Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Sopping Thursday

This Christmas marks a milestone for my Edward Gorey collection. With the addition of the Deluxe Edition of The Sopping Thursday, I have now completed my "A Collection" books by Mr. Gorey. My partner Bill surprised me with lettered copy "M" under the Christmas tree. I am still missing a few lettered copies of other titles here and there, but since the only difference between these copies and the numbered editions is a letter rather than a number on the colophon page, I do not feel they are necessary for my book collection to feel complete.

Published in 1970 by The Gotham Book Mart as a limited edition of 300 signed/numbered copies and 26 deluxe signed/lettered copies, The Sopping Thursday celebrates the 50th anniversary of GBM. This is the first title by Edward Gorey to be published by GBM. The 300 numbered copies were published in stiff wrappers and signed/numbered by Mr. Gorey. The 26 deluxe lettered copies set this edition apart from books that Mr. Gorey has previously published.

The 26 lettered copies are specially bound in hardcover, slipcased and each contains an original drawing with a corresponding letter. The letter/limitation is positioned in the lower right hand corner of each drawing, together with Edward Gorey's signature in initial form.

The artwork for my copy shows a cat standing in the rain with a Chinese umbrella which is decorated with a large symbol. The Chinese symbol on the umbrella represents "a method, a way to do things, and/or a path" depending on your interpretation. This is very appropriate for the story of the book. The pen & ink artwork is executed in grey and black ink which gives the rain in the drawing a wet, oppressive feel. The cats appearing in the published story are realistically drawn, while the cats which appear in the 26 drawings are often strange hybrid animals with large human noses. To see the drawings which accompanied the lettered books, see my posting from March 26, 2009.

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