FOLLOW US ON: follow us in feedly
GET THE NEWSLETTER
CONTACT US
Macabre, gothic illustrations for Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘Tales of Mystery and Imagination’
10.28.2016
12:42 pm
Topics:
Tags:
Macabre, gothic illustrations for Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘Tales of Mystery and Imagination’ Macabre, gothic illustrations for Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘Tales of Mystery and Imagination’

030harryclarkecovereap.jpg
 
There are few volumes more suitably macabre for dipping into at this time of year than Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination. I had for many years an old Pan paperback of Poe’s stories—one I’d treasured since childhood—until this fine dog-eared friend started setting loose its pages. When I replaced it, I was fortunate to find a battered old volume with fabulous illustrations by Harry Clarke. An original edition of this book can set you back a few hundred bucks. Thankfully, the thrift store where I chanced upon my 1928 edition was more than charitable in its pricing and I paid no more than the cost of an average family-sized coffee.

Clarke’s beautiful, intricate—and yes, at times—rather grotesque illustrations are a perfect fit for Poe’s weird tales. Clarke (1889-1931) was a prolific artist and illustrator. An Irishman who produced over 130 beautiful and ornate stained glass windows for churches all over Ireland and in England and France. Yet, for all their magestic beauty Clarke’s greatest fame came from his book illustrations—most notably for the Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen (1916), the Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault (1922), Goethe’s Faust (1925), and especially the two editions of Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination in 1919 and 1923.

The 1919 edition of Poe’s collected stories were accompanied by a series of Clarke’s monotone illustrations. The 1923 edition was further enriched by the addition of eight color plates. I never tire of looking at Clarke’s illustrations. They are incredibly rich and filled with small intricacies that delight even after far too many viewings. Sure, he may have dipped his pen in the well of Aubrey Beardsley’s blackest ink but Clarke’s penmanship and artistry are singularly his own.
 
08fallhouseusher.jpg
The Fall of the House of Usher.’
 
10fallhouseusher.jpg
The Fall of the House of Usher.’
 
12telltaleheart.jpeg
The Tell-Tale Heart.’
 
26telltaleheartclarkeeap.jpg
The Tell-Tale Heart.’
 
05masquered.jpg
The Masque of Red Death.’
 
06pitpendulum.jpg
The Pit and the Pendulum.’
 
02murdersrue.jpg
Murders in the Rue Morgue.’
 
29williamwilsonclarkeeap.jpg
William Wilson.’
 
13tombligeia.jpg
Ligeia.’
 
03tombligeia.jpg
Ligeia.’
 
31thegoldbugclarkeeap.jpg
The Gold Bug.’
 
11blackcat.jpg
The Black Cat.’
 
04maelstrom.jpg
A Descent into the Maelström.’
 
07prematureburial.jpg
The Premature Burial.’
 
30raggedmountainsclarkeeap.jpg
A Tale of the Ragged Mountains.’
 
20morellaamontillado.jpg
 
01caskamontillado.jpg
The Cask of Amontillado.’
 
23clarkeeap.jpg
 
16MysteryMarieRogêt.jpg
The Mystery of Marie Rogêt.’
 
27MysteryMarieRogêclarkeeap.jpg
The Mystery of Marie Rogêt.’
 
28clarkeeap.jpg
 
25clarkeeap.jpg
 
14messagebottle.jpg
MS. Found in a Bottle.’
 
18berenice.jpg
Berenice.’
 
09valdemar.jpg
The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar.’
 
21clarkeeap.jpg
 
15ColloquyMonosUna.jpg
The Colloquy of Monos and Una.’
 
033Metzengerstein.jpg
Metzengerstein.’
 
17ManofthrCrowd.jpg
The Man of the Crowd.’
 
19impofthe_perverseclarkeeap.jpg
 
042clarkepoecoverinside.jpg
 
32clarkeeapcover.jpg
 
Via Wiki Commons, Public Domain Review and British Library.
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher
|
10.28.2016
12:42 pm
|
Discussion

 

 

comments powered by Disqus