“The Recently Deflowered Girl” (1965) – Illustrated by Edward Gorey

by Joey deVilla on January 10, 2009

This article was updated on May 11, 2009 in response to a request from attorneys for Edward Gorey’s estate. They were actually pretty cool; instead of a full takedown notice, they said I could keep up to 10% of the content of the book in the article and state that permission to reproduce said excerpts has been provided by the Edward Gorey Charitable Trust.

I knew that Shel Silverstein published different works aimed for “kid” and “adult” audiences, but I had no idea that Edward Gorey did the same – at least not until I saw The Recently Deflowered Girl. It’s a 1965 parody of etiquette books that seems quaint now, but must’ve seemed racy back in those days when Playboy was where you got not just the pictures of nude women, but good advice on stereos and cocktails.

Someone on LiveJournal published scans from the book this week. Since its posting, it got popular and the account – and hence the scans of the book – were deleted. I copied the images before that happened, and — with the permission of Edward Gorey’s estate’s lawyers, I’ve been allowed to publish a selection of the pages from the book for your enjoyment.

Present-day pop culture likes to portray Asian men, a category of which I am a member, as effete and unmasculine. Oddly enough, The Recently Deflowered Girl bucked this trend in that ten percent of the book’s deflowerings were carried out by Chinese men, the most-cited ethnicity in the book. I thought it only fitting that I post those two deflowerings. To my horny Asian brothers, this one’s for you, and as we like to say: Everybody Wang Chung tonight!

Click on any of the scans below to see them at full size:




{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jonas July 8, 2009 at 7:58 am

The Brandywine Museum just showed a fantastic exhibition of EG´s works – Pomegranate published a wonderful catlogue. For non-US editions of Gorey´s book (even Chinese, Serbian, Czech, Portuguese…… editions) try http://www.goreyality.com

Scott Russo September 23, 2009 at 12:24 pm

I don’t know if Gorey’s estate reps told you but The Recently Deflowered Girl is being reissued by Bloomsbury. I had the pleasure of working on the project, basically recreating a new book from a worn copy of the old one without any original art or film to help us out. I love Gorey so I went the extra mile digitally recoloring it. I hope you post a link on your site letting all the Gorey fans out there know the book is back in print and available at amazon.com.
Scott Russo


Along with The Recently Deflowered Girl, Bloomsbury is also reissuing The Glorious Nosebleed and The West Wing.



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