I just stumbled upon this great flickr set of Edward Gorey's home on Cape Cod (now a museum). A few years ago I was looking at a book of photos of his house that showed a small door at the back of a closet that led into a secret sunny room that housed his childrens book collection (sadly not a part of this flickr set). The man had so many books they had to shore up the beams holding the house up!
Here are some interesting tidbits from Wikipedia:
• Roomed with poet Frank O'Hara while studying French at Harvard.
• Although many people assumed he was English based upon his aesthetic, Gorey was American and had never visited Britain.
• In later years he wrote and directed numerous evening-length entertainments, often featuring his own papier-mâché puppets, in an ensemble known as La Theatricule Stoique.
• For many years he religiously attended all performances of the New York City Ballet.
• His knowledge of literature and films was unusually extensive, and in his interviews, he named Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, Francis Bacon, George Balanchine, Balthus, Louis Feuillade, Ronald Firbank, Lady Murasaki Shikibu, Robert Musil, Yasujiro Ozu, Anthony Trollope, and Johannes Vermeer as some of his favorite artists.
• Gorey was also an unashamed pop-culture junkie, avidly following soap operas and TV comedies like Petticoat Junction and Cheers, and he had particular affection for dark genre series like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Batman: The Animated Series, and The X-Files; he once told an interviewer that he so enjoyed the Batman series that it was influencing the visual style of one of his upcoming books.
• Although Gorey's books were popular with children, he did not associate with children much and had no particular fondness for them. Gorey never married, professed to have little interest in romance, and never discussed any specific romantic relationships in interviews. In the book The Strange Case of Edward Gorey, published after Gorey's death, his friend Alexander Theroux reported that when Gorey was pressed on the matter of his sexual orientation, he said that even he was not sure whether he was gay or straight. When asked what his sexual preferences were in an interview, he said,
“I'm neither one thing nor the other particularly. I am fortunate in that I am apparently reasonably undersexed or something...I've never said that I was gay and I've never said that I wasn't...what I'm trying to say is that I am a person before I am anything else...."