In cooperation with the Mervyn Peake Estate, Peter Owen has gathered together a selection of long out-of-print short stories, and a good number of never before published illustrations, by one of England’s most unique and multi-talented artists.
‘Boy in Darkness', the centrepiece of this collection, will be of special interest to fans of the Gormenghast books, as it comprises a chapter in the life of Titus Groan that unfolds beyond the pages of Mervyn Peake’s monumental trilogy. It begins on the occasion of Titus’s fourteenth birthday. Overwhelmed by the pomp and gruelling ritual of life in Gormenghast, he braves an escape from his hereditary gaol. Beyond the castle walls, Titus wanders into a sinister and soulless land, where he is captured by Goat and Hyena, the grotesque henchmen of an evil master intent on claiming young Titus’s soul. A disturbingly atmospheric tale, told with the force and simplicity of allegory, ‘Boy in Darkness’ distills the strange logic of the Gormenghast trilogy into a story of pith and mystery, which bears comparison with Kafka and Poe.
Written across a range of genres, from a ghost story, to wry character studies drawn from his life in London and on the Isle of Sark, the other stories in the volume reveal surprisingly different facets of Peake’s uncanny imagination. Ultimately, the collection coheres through Peake’s powers to enchant the mundane and to render the fantastic normal.
Featuring 40 illustrations by the author
With a foreword by the acclaimed author Joanne Harris and an introduction by the author's late widow, Maeve Gilmore
'Shows Peake to be a master of the macabre and a traveller through the deeper and darker chasms of the imagination.' – The Times
'Completely hair-raising.' – Glasgow Herald
MERVYN PEAKE (1911–1968) was born in China of medical missionary parents. He began to draw, paint and write stories at an early age. His first book of poems, Shapes and Sounds, was published in 1941. He is best known for his Titus novels Titus Groan, Gormenghast and Titus Alone, but other well-known poetry collections include The Glassblowers and The Rhyme of the Flying Bomb. He was awarded the W.H. Heinemann Foundation Prize by the Royal Society of Literature in 1950. Mervyn Peake died after a long illness in 1968.
SEBASTIAN PEAKE (1940–2012) was the first child of Mervyn Peake. His biographies of his father have received wide acclaim. He was also a contributor to a number of collections such as Mervyn Peak: The Man and His Art and Peake's Progress: Selected Short Stories and Poems.
|Date Published||1st July 2011|