Somewhere between Henry Holiday’s weird paintings for Lewis Carroll and Edward Gorey’s delightfully grim alphabet fall Harry Clarke’s hauntingly beautiful and beautifully haunting 1919 illustrations for Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination—a collection of 29 of Poe’s tales of the magical and the macabre.
So lavish was the artwork that a copy of the “deluxe” Clarke-illustrated edition went for 5 guineas in 1919, or about $300 in today’s money. The book, an epic volume of 480 pages, was eventually reprinted by Calla Editions in 2008.
Eerie and erotic, Clarke’s illustrations bring his Edwardian-era aesthetic and early Art Nouveau influences to the post-Victorian liberated fascination with sensuality.
Edgar Allan Poe (right) appears in the oldest-known photograph taken inside an American museum, the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, itself the oldest natural science museum in the Western Hemisphere.
Edgar Allan Poe and H. P. Lovecraft. Together they fight crime. Or something.
Aw emo Poe. His superpower: he mopes at crime and it gets depressed and slinks off into the corner to have a good cry.
And then Lovecraft shoots them, because he has no soul. (really. Cthulu ate it.)
As others were; I have not seen
As others saw; I could not bring
My passions from a common spring.
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow; I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone;
And all I loved, I loved alone.
Then- in my childhood, in the dawn
Of a most stormy life- was drawn
From every depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still:
From the torrent, or the fountain,
From the red cliff of the mountain,
From the sun that round me rolled
In its autumn tint of gold,
From the lightning in the sky
As it passed me flying by,
From the thunder and the storm,
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view."
— Alone (via namelesshere)