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Mervyn Peake

Mervyn Peake (1911-1968) was a modernist writer and illustrator, best known for the Gormenghast trilogy of books. He also wrote a number of nonsense poems, a children's story "Letters from a lost Uncle", a radio play and "Mr Pye", a relatively tightly-structured novel in which God implicitly mocks the evangelical pretensions and cosy world-view of the eponymous hero. He was born in China in 1911 of British parents. Oriental influences can be detected here and there in his work, not least in Gormenghast, which in many respects resembles a Tibetan lamasery more than the Gothic castle it is meant to be.

Peake visited Belsen in the aftermath of World War II in the capacity of war artist; this visit had a profound effect upon him. The first of the Gormenghast trilogy, Titus Groan[?], was written in 1946. Gormenghast[?] followed in 1950, and the final part, Titus Alone[?] in 1959.

In 2000, the BBC and WBGH Boston[?] produced a miniseries, titled Gormenghast[?], based on the first two books of the trilogy.



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