Sunday, February 12, 2012

Cautionary Tales

Edward Gorey left many unfinished projects at the time of his death in April 2000. There were stories and snippets of poetry he had written but had not had yet illustrated, works with the illustrations partially completed, and unfinished drawings. Some of these projects had been abandoned years earlier when he ran out of interest while working on them.

Once such project was Cautionary Tales for Children by Hilaire Belloc (French/British 1896 - 1953). Originally published in 1907, the first printing includes eleven tales. Mr. Gorey completed illustrations for seven of the tales before letting the project languish. After his death, the Edward Gorey Charitable Trust decided to publish the completed portions of the work, omitting the unfinished sections. Since the tales are short stories, it was easy to put together a complete book of tales. Almost all the writing in the book is typeset rather than hand lettered.
Cautionary Tales for Children was published in 2004 by Harcourt, Inc. as a hardcover with an illustrated dust wrapper. The trade edition contains six of the original eleven tales. In addition to the trade edition, a limited edition of 100 numbered and 26 lettered copies was produced. The limited edition is slipcased and comes with a portfolio which houses an unbound seventh tale, titled Lord Lundy: Who was too Freely Moved to Tears, and thereby ruined his Political Career. The colophon page is included in the portfolio, and the books are numbered/lettered in ink on the front free flyleaf. I am showing copy #100/100, and lettered copy Z (of 26 A to Z).

No comments: