Original typescript of “The Yellow Thingummy” alphabet.


Edward Gorey (1925–2000).


Original typescript of “The Yellow Thingummy” alphabet.


I wanted to interview Edward Gorey for N is for Newsletter, the monthly newsletter devoted to the alphabet that I had created with a friend. I knew Gorey's inventive, idiosyncratic alphabets and I wanted to know more. The book jacket for his earlier alphabet, The Glorious Nosebleed, said he lived in Barnstable, Massachusetts, so I called information and got his phone number. He answered the phone. “When would be a good time to talk?” I asked. “One a.m. on Sunday,” he answered.

And so I called at 1:00 a.m. on Sunday, May 2, 1993. We talked for 1½ hours. He was charming and forthcoming. During the conversation I learned he had a folder of unpublished alphabets. Breathlessly I asked, “Could I print one in my newsletter?” He sent me his typewritten manuscript of his then-unpublished alphabet, “The Yellow Thingummy” (which later appeared in N is for Newsletter, [vol. 1, no. 4, September 1993]). He eventually sent me two more alphabets, which I proudly printed in subsequent issues. It was a dream come true. For the handful of people who subscribed to N is for Newsletter, they had the privilege of reading the first printing of an Edward Gorey alphabet.


Gretchen Adkins



Edward Gorey (1925–2000)., “Original typescript of “The Yellow Thingummy” alphabet.,” Grolier Club Exhibitions, accessed December 19, 2018, https://grolierclub.omeka.net/items/show/361.

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