Edward Gorey’s Cabinet of Curiosities : The 2017 Edward Gorey House Exhibit


Map of Cape Cod by Consuelo Joerns, a friend of Edward Gorey, on sale in the shop

On our first return to Cape Cod in 2008, after an interval of  29 years, I discovered The Edward Gorey House and made a visit and posted my photos here. On our last Saturday of this year’s trip, after checking out of our Airbnb in Barnstable, I made a second visit to the house.


Even if you don’t recognise Gorey’s name you will probably recognise his work. There’s a fairly detailed biographical sketch of him here on the house website. He lived at the house, at Yarmouth, Massachusetts, for the last 20 years of his life. The house is jam-packed full of his stuff and there is also a barn-full next door. Most of his collection of 25,000 books are currently being catalogued and shelved at San Diego State University. His own personal art works are in Hartford, Connecticut.




A small selection of Gorey’s books is still shelved at the house


Remember The Dubonnet Queen of Ealing Common?

And see The Scavenger Hunt below : J is for James who took lye by mistake


A corner of Gorey’s kitchen

And there’s U is for Una who slipped down a drain.


These Cabinets of Curiosities seem to turn up everywhere this year


Edward Gorey never threw a ticket away

Note also the Scavenger Hunt and pencil.



Author Gorey’s own works


For younger visitors the curators of the house have devised a Scavenger Hunt for the Gashlycrumb Tinies. (See the tickets vitrine above) Well, it’s not really just for children. Anyone can join in.

I spotted :


A is for Amy who fell down the stairs


G is for George smothered under a rug

Edward Gorey House is for everyone!

Stenshuvuds National Park : a Biodiversity Gem in Österlen


Most of our walk along the Österlen Way was along pretty level paths – always looking out for those orange route markers (sometimes just a dash of paint on a post)  to confirm we were on the right track – mostly hugging the coastline but as we neared the end we had to pass through Stenshuvud National Park (Stenshuvud Naturrum). Here there were good facilities and plenty of printed information in English.

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Gerhart Hauptmann (1862-1946) is another winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature. He was a German novelist, poet and playwright; although he was born and died in what is now Poland. I visited his former summer house on the island of Hiddensee in June.


The original gate entrance to Gerhard Hauptmann House and Garden

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The Waldhalle and Ancient Beech Forests

It’s interesting that just as I was about to write this post I read an article in the Weekend Financial Times entitled “Golden Sylva“. Basically, it’s about an architect in Germany using his own woodland to build his own low-energy house. The woodland has been owned by his family for centuries … “Frey is not alone in Germany with his love of woods. The citizens of Europe’s leading industrial economy are deeply attached to their trees. About 2 million people in a population of 80 million possess at least a patch of woodland, often no larger than a copse but nonetheless a personal treasure … in German culture, the tree is uniquely significant. As Hans-Peter Friedrich, a former agriculture minister, says : “You find woods in every German story”.”

The article goes on to explain what Mr Frey is doing and how he is going about the construction etc. but later it reverts back to the tree-related roots of Germany’s founding myth and the importance of woods in German art, music and literature.

unesco description

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‘The Church with the Painted Roof’ : The Work of the Huntingfield Paintress

Earlier this year I read ‘The Huntingfield Paintress’ by Pamela Holmes following reading a review in Country Life magazine.



Since very little is known about the family it’s a totally fictional account of the imagined life and real work of Mildred Holland the wife (and cousin) of the vicar of Huntingfield. It’s described here on the publisher’s website :

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