Corrections and additions to
Complete Nonsense by Mervyn Peake
edited by R. W. Maslen
and G. Peter Winnington
and published by Carcanet in July 2011
Page 31: We have now had access to the MS of “Mr Slaughterboard” and found that the first two lines of the “Raft Song” should read
Pages 35 to 41: We have now had access to the MS of “The Dwarf of Battersea”. The Book of Nonsense source was erratic in reproducing the title page, but the only significant change was to the date: rather than “1937” Peake actually wrote “( ? )”. In the body of the poem, Peake had a comma in lines 1 and 3 of stanzas 10 (“His hair was dark, his lips were fat”) and 13 (“The dwarf turned white, but did as bid”), and gave capital letters to “the sacred pool” in stanza 18. More importantly, he wrote “But he has now ‘passed over’, see?” in line 4 of stanza 20, confirming our hypothesis that this might be a pun.
Page 140: The last word on the page should be “wool” rather than “wood” since it is lowered over the eyes of the Plumber. (Our thanks to Colin West for pointing this out.)
Page 181: The title should have “Undertakers” in the plural, thus: “Undertakers’ Song (1)” , and
Page 182: the same applies to “Undertakers’ Song (2)”.
Page 230: The note to “Manifold Basket’s Song” gives an incorrect page reference. It should be page 15 (and not 13) in Peake Studies vol. 11, no. 2 (April 2009).
None as yet.
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