Literary Visual art

John Bellairs and Edward Gorey

The Curse of the Blue Figurine (1983)
The Curse of
the Blue Figurine (1983)

John Bellairs was an author of young adult books with spooky settings and (Edward) Gorey covers.

A Woodrow Wilson Fellow, Bellairs graduated Magna cum Laude and moved to Chicago whereupon he shortly earned a Masters in English from The University of Chicago. In 1963 John began a career of teaching, first in Winona, Minnesota at the College of Saint Teresa as an instructor of English. By 1966 his first book, St. Fidgeta and Other Parodies, was released and he was teaching in Mount Carroll, Illinois as a member of the Humanities faculty at Shimer College. There for only one year, he moved overseas to live and write in Bristol, England for six months. He relocated to Massachusetts upon his return in 1968 with a second book, The Pedant and the Shuffly, soon released. He married Priscilla Braids on June 24 and began teaching English at Emmanuel College in Boston. A third book, The Face in the Frost, was published the following year. After a two-year teaching post at Merrimack College in North Andover, Bellairs’ years of writing and rewriting paid off in 1973 with his young-adult masterpiece, The House With a Clock in its Walls, a supernatural thriller staring the portly Lewis Barnavelt, Uncle Jonathan Barnavelt, and their neighbor Florence Zimmermann. Bellairsia

Anthony and his friends generally overcome evil forces bent on ending the world. In this series the adult mentor is a very wise and worldly small town librarian named Mrs. Ells. – Good old Wikipedia

The Doom of the Haunted Opera (1995)  completed by Brad Strickland
The Doom of the Haunted Opera
completed by Brad Strickland

I particularly like the cover above because the girl in the glasses looks like me! Thank you Mr Gorey 🙂

The art for the cover of the book (below) is wonderfully spooky, but this is one of the disjointed paintings created for the series. The front and back cover of the dust jacket do not read as a continuous image when viewed as a single image. Goreyana

The Lamp from the Warlock's Tomb was published in 1988 by Dial Books for Young Readers.
The Lamp from the Warlock’s Tomb was published in 1988 by Dial Books for Young Readers.

Edward Gorey was always the master at depicting the light from a torch in an eerie setting!

Literary Visual art

Leonora Carrington – Top 10 Facts


Above: Picture of the sculpture “Stallion” on display at the Estacion Indianilla museum in Mexico City, on April 14, 2011 as part of the exhibition of Mexican sculptor Leonora Carrington. (Getty)

Leonora Carrington was a fantastic surrealist artist and weird fiction author. Here are ten facts you need to know.


  1. She Was a Founding Member of the Women’s Liberation Movement in Mexico
  2. Carrington was raised in a wealthy Roman Catholic family on a large estate called Crookhey Hall.
  3. She died May 25 2011 at the age of 94, and was one of the last surviving participants in the Surrealist movement of the 1930s.
  4. She remained active as a painter and sculptor throughout her life, and continued to inspire younger generations.
  5. Two weeks after her death an international group of Surrealists met in Athens to explore her proposal for “Surrealist survival kits”.
  6. She had fallen in love with the 46-year-old, married, surrealist painter Max Ernst. She intended to move to Paris with him and pursue a career as an artist.The Guardian
  7. Leonora Carrington was a revolutionary before she ever encountered the Surrealists. Born into an upper class family in Lancashire, England, Leonora learned at a very early age the injustice of
  8. Finally after many rebellious acts and expulsions from school, she succeeded in convincing her parents to let her study art at the Amédée Ozenfant Academy in London.
  9. He (Ernst) left his wife for Carrington, his “Bride of the Wind”. The couple lived together until the outbreak of W.W.II when Ernst was taken prisoner as an enemy alien. Carrington’s work during this period moves from themes of childhood filled with magical birds and animals, to a mature art based on Celtic mythology and alchemical transformation. It is an art of sensibility rather than hallucination, one in which animal guides lead the way out of a world of men who don’t know magic, fear the night, and have no mental powers except intellect.
  10. “The source of Carringtion’s magical white horse lies not in Freud’s use of the horse as a symbol of male power but in the Celtic legends that nourished her childhood…the horse is sacred to the ancient tribe of the Tuatha de Danaan…the hyena belongs to the fertile world of night; the horse becomes an image of rebirth into the light of day and the world beyond the looking glass. As symbolic intermediaries between the unconscious and the natural world, they replace male Surrealists’ reliance on the image of woman as the mediating link between man and the “marvelous” and suggest the powerful role played by Nature as a source of creative power for the woman artist (Chadwick, p. 79).”

Anthology of Black Humour