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The Haunted Tea-Cosy: A Dispirited and Distasteful Diversion for Christmas

Gorey, Edward

1,255 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0151004153 / ISBN 13: 9780151004157
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Owl Pen Books (Greenwich, NY, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

1977. NY: Harcourt Brace. Sq. 8vo. Hardcover. First edition. Fine in fine DJ. Signed by the author on a bookplate affixed to the dedication page. (FR). Bookseller Inventory # F2694

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Haunted Tea-Cosy: A Dispirited and ...

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Signed: Signed by Author

Edition: 1st Edition.

About this title

Synopsis:

Gorey has never been funnier or more “impossible to resist” (Boston Herald) than in this peculiar retelling of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol.

Review:

Edward Gorey's first book in 25 years, The Haunted Tea-Cosy is a classic work from that magnificently morbid master. The plot of this "dispirited and distasteful diversion for Christmas" revolves around one Edmund Gravel, an Edwardian Scrooge whose attempt to slice a stale fruitcake unleashes an assortment of guilt-inducing ghosts. There's the Spectre of Christmas That Never Was, who directs our hero's attention to a cowering orphan in a graveyard (along with some other, lower-key bits of pathos: "In the high street of the village Reverend Flannel lost his tuning-fork.") The Spectre of Christmas That Isn't also chips in with a kidnapping, a domestic dispute, and a return to the aforementioned graveyard: "To the south, in the cemetery a wrong coffin in a newly dug grave was found to contain rolls of used wallpaper." Like the Dickensian miser upon whom he's based, Gravel is transformed by this ghoulish guided tour. He renounces his life of solitude and invites all of Lower Spigot to a party, featuring "a cake taller than anything else in the room, a conflation of Chartres Cathedral and the Stupa at Borobudur iced in dazzling white sugar" (not pictured, alas). Gorey's illustrations for The Haunted Tea-Cosy are looser and less elaborately cross-hatched than some of his earlier creations. But like the text, these oddly stilted and very Anglophiliac scenes remain a model of delicious, deadpan hilarity. --James Marcus

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Owl Pen Books is a large general antiquarian bookstore in Greenwich, New York (midway between Saratoga Springs, NY and Bennington, Vermont). We stock approximately 100,000 volumes in all subject areas. Our hours are Wednesday-Sunday, 11AM - 5 PM from May 1st to November 1st. We're also open by appointment on off days. If you're interested in visiting us, please call for a map or directions; we're on a back road off a back road! If it's a nice day, bring a lunch and picnic on the lawn (Owl Pen used to be a farm and we have multiple gardens and lots of space).

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We will hold books for 10 days pending receipt of payment. Books may be returned within 10 days. Edie Brown, 166 Riddle Road, Greenwich, NY 12834. (518-692-7039); owlpenbooks@gmail.com.


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