First Peek inside “The Theatrical Adventures of Edward Gorey”

How do you design a book about a famous book designer?

That was the challenge for Allison Weiner at Chronicle Books.

The cover came first — had to, since the marketing, publicity, and sales forces would start work before we knew exactly what images and text fit into our 250 +/- pages. Allison and editor Mirabelle Korn chose a red velvet wrap-around curtain (really!) to signal theater. Echoing Edward Gorey’s legendary designs for Dracula, the actors inside that frame are costumed in black and white — here, from a poster Edward drew for a show on Cape Cod.

Designing the book’s interior was trickier.

After working with Edward on theater projects for more than a decade, I didn’t expect many surprises. Ha! New marvels popped up almost daily as archivist Will Baker sorted through his papers. Each hidden treasure that we discovered (or couldn’t) in the Charitable Trust’s collection had to find a place (or not) in the book. Old colleagues, friends, and collectors told me amazing stories. The pages grew larger. The title grew livelier. Chapters expanded, divided, and merged. The Theatrical Adventures of Edward Gorey is at the printer now, and I’m still not sure exactly what’s in it.

But while we’re waiting . . . here’s what you’ll find when you open that velvet-trimmed cover.


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