Synopses & Reviews
The first complete paperback edition of the restored Gormenghast Novels, including twelve critical essays and Mervyn Peake's unfinished fourth novel, Titus Awakes
A doomed lord, an emergent hero, and a dazzling array of bizarre creatures inhabit the magical world of the Gormenghast novels which, along with Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, reigns as one of the undisputed fantasy classics of all time. At the center of it all is the seventy-seventh Earl, Titus Groan, who stands to inherit the miles of rambling stone and mortar that form Gormenghast Castle and its kingdom, unless the conniving Steerpike, who is determined to rise above his menial position and control the House of Groan, has his way.
In these extraordinary novels, Peake has created a world where all is like a dream lush, fantastical, and vivid. Accompanying the text are Peake's own drawings, illustrating the whole assembly of strange and marvelous creatures that inhabit Gormenghast.
Introductory Essays by Anthony Burgess and Quentin Crisp
"Many readers admire Tolkien's Lord of the Rings but fans of Mervyn Peake's Titus trilogy maintain that this extravagant epic about a labyrinthine castle populated with conniving Dickensian grotesques is the true fantasy classic of our time." The Washington Post Book World
"Mervyn Peake is a finer poet than Edgar Allan Poe, and he is therefore able to maintain his world of fantasy brilliantly through three novels. It is a very, very great work...a classic of our age." Robertson Davies
"[Peake's books] are actual additions to life; they give, like certain rare dreams, sensations we never had before, and enlarge our conception of the range of possible experience." C. S. Lewis
"Peake liberates and elevates as well as charms." R. G. Davis, The New York Times
A doomed lord, an emergent hero, an array of bizarre creatures, and an ancient royal family plagued by madness and intrigue--these are the denizens of ancient, sprawling, tumbledown Gormenghast Castle. Within its vast halls and serpentine corridors, the members of the Groan dynasty and their master Lord Sepulchrave grow increasingly out of touch with a changing world as they pass their days in unending devotion to meaningless rituals and arcane traditions. Meanwhile, an ambitious kitchen boy named Steerpike rises by devious means to the post of Master of the Ritual while he maneuvers to bring down the Groans.
In these extraordinary novels, Peake has created a world where all is like a dream: lush, fantastical, vivid; a symbol of dark struggle. Accompanying the text are Peake's own drawings, illustrating the whole assembly of strange creatures that inhibit Gormenghast.
Breathtaking in its power and drenched in dark atmosphere, humor and intrigue, The Gormenghast Trilogy is a classic, one of the great works of 20th century British literature.
About the Author
Mervyn Peake (1911-1968) was a playwright, painter, poet, illustrator, short story writer, and designer of theatrical costumes, as well as a novelist. Among his many books are Mr. Pye and Peake's Progress.
Table of Contents
Introduction by Quentin Crisp ix
Introduction by Anthony Burgess 1
Titus Groan 7
Titus Alone 809
Critical Assessments 1025
Titus Awakes 1165