New York: Duell, Sloan and Pierce, 1953. 1st Edition. Small octavo, publisher's illustrated paper-covered boards, burgundy endpapers, original illustrated dust jacket.
"Even more harrowing than the first chapters of a novel are the last, for Mr. Earbrass anyway. The characters have one and all become thoroughly tiresome, as though he had been trapped at the same party with them since the day before; neglected sections of the plot loom on every hand, waiting to be disposed of; his verbs seem to have withered away and his adjectives to be proliferating past control." Stated first edition of American writer and illustrator Edward Gorey's first book. Called a "small masterpiece," this metafictional tale follows protagonist C.F. Earbrass, patently Gorey’s alter-ego, as he struggles to write a novel also titled The Unstrung Harp. While quintessential Gorey for its neo-Edwardian illustration and droll humor, the book has the distinction of being the only one he wrote where the prose is as fulsome as the illustrations are detailed, providing insight into his still-developing style. Light rubbing to edges; price-clipped dust jacket with a few small nicks to edges and $2.00 inkstamp to front flap. Near fine. Item #2297