Wickedly funny and delightfully sad, Three Ladies Beside the Sea is a tale of love found, love lost, and love never-ending.

Wickedly funny and delightfully sad, Three Ladies Beside the Sea is a tale of love found, love lost, and love never-ending. Edward Gorey's off-kilter Edwardian maidens are the perfect accompaniment to Rhoda Levine's lilting rhymes. The place is remote: Three houses beside the sea. The Characters are Few: Laughing Edith of Ecstasy, Edith so happy and gay. Smiling Catherine of Compromise, She smiles her life away. And then there is Alice of Hazard, A dangerous life leads she. The question in the plot is quite simple: Why is Alice up in a tree? The answer can be discovered: Edith and Catherine do.


ISBN13: 9781590173541
Format: Paperback / softback
Number of Pages: 40
Edition: Main
Publication Date: 13 Jul 2010
Publisher: The New York Review of Books, Inc
Publication City, Country: New York, United States
Dimensions (cm): 18.4(H) x 0.8(W) x 19.7(S)240
Weight (gm): 240

Author Biography

Rhoda Levine is the author of seven children's books (two of which were illustrated by Edward Gorey) and is an accomplished director and choreographer. In addition to working for major opera houses in the United States and Europe, she has choreographed shows on and off Broadway, and in London's West End. Among the world premieres she has directed are Der Kaiser von Atlantis, by Viktor Ullmann, and The Life and Times of Malcolm X and Wakonda's Dream, both by Anthony Davis. In Cape Town she directed the South African premiere of Porgy and Bess in 1996, and she premiered the New York City Opera productions of Janacek's From the House of the Dead, Zimmermann's Die Soldaten, and Adamo's Little Women. Edward Gorey (1925-2000) was born in Chicago. He studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, spent three years in the army testing poison gas, and attended Harvard College, where he majored in French literature and roomed with the poet Frank O'Hara. In 1953 Gorey published The Unstrung Harp, the first of his many extraordinary illustrated books, which include The Curious Sofa, The Haunted Tea Cosy, and The Epileptic Bicycle. NYRB has published Gorey's illustrated edition of H. G. Wells's The War of the Worlds and The Haunted Looking Glass, a selection of his favorite tales of ghosts, ghouls, and grisly goings-on.


"A rhymed story of charming eccentricity, Rhoda Levine's Three Ladies Beside the Sea has a fable-like quality. Three friends - Edith of Ecstasy, Catherine of Compromise and Alice of Hazard - live in harmony, doing their chores, drinking tea and playing chamber music. (Once you've seen Edward Gorey's pictures of their elongated figures and their odd, tower-shaped cottages, it's impossible to imagine them otherwise.) Alice has a disturbing habit of climbing a tree - in all weather! - and gazing intently out at the sky. It's a compulsion, she explains when her friends confront her about it...Ah, then why does she do it? There's the question, to which Levine and Gorey's answer seems to be: One has to accept all kinds of mysteries in friends." --Los Angeles Times

"Ms. Levine's wry imagination and Mr. Gorey's powerfully epicene drawings (figure that one out) constitute a whole new country for a child to visit or for a lucky grandfather to act as tour guide. ...This is, of course, a must for the many Edward Gorey fans of all ages, and a chance to discover the fine poetry of Rhoda Levine. I read this one to my five year old grand-daughter because it is just long enough to be engaging and just short enough to be wiggle proof, and just wise enough to set a young imagination free as a bird." -Sherman Yellen, The Huffington Post

"Three Ladies by the Sea consists of more nonsense about the formal activities of the three ladies of nobility with the exception of Alice who insists upon in a tree where she seeks a bird she saw long ago." -Charlotte Jackson, Los Angeles Times

Three Ladies Beside The Sea

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