Monday, December 20, 2010

The Twelve Terrors of Christmas

The Twelve Terrors of Christmas, written by John Updike and illustrated by Edward Gorey, was an instant success for Gotham Book Mart. Both men must have gotten tired of signing their names inside the various limited editions of this title - in 1993, GBM published two separate editions of this book with a third edition in 1994!

This delightful book is for anyone who gets a little too stressed out each December. The twelve biggest pitfalls of the Christmas season are comically outlined by Mr. Updike, and Mr. Gorey's artwork will make you laugh out loud.

Published concurrently in 1993 was a deluxe edition of 126 hardback copies and a limited edition of 500 copies in wrappers (paperback). The deluxe copies have an illustrated tan paper cover and no dustwrapper. These copies consist of 100 numbered and 26 lettered (A to Z) copies. I am showing copies Z/26 and #26/100.

The first limited edition printing from 1993 consists of 500 numbered copies in tan wrappers. I am showing copy #404/500.

This title proved to be so popular that in 1994 a "first trade edition" was published in pale green wrappers. This edition was not generally signed by Mr. Updike, but GBM managed to get the author to sign a few copies. The book I am showing is signed by both author and illustrator on the title page. Below, I am showing the announcement card for this publication.
The Twelve Terrors of Chrismas remains popular today. In 2006, Pomegranate came out with a hardback reprint (with green covers) that is still available.

1 comment:

Brian OConnell said...

It is a great work. Mr. Updike's humorous rendition of the stressful holiday time is wonderful. Mr. Gorey's illustrations are classics as usual. My brother gave a copy to me this Christmas. Very good.

This is a great blog that should have been made the second Edward Gorey was born. Bravo.