008 for details). Mr. Wilson also wrote The Rats of Rutland Grange which Mr. Gorey illustrated. This copy is a review copy in pristine condition with the original review slip laid in. It is amusing to see the notation at the bottom of the slip which asks for "two clippings of your review" to be sent, since these were the days before computers.

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