I recently decided just for fun to browse a group of books about Edward Gorey, and discovered that in addition to the books written and illustrated by him, there are lots of books by other authors for which he designed the cover. One writer noted that Gorey enthusiasts like to prowl used-book stores looking for the ones for which he provided illustrations or covers.
So my next step was to get this book from our library:
It turns out there are an abundance of such books, some with "instantly-recognizable Gorey" covers, but more with images that are stylistically related and recognizable, once you familiarize yourself with his work.
There are way too many book covers for me to even attempt embedding here. The one at the top of this post struck my eye, because it was the cover of a textbook I was assigned to read for my first course in American Literature in college in the 1960s. Sadly, I recycled that book decades ago, but the cover was unforgettable.
Might this knowledge be useful in some pecuniary way? Apparently so. I searched eBay for "Gorey cover" in the "books" section and saw some offered at ridiculous prices. Then I clicked on "sold" and was surprised to see some of the prices realized. In my experience, selling books on eBay is largely a futile effort because to sell your precious coffee-table art book you have to compete with sellers offering the same for $3 plus free shipping.
But these Gorey-illustrated books might be worth looking for. If you can't locate the book shown above, browse this page of results of a Google Image search for "Gorey covers" to familiarize yourself with what to look for.
Additional information from an old Guardian article:
Yet, understandably, less attention is devoted today to the 200-plus illustrated paperback covers and hardcover jackets that Chicago-born, Harvard-educated Gorey (known to his friends as Ted) created while working as a staff artist, art director, editor and freelance illustrator at various American publishing houses for a large portion of his career. In two brief sentences, his obituary tossed aside this impressive output: “After graduation he remained in Boston, illustrating book jackets. Then he went to New York and worked in the art department at Doubleday, staying late in the office to create his own books.”...Related:
Gorey’s covers and jackets were not done anonymously or as mere throwaways, as many others were. Nor was this a strategic compromise until he found and embraced his true calling. Today, this body of work exemplifies his unique contribution to a truly exceptional era of graphic design when book covers and jackets became an innovative genre honoured by exhibitions and awards.
The correspondence of Edward Gorey
The bizarre humor of Edward Gorey
Selections from "Gashlycrumb Tinies" - updated