Monday, December 14, 2015

Edward Gorey's Heart-Warming Christmas

Edward Gorey created A Heart-Warming Christmas for the December 1971 issue of National Lampoon Magazine. It can be truly said that the holiday pictured is anything but "heart-warming". The scene depicted is straight out of a Victorian melodrama, complete with dying child, drunken father, and the misguided benefactor bearing gifts that would, for the most part, be unwanted and not very helpful to the distressed family.

The illustration has numbers which correspond to the descriptions below the drawing, condensing into the single image a complete 22 page book's worth of information.

The key reads as follows:

1. drunken father 2. empty gin bottle 3.rabid rat 4. beaten mother 5. unpawnable object 6. remains of her wedding dress 7. frozen robin 8.motto worked in human hair 9. dying child 10. caseless pillow 11. World Without End quilt 12. Christmas tree 13. string, bones, and ticket stubs from the gutter 14. Sir Giles Crockby, the Pilchard King 15. Russian sable pelisse 16. bespoke spats 17. his Thibetan chauffeur 18. basket of glazed tropical fruits 19. the works of Goethe bound in blue Levant morocco 20. Terrine of pate de foie gras with truffles 21. antique automaton that sings 'Dal dolor cotanto oppresso' from La Clemenza di Scipione 22. box of absinthe-filled chocolates

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