A - books by MP

B - books he illustrated

C - his contributions to books D - his contributions to periodicals

E - exhibitions & ephemera

F - monographs on MP

G - assessments in books

H - assessments in periodicals

I - theses & dissertations

Index to MP’s poems

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Books authored by Mervyn Peake

 
 

A1 CAPTAIN SLAUGHTERBOARD DROPS ANCHOR

a. First edition London: Country Life 1939
Bound in yellow paper-covered boards 255 x 190 with drawings back and front. The front-cover drawing, which has appeared on all subsequent eds., has ‘A COUNTRY LIFE BOOK LONDON 1939’ hand-lettered across the foot. The drawing on the back cover was not used in subsequent eds; it was reproduced on the back of MPR 9. White dustwrapper repeats cover with the addition of the title lettered in black down the spine. Front flap states, ‘This is a very unusual and original book which can best be described as a pirate horrific.’
Many copies of this ed. were destroyed in a warehouse fire, probably between August and December 1940 (since the publisher was still advertising the book, albeit at half price, in July 1940).
Reviews
TLS, 18 November 1939, p.xviii (‘a rather horrific gallery of portraits’)
Punch, 20 December 1939, p.686 (‘quite unsuitable for sensitive children’)
Scotsman, not found but quoted on the flap of A1b

b. Another impression London: Eyre & Spottiswoode 1945
Differs from (a) by the use of pastel-tinted pages – and in the portrait of Timothy Twitch (who is ‘so elegant in battle’) he no longer has a mouth; the tip of his sword is also missing. D/w reproduces original front-cover drawing minus the bottom 4–5 mm to omit the earlier publisher. Title lettered in green on the front of a sand-yellow cloth cover 253 x 187.
Reviews
News Chronicle, 7 December 1945, p.2, by Sheila Rein (‘the very spirit of delight’)
Tatler & Bystander, 13 February 1946, p.220, by Elizabeth Bowen (‘a perfect pirate picture-book’)
New Statesman, 7 December 1946, p.428, by Myfanwy Piper (‘text . . . is poverty-stricken’) [Gives price as 8s 6d]
Time & Tide, 7 December 1946, pp.118–19, by Maurice Collis (‘a morality’) [Gives price as 7s 6d]


c. Second (revised, first American) edition New York: Macmillan 1967
The tallest CSDA, 260 x 187, in laminated orange-yellow boards; original front-cover drawing (still minus 4–5 mm) on both d/w and front cover. The foot of the back cover has a ‘new’ drawing of the Yellow Creature and the Captain taken from the head of the title-page. Yellow endpapers. New half-title (not by MP); revised title-page adds ‘STORY AND DRAWINGS BY’. Text revised (including an additional sentence by the American editor!) and typeset instead of hand lettered; drawings altered and overprinted in bright yellow. See MPR 2:25.
Reviews
Kirkus Reviews, vol.35, 1 April 1967, p.408 (‘Not only is it dull and pointless, but the pictures are brutally ugly. . . . Is this really a children’s book?’)
Library Journal, vol.92, 15 April 1967, pp.1725–26 by Lillian N. Gerhardt and Elinor S. Cullen (‘a disturbing example of a continuing problem in book selection: a satire of adult behaviour packaged as a juvenile’)
Courier Express (Buffalo, NY), 14 May 1967, by N. H. M.
Bee (Sacramento, Ca.), 28 May 1967 (‘might give small children nightmares’)
Courier Journal (Louisville, Ky), 4 June 1967 (‘the text is aimless’)
Register (New Haven, Conn.), 3 September 1967
Star (Fort Worth, Tex.), 3 September 1967
National Observer (Washington DC), vol.6, 9 October 1967, p.22, by R[obert] Ostermann


d. Second revised edition; first English impression London: Nelson 1967
The English impression of (c), 255 x 185. Follows (c) in a less orange yellow (on both d/w and laminated pictorial cover) with bright lemon endpapers.
Reviews
Children’s Book News, vol.2, no.5, September–October 1967, pp.280–81, by B[rian] W. Alderson
Observer, 26 November 1967, p.28
Books & Bookmen, vol.13, December 1967, p.45
Spectator, vol.219, 29 December 1967, p.818
New Worlds, no.181, April 1968, pp.60–62, by Langdon Jones
Junior Bookshelf, December 1968, vol.32, pp.346–49 by Marcus S. Crouch (‘designed to produce traumas in the tender young . . . my three-year-old loved it!’)
The Best Children’s Books of 1967, selected by Naomi Lewis (Hamish Hamilton 1969), p.16: ‘In a class of its own . . . The brilliant grotesqueries of the pictures are also ludicrously funny . . . small boy’s relish.’

e. Second revised edition; first English paperback impression London: Academy Editions 1967
Paperback in laminated cover reduced from (d) to 194 x 144; numerous impressions, varying slightly in size.

f. Facsimile of 1st edition; Hull: Mr Pye Books 1999

g. Third edition; second English London: Walker Books 2001
Reproduces the original drawings – except for Timothy Twitch, who has no mouth and his sword has no tip, as in (b) – full size, in pale blue paper-covered boards 308 x 235 with white paper d/w printed in black, yellow, blue, orange, brown and white. These colours are used inside to tint a fresh selection of areas, making this a wholly new book.

h. Third edition revised London: Walker Books 2009
Identical to (g) with the addition of an Introduction by Fabian Peake printed on the verso of the first endpaper (i.e., facing the title page). Adhesive label on the d/w reads: Collectable 70th limited *Anniversary* edition.
 

A2 SHAPES AND SOUNDS

a. First edition London: Chatto & Windus 1941
Elegantly bound in grey paper-covered boards 222 x 149 with quarter black cloth, lettered in white down the spine. Sports a black-and-white d/w designed by MP, lettered by Hilary Stratton, which was exhibited, along with five other drawings illustrating poems in the book, at the Leicester Galleries in December 1941.
These poems are now available in A27 (Collected Poems, below), along with one of the proposed illustrations.
Reviews
TLS, 27 December 1941, p.656
New Statesman, January 1942
Horizon, vol.5, no.26, February 1942, pp.99–100, by Stephen Spender (in an article on ‘Poetry in 1941’, pp.96–111)
Life & Letters, vol.33, no.56, April 1942, pp.12–18, by Robert Herring
Listener, date not known (quoted by Yorke, p.113)


b. Second edition (first English paperback) London: Village Press 1974
Front cover reproduces a previously unpublished oil painting by MP, ‘Half masonry, half pain’ that he painted in 1941 at the time when he wrote the corresponding poem. It had been reproduced in Folio, Jan-March 1961. Contains a new Preface by MG. Misprints ‘pips’ for ‘pipes’ in the penultimate line of p.21.
 
 

A3 RHYMES WITHOUT REASON

a. First edition London: Eyre & Spottiswoode 1944
The sand-yellow cloth of the cover 234 x 178 is very similar in colour to that of A1b, but the title is lettered in blue-green on the front. Top edges stained blue. D/w by MP in marine blue with full colour illustration (not reproduced again until A28) on front panel; spine lettered dark blue; back plain. Contains 16 poems and 16 corresponding colour plates without margins.
Now reproduced complete in Complete Nonsense, with the illustrations (in full colour) scanned from the original artwork (where available).
Reviews
News Chronicle, 30 November 1944, p.2, by Robert Lynd (‘send the child to bed early and settle down to enjoy it in peace’)
Western Mail, 12 December 1944 (‘has some little masterpieces’)
Daily Herald, 13 December 1944, p.2, by John Betjeman (‘Quite the outstanding book I have for review. . . . I have bought more than one copy, particularly for the last poem . . .’)
Star (London), 13 December 1944, by P. B.
Punch, 28 February 1945, p.00, by P. M. F. (‘woe unto the nonsense that makes a slightly unpleasant sense of its own. . . . He has been wretchedly served by his colour printer . . .’)
Star (Washington, D.C.), 1 December 1946


b. Second edition London: Methuen Children’s Books 1974
A larger book, 280 x 200, but the plates are the same size, with margins. No d/w. Laminated blue cover lettered in white reproduces the illustration for ‘Sensitive, Seldom and Sad’; blue endpapers.
Contains only 13 poems; the missing ones were reprinted without colour plates in PP (pp.113, 174 & 115) – see also MPR 8:28. Previously unpublished bird of prey by MR on title-page. Contents page misprints ‘Langourous’ for ‘Languorous’.
Reviews
Newsagent & Bookshop, 16 August 1974, p.23, by Naomi Lewis
Spectator, 14 September 1974, pp.xvii and xix by John Rowe Townsend
Eastern Daily Press (Norwich), 16 September 1974
TLS, 20 September 1974, p.1007 (‘illustrations are . . . quite endearing for their very clumsiness’)
Junior Bookshelf, October 1974 (‘a major picture book’)
Books & Bookmen, November 1974, pp.76–78, by Sally Emerson
Lady, 7 November 1974, p.777, by Pamela Holt
New Statesman, vol.88, 8 November 1974, p.664, by Robert Melville
Nursery World, 27 November 1974, p.11
Scottish Educational Journal, 29 November 1974
British Book News, December 1974, p.793, by Valerie Brinkley-Willsher
Sunday Times, 15 December 1974, p.32
Teacher, 4 April 1975, p.15, by Lavinia Learmont (‘words and pictures linger in the memory’)


c. Paperback impression London: Methuen Children’s Books 1978
As (b), including misprint, except for binding and size (274 x 195), blurb and quotes from reviews of (b) on the back.
Reviews
Times Educational Supplement, 24 November 1978, p.45, by Mary Hoffman
Oxford Times, 15 December 1978, by Peter Piper
Growing Point, vol.17, January 1979, pp.3452–53
MPR, no.8, Spring 1979, pp.27–29, by Isobel Murray

All the poems in RWR, with their associated pictures and the dustwrapper painting, are reproduced in colour in Complete Nonsense (2011).

 

A4 TITUS GROAN

a. First edition London: Eyre & Spottiswoode 1946
The first printing of 2000 copies sold quickly and a second impression was made the same year. The first issue has a bright red cover, the grain of which is fine linen whereas the second is coarse. Both measure 220 x 140 and are lettered in gilt across the spine. D/w by MP, lettered in red on the front and in black across the spine (by Vincent Stuart? – see MPR 12:18).
On the front flap of the second issue d/w, quotes from reviews & ‘Second impression’ replace the blurb. Page [1] reads ‘THE LIFE OF TITUS GROAN’. Vignette (22 x 47) at the head of the title-page: the same crown as on the d/w but with the chains in different positions and the bird looking right (see A4c). Half-title p.[15] reads ‘Part One / GORMENGHAST’ plus the quotation from Bunyan’s verse Apology prefacing Pilgrim’s Progress which has appeared in all subsequent eds.
Reviews
Manchester Guardian, 22 March 1946, p.3, by Harold Brighouse
TLS, 23 March 1946, p.137
Manchester Dispatch, date not known, by Edward Shanks
Birmingham Post, 28 March 1946
Scotsman, 28 March 1946, p.7
News Chronicle, 29 March 1946, by Robert Lynd (‘One is disappointed by the lack of illustrations’)
Spectator, no.176, 29 March 1946, pp.332 & 334, by Kate O’Brien (‘bad, tautological prose . . . a large, haphazard, Gothic mess’)
Observer, 31 March 1946, p.8, by Lionel Hale
Sunday Times, 31 March 1946, p.3, by Charles Morgan (‘Seldom have the unusually good and the unusually bad been so mingled in one volume.’) [1000 words]
[London] Evening News, date not known (‘exceedingly tiresome . . . but diabolically clever’ – quoted by Yorke, p.168)
Tatler & Bystander, 3 April 1946, pp.23 & 28 by Elizabeth Bowen (‘I predict for Titus a smallish but fervent public’ which ‘will probably renew itself, and probably enlarge, with each generation; for which reason I hope the book may always be kept in print.’)
Daily Herald, 4 April 1946, p.2, by John Betjeman (‘a cobwebby, candle-lit escape from life.’)
John O’London’s Weekly, 5 April 1946, p.7, by M. W.
Time & Tide, 13 April 1946, p.354, by Maurice Collis (‘the first volume . . . there are, I am informed, two more to come’)
Our Time, date not known, (‘an enormous, if psychotic, labour of pictorial imagination, redolent of hatred of the human condition, without even bitter humour, and disgust without gusto’ – quoted by Yorke, p.168)
New Statesman & Nation, 4 May 1946, p.323, by Henry Reed (‘I do not think I have ever so much enjoyed a novel sent to me for review.’)
Yorkshire Post, date not known (‘perhaps a fanciful legpull’ – quoted by Yorke, p.168)
Vogue, date not known, (‘the most remarkable and individual novel for some years’ – quoted by Yorke, p.170)
Britain Today, June 1946, p.41, by R. A. Scott-James
New English Review, vol.12, no.6, June 1946, pp.592–93, by R. G. G. Price
Socialist Leader, 29 June 1946, p.6 (‘The return of such uninhabited [sic] verbal gusto into English fiction is most exciting’)
Adelphi, vol.22, no.4, July–September 1946, pp.108–9, by Hugo Manning (‘a brilliant failure’)
Thinker’s Weekly, vol.1, no.26, 13 September 1946, p.104 (‘recommended to all readers seeking a new experience in fiction.’) [1000 words]
Country Life, vol.100, no.2603, 6 December 1946, p.1108, by Howard Spring (‘a book full of the macabre power that makes MP’s drawings notable. But [he] has not yet learned how to apply this power effectively to the writing of fiction.’)
Operation Fantast, n.s. vol.1, no.4, March 1950, pp.3–6, by David H. Keller M.D. [a 2000-word ‘Appreciation’ reprinted in Crucified Toad (Manchester) no.4, 1974, 5pp] . Also listed in Part H.


b. Second edition; first American New York: Reynal & Hitchcock 1946
Greeny-grey cloth 215 x 143, stamped and lettered in red across the spine, with title on front cover. The d/w by MP is quite different from (a); title lettered in red, ‘a gothic novel’ and author in white across the front, over a drawing printed black on a pale green and pale pink ground. Back of d/w carries a photograph of MP by Derek Sayer, first published in Studio, Vol.132, No.642, September 1946, p.88; a partial reproduction can be seen in A19 (WD p.67). ‘A wild, magnificent fantasia,’ attributed to Graham Greene, on front flap, preceding blurb.
Title-page reads ‘Titus / Groan / a gothic novel by / Mervyn / Peake’.
Copyright notice on verso of title-page has ‘Mervyn Laurence Peake’. The ‘Part One: Gormenghast’ from p.[5] of (a) is omitted; instead there is a dedication on p.[v] ‘For / Maeve’. The quote from Bunyan is placed after the contents page, facing p.7.
Reviews
Chicago Tribune, 18 August 1946 (‘a strange, wild tale . . . which aroused much interest in England . . . will be issued in October’)
New York Herald Tribune, 1 September 1946 (‘Just as we were struggling with William Blake by Mark Schorer, Will Cuppy came in and asked out of a clear sky: ‘What is that new novel about a character named Ug or Awk, but not by Vardis Fisher?’ We knew right away he meant Titus Groane [sic] by Mervyn Peake.’)
Traveler (Boston, Mass), 4 September 1946 (‘In book-hungry England, sold 20,000 [sic] copies immediately on publication.’)
Retail Bookseller, October 1946 [announces forthcoming publication]
Virginia Kirkus Service, vol.14, 1 October 1946, p.500
Retail Bookseller, November 1946 [reports publication postponed from October]
Library Journal, vol.71, 1 November 1946, p.1543, by Earle F. Walbridge
New York Sun, 5 November 1946, by John Cournos
New York Times, 8 November 1946, by Orville Prescott (‘pretentiously tedious. . . . plods where it should soar, groans where it should sing.’)
Star (Washington D.C.), 10 November 1946
New York Times, 10 November 1946, pp.9 & 61, by R. G. Davis (‘refreshingly pure’)
New Yorker, vol.22, 16 November 1946, p.132
Chicago Tribune, 17 November 1946, by August Derleth (‘authentically Gothic. . . . a novel of distinction and quality. . . . deserves an appreciative audience.’)
Journal (Milwaukee, Wis.), 17 November 1946, by August Derleth [not the same as previous entry]
Youngstown Vindicator (Ohio), 17 November 1946, by John Cournos [an abridged version of N. Y. Sun, 5 November 1946]
Courant (Hartford, Conn.), 24 November 1946
New York Herald Tribune (Weekly Book Review section), 24 November 1946, by Thomas Sugrue (‘a dull book, without humor’)
Pioneer Press (St. Paul, Minn.), 30 November 1946, by Edwin B. Olwin
Saturday Review of Literature, no.29, 30 November 1946, p.38, by Nathan L. Rothman (‘Every page is a mirror that further magnifies the first and only image of sub-human horror.’)
Times (Los Angeles, Ca.), 1 December 1946, by P. J. S.
New Republic, no.115, 2 December 1946, p.746, by John Farrelly
News (Beloit, Wis.), 5 December 1946
Call Bulletin (San Francisco, Ca.), 7 December 1946
Times Herald (Dallas, Texas), 8 December 1946, pp.6–7, by Hermes Nye (‘a book for the man who relishes the fantastic, the puckish and the beautiful.’)
News (Newark, N.J.), 13 December 1946
Inquirer (Philadelphia, Pa), 15 December 1946, by M. J. F[ruchter] (‘no student of modern literature can afford to ignore it.’)
Record (Philadelphia, Pa), 15 December 1946
Inquirer (Philadelphia, Pa), 22 December 1946 [Quotes from review of 15 December, above.]
Inquirer (Philadelphia, Pa), 29 December 1946 [Quotes from review of 15 December, above.]
Star (Indianapolis, Ind.), 29 December 1946
Merc, January 1947, pp.246–47
Review (Burbank, Ca.), 8 January 1947 [Identical to review in Beloit News of 5 December, above.]
Chronicle (San Francisco, Ca.), 12 January 1947, p.19, by Ruth Teiser (‘will attract a small group of fervent admirers’)
Traveler (Boston, Mass), 15 January 1947
World in Books (Boston, Mass), February 1947, by Olga Petrova
Chronicle (Augusta, Ga), 2 February 1947
Journal-Courier (Louisville, Ky), 2 February 1947, by Dorothy S. Reese
Saturday Review of Literature, 15 February 1947, pp.11–13, by Alice P. Hackett (‘a story of life in an old people’s home’)
Examiner (Peterborough, Canada), 10 December 1947, by Samuel Marchbanks [a pseudonym of the now famous novelist Robertson Davies] (‘an astonishing work of art. . . . a very fine book’)
Times (Roanoke, Va), 8 February 1948


c. Third edition; second American New York: Weybright & Talley 1967
Dark blue cloth cover 233 x 152 with ‘W.T’ blind embossed on the front; title and author in gilt down the spine. Violet endpapers. The d/w painting by Robert Pepper – may his sins be forgiven him – is part of a ‘triptych’ which was used, section by section, on the three hardback d/ws and on the paperbacks (below). This is less obvious from the d/w of the hardback than from the paperbacks which, laid side by side, form a continuous ‘fresco’ intended, I fear, to depict the world of Gormenghast. Title on d/w lettered in pale blue with subtitle, ‘The Gormenghast Trilogy: Volume One’ in black. Same subtitle on title-page which also reproduces the crown-and-crow vignette from (a). Verso of title-page calls this an ‘illustrated, revised edition’ – for details of the changes made, see ‘How not to edit Mervyn Peake’ by Dainis Bisenieks in Peake Studies vol.4 No 4 (Spring 1996), pp.31–38.
The illustrations are not all the same as in (e) (below), nor are there any plates. At first the illustrations come thick and fast (5 in 50 pages); then very sparsely (3 in 500 pages). They are well reproduced, alone on the page and ... tiny!
Reviews (N.B. This edition was reviewed as a trilogy.)
Kirkus Reviews, vol.35, 15 August 1967, pp.988–99 (‘falters under the length and the weight of the prose’)
American Notes & Queries, vol.6, no.1, September 1967, p.8, by Lee Ash (‘superior works of fantasy. . . . O you’ve got a treat in store if you don’t know them already!’)
Publishers’ Weekly, 18 September 1967, pp.62–63 (‘specialized fare, the sort of fantasy readers will either love or hate’)
Best Sellers (Scranton, Pa), no.27, 1 November 1967, p.305, by Stephen J. Laut, S.J. [750 words]
National Observer (Washington, D.C.), 6 November 1967
Globe (Boston, Mass), 19 November 1967, by H. A. K. (‘deserves a growing retinue’)
Library Journal, vol.92, 1 December 1967, pp.4434–35, by Aurora Gardner Simms (‘maybe it just wasn’t our hogshead of tea’)
National Observer (Washington, D.C.), 11 December 1967, p.19, by Robert Ostermann (‘a triumph’) [1000 words]
Saturday Review, no.50, 16 December 1967, p.31, by Bruce A. Beatie [750 words]
Chicago Daily News, 6 January 1968, by Beverly Friend (‘a brilliant work’)
Book World, vol.2, 7 January 1968, p.4, by Dick Adler [950 words]
Press (Cleveland, Ohio), 12 January 1968, by Beverly Friend [an abridged version of the Chicago Daily News review of 6 January, above]
Sunday Press (Binghampton, N.J.), 14 January 1968, by Beverly Friend [identical to the Chicago Daily News review of 6 January, above]
Telegraph (Painesville, Ohio), 27 January 1968 [probably by Beverly Friend]


d. Fourth edition; second English London: Eyre & Spottiswoode 1968
Dark green cloth 220 x 140 with title and author lettered in gilt across the spine. D/w drawing (same back and front) reproduces a marginal sketch (twice original size) from the MS of TG (1:iii) where it headed the chapter ‘Flay brings a message’. Title and author lettered in purple both on front and across spine. Deep lavender endpapers; no subtitle and no half-title.
Introduction (pp.9–13) by Anthony Burgess. 8 illustrations and 6 plates spaced throughout the book.
Reprinted in 1971, 1973 and 1977. From 1971 onwards, the name of the publisher is Eyre Methuen and the title is lettered in silver on the spine. The 1977 reprint has the publisher’s device on the spine and pale green endpapers instead of lavender.
Reviews
New Statesman, vol.75, 26 January 1968, pp.114–15, by Paul Green
Spectator, vol.220, 26 January 1968, pp.105–6, by (John Spurling writing as) Henry Tube (‘he has succeeded triumphantly. . . . a genius with two nibs’)
Cork Examiner, 1 February 1968, by R. O’D.
Times, 10 February 1968, p.20, by Brian W. Alderson
Financial Times, 15 February 1968, by Hilary Spurling [850 words]
Tablet, 24 February 1968, by Perdix (‘a work of art produced by a craftsman whose cool control of his material never faltered’)
Current Literature, March 1968, p.57
British Book News, no.333, May 1968, pp.393–94 (‘a long satirical fantasy’)
Contemporary Review, vol.212, April 1968, pp.222–23, by Richard Whittington-Egan
New Worlds, no.181, April 1968, pp.60–62, by Langdon Jones [1500 words]
New Worlds, no.188, March 1969, p.59, by [M.] John Harrison

e. First English paperback impression Harmondsworth: Penguin Books 1968
182 x 110. Text offset from (d). No plates. The grey-green cover drawing of Fuchsia has varied little in shade with successive impressions.
Reprinted 15 times (last in 1980).
Review
Contemporary Review, vol.212, April 1968, pp.222–23, by Richard Whittington-Egan

f. First American paperback impression New York: Ballantine 1968
Author and title lettered in red above the Bob Pepper designed (see (c) above) laminated cover, 178 x 105. Although the text of the book is identical to (c), the edition being a joint venture, the title-page is a quite different reproduction of the title-page of (a) with the addition of ‘Illustrated by the Author’ beneath the author’s name. The half-title also differs from (c), reading ‘Part One / THE / GORMENGHAST / TRILOGY’ followed by the quote from Bunyan. Page [ix], after the Contents, repeats TITUS GROAN in the same lettering as the title-page of (a) and p.[xi] repeats the vignette. The illustrations are in the same places as in (c) but they are, if anything, overlarge and poorly reproduced. Something half way between (c) and (f) would have been ideal!
Later impressions were brought into line with the publisher’s series format by the addition of ‘Adult Fantasy by / Mervyn Peake’ on p.[ii]. Then this was dropped when Ballantine became Del Rey Books, and the title-page was revised, the vignette being removed.
Reviews
Publishers’ Weekly, 16 September 1968, p.72 (‘We were too overcome by ennui to discover just what this trilogy was to be all about’)
Union (Sacramento, Ca.), 13 October 1968
Tribune (Minneapolis, Minn.), 27 October 1968, by Robert Armstrong (‘Anyone who is left on the edge of his chair . . . has a posture problem’)
Omaha World-Herald Magazine, 10 November 1968, by George Shestak
Perihilion, January-February 1969, p.23, by Elena St. Clair
Mythlore, vol.6, no.2, Spring 1979, pp.46–47, by Lee Speth (‘is either treasured as an imaginative triumph or loathed as a diseased excrescence’)
Emergency Librarian, vol.9, January–February 1982, pp.16–17


g. Another English hardback impression London: Book Club Associates 1979
Green cloth cover with title, author and publisher’s initials in gilt across the spine. Pale green endpapers. D/w as (d) except that the publisher is in black. Text another impression of (d).

h. Seventeenth English paperback impression, with corrections Harmondsworth: Penguin Books 1981
In the larger ‘B’ format (197 x 129) of the revived King Penguin series. Cover picture from one of MP’s drawings of the twins, Cora and Clarice (see the plate facing (d) p.220).
Corrected text – see ‘Editing Peake’ in MPR 13 – using the same plates as (e).

i. Fifth impression of second English hardback edition, with corrections London: Methuen 1982.

j. Third American edition, identical to the fifth impression of the second English hardback edition Woodstock, New York: Overlook Press 1982
Reviews (N.B. This edition was reviewed as a trilogy.)
Kirkus Reviews, vol.50, 1 November 1982, p.1216 [announcement]
Science Fiction Review, vol.12, no.1, February 1983, p.42, by D. Schweitzer
Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, vol.64, no.5, May 1983, pp.47–48, by Algis Budrys
Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Review, no.14, May 1983, pp.34–35, by Joe Sanders
Isaac Asimov’s SF Magazine, vol.7, no.6, June 1983, by D. Searles


k. First English omnibus edition in paperback Harmondsworth: Penguin Books June 1983
Review
Observer, 17 July 1983, p.27

l. Eighteenth English paperback impression Harmondsworth: Penguin Books autumn 1983
Issued with new cover by Alan Lee, later reprinted in his book, Castles (London: Allen & Unwin, 1984).

m. Second English paperback edition London: Methuen 1985
Also issued as a boxed set – see image.
Review
Punch, 19 June 1985, p.83 by Stanley Reynolds (‘masterpieces, but they are not fit work for the mature mind. . . . merely for more grown-up, adolescent children.’)

n. First American omnibus edition in hardback Woodstock, New York: Overlook Press 1988

o. Second English omnibus edition in paperback London: Mandarin (Reed Consumer Books) 1992
Cover design by Stephen Player.

p. Fifth edition; third English London: Folio Society 1992
White simulated-cloth boards, 252 x 178, printed in black with an illustration by Peter Harding depicting the Stone Halls; title lettered in gilt down the spine; maroon endpapers.
Introduction by Michael Moorcock.
Contains numerous b&w illustrations by Peter Harding.
For a discussion of the text and a review of the illustrations, see PS Vol.3, No.1 (Winter 1992), pp.21–32.

q. Second American paperback edition, identical to (n) Woodstock, New York: Overlook Press 1992 (actually published 1993)

r. First American omnibus edition in paperback Woodstock, New York: Overlook Press 1995
Cover design (photo collage) by J K Potter.

s. New paperback edition from London: Vintage 1998; new cover 2005
Contents as in (m).

t. Third English omnibus edition in paperback from London: Vintage 1999
 
 

A5 THE CRAFT OF THE LEAD PENCIL

N.B. Students wishing to read the text of this little book should bear in mind that it was reprinted in Writings and Drawings (A19). The illustrations are there too but not well reproduced.

a. First edition London: Wingate 1946
White buckram cover printed in black and khaki green, the lettering remaining white; portrait of girl by MP. Issued without a d/w (230 x 147). No endpapers. ‘FIVE SHILLINGS NET’ on front paste-down. Contents: [1] title; [ii] drawing of eagle; pp.1–4: text; p.[5] drawing of girl lit from below; pp.[6]–8: text and drawings; p.[9] naked girl looking over shoulder; pp.[10]–12: text and drawings; p.[13] drawings of leg, cube and ninepin; pp.14–[20]: text and drawings; colophon with ‘TYPOGRAPHIC DESIGN BY VINCENT STUART’; p.[21] drawing of naked boy in dressing gown; p.[22] drawing of clownish head.
Reviews
Books of the Month, May 1946, p.15, by L. J. C. I, 25 May 1946, p.242
The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs, Vol. 88, No. 522 (Sep., 1946), p. 234, by B. D. L. T. (‘He gets some good advice into his short space’)
Studio, vol.132, no.645, December 1946, p.191


b. Second impression with revised layout London: Wingate 1947
Issued in d/w identical to cover of (a) but with author, title and publisher lettered in white down the spine. Quotes from reviews inside front flap. Front cover identical to (a) but 226 x 145; d/w is 230 high, so – when present – it is frequently tatty. Front paste-down blank. Contents: [i] half title; [ii] blank; [iii] title; [iv] eagle; pp.1–19 same as (a); p.[20] naked boy in dressing gown; p.[21] clownish head; p.[22] end of text the same as p.[20] in (a) but with colophon reset to include ‘SECOND IMPRESSION MCMXLVII’, omitting the mention of typographic design by Vincent Stuart. 2 pages blank.
 
 

A6 LETTERS FROM A LOST UNCLE (FROM POLAR REGIONS)

A. First edition London: Eyre & Spottiswoode 1948
Bound in sand-yellow, linen-covered boards, stamped and lettered in red (also in red up the spine) with a drawing of the Uncle on the front. The d/w (180 x 120) by MP is quite unusual, hand-lettered in black and red (red only down the spine) with a Lion Stamp (88 x 56), on a duck-egg-grey ground. The back is made to look like an envelope, complete with trompe l’oeil seal on which the words ‘SEBASTIAN, FABIAN, MAEVE’ can be made out.
Blurb on front flap; price ‘7s. 6d.’ overprinted with dots and ‘3s. 6d.’ immediately below – giving a cut price effect; see Watney p.146. Unusually, there is no title-page as such; the half-title, p.[1], is followed by ‘‘Letters from a Lost Uncle’ / is written and illustrated by Mervyn Peake / and published by Eyre and Spottiswoode (Publishers) Ltd . . .’ at the foot of p.[2], facing which is the drawn ‘title-page’ giving the full title, ‘Letters from a Lost Uncle (from polar regions)’, but neither author nor publisher. Unnumbered bleed pages throughout.
Review
Junior Bookshelf, vol.32, December 1968, pp.346–49, by Marcus S. Crouch (‘a brilliant idea, and consistently carried out, but it remains a freak’)

b. Second edition London: Methuen Children’s Books 1976
Bound in brown cloth with the original cover drawing blind stamped on the front cover; lettered in gilt down the spine with a vignette of the Uncle’s head (also from original cover drawing) at the top. Endpapers in orange-brown reproduce drawings from original pages [24–25] which are omitted from the book to give it a standard working of 132 pages – see the article by the editor of this edition in MPR 5:24–25. The ‘title-page’ uses the same drawing as in (a) but covers the original handwritten title with ‘typewriter’ lettering and adds the author’s name. Also added is ‘Methuen London’ in a new window at the bottom. The d/w follows the trompe l’oeil envelope idea of (a) except that it is clearly a photographic image as opposed to MP’s painted one. It reproduces the original Lion Stamp (on front) and seal (on back) but adds knotted string round the ‘packet’. Title typewriter-lettered in black on a label and down the spine.
Full publishing details, copyright notice, ISBN, etc., are typeset on p.[128].
Reviews
TLS, 25 March 1977, p.351, by Hugh Brogan
Junior Bookshelf, vol.41, August 1977, p.240 (‘altogether a splendid spoof and one with the fingerprints of genius all over it’)
MPR, no.4, Spring 1977, pp.32–36, by Bruce Hunt

c. Second edition: first English paperback London: Pan Books Ltd. (Picador) 1977
The cover makes no attempt to follow the idea of (a) and omits both seal and Lion Stamp (which is integral to the book, being referred to at the beginning of Letter 4) but includes the drawing of the Uncle, now coloured burgundy-red and lavender on a yellow ground (not very far from the shade of the original binding). The blurb on the back forgets (b) and claims that the book ‘has not been available to [Peake’s] admirers since 1948’. No endpapers so the drawings from original pages [24–25] are absent. Title-page lettering is handwritten, as is the publishing information on p.[128] – the latter having a similar paste-up appearance to the rest of the book.
Reviews
Sunday Telegraph Magazine, 1 May 1977, by Selina Hastings
Evening News (Worcester), 21 May 1977, by J. R. S.
Watford Evening Echo, 28 May 1977, by Gareth Davies
Bath and West Evening Chronicle, 18 June 1977
Crawley & District Observer (Crawley, Sussex), 16 December 1977, by Eddie & Wilma Duller
Thurrock Gazette (Grays, Essex), 30 December 1977, by Eddie & Wilma Duller [same as previous item)


d. Third edition London: Methuen 2001
Bound in grey cloth lettered in gilt down the spine. White endpapers. The original artwork, with the exception of original pages [24–25] which are entirely omitted from the book, were scanned by the Libanus Press and have been printed in colour, using a dark cream background for the ‘pasted-in’ text. Unfortunately Peake went over some of drawings with a pen (date unknown, but it was clearly at a time when he no longer mastered his art) with varying results. Some drawings are simply changed by the stronger lines, others are defaced (e.g. p.33) and others still, like the one heading letter 2, are ruined. The title-page reverts to the original, adding ‘Methuen’ at the foot in ‘typewriter’ characters (which are also used for the printing information on the final page, [128]). Completely new d/w design making the book look like an old notebook with worn leather corners; the image of the Lion Stamp appears – for no discernible reason – top right front.
 

A7 DRAWINGS BY MERVYN PEAKE

a. First edition London: Grey Walls Press 1949
Duck-egg grey cloth with ‘THE DRAWINGS OF MERVYN PEAKE’ lettered in gilt down the spine. The similarly coloured d/w reproduces the ‘Boy in a busby’ (plate 55) with ‘THE DRAWINGS OF MERVYN PEAKE’ lettered in red below it and running down the spine. But both half-title and title-page read ‘DRAWINGS BY MERVYN PEAKE’. Although dated 1949 the book was not in fact published until the autumn of 1950.
A later issue was bound in yellowish grey simulated-cloth boards with horizontal chain effect, lettered in dark blue (rather than gilt) down the spine which is rounded, unlike the flat spine of the first issue. Also reported in darker grey boards, without the hint of blue in the original binding, lettered in black down a rounded spine.
Review
TLS, 3 November 1950, p.698

 

A8 THE GLASSBLOWERS

a. First edition London: Eyre & Spottiswoode 1950
Bound in blue buckram (227 x 146) with author and title stamped and lettered in gilt on the front and up the spine. The d/w carries a black-and-white reproduction (203 x 115) of MP’s painting, ‘The Glassblowers’ which was bought by the War Artists Advisory Committee and given to the City Art Gallery, Manchester, in 1947. (A smaller reproduction of the painting appeared in Studio, Vol.32, No.642, for September 1946. p.90. It was reproduced in full colour on the front of Collected Poems (A27)). The title, lettered yellow on black, runs up on the left of the painting and ‘Mervyn Peake’, similarly coloured, is below it. The author and title, again yellow on black, run up the spine. Price 7s 6d at foot of the front flap, where MP describes the genesis of the title poem in about 180 words which were partially quoted by Watney, p.155. The back of the d/w carries an advertisement for TG (still available at 15 shillings) with quotations from reviews and a note at the bottom to the effect that G, ‘the sequel to Titus Groan is ‘IN PREPARATION’. Page [ii] reads ‘MP has also written / TITUS GROAN, a novel / GORMENGHAST,a sequel to TITUS GROAN’. The title is printed in red. Dedication on p.[iv] ‘FOR GORDON SMITH’.
These poems are now available in A27 (below).
Reviews
British Book News, 1950, p.699 (‘MP is a new talent in English poetry’)
Spectator, June 1950, by Richard Murphy (’a new fire of language and vision has been kindled’ – quoted by Yorke, p.229)
Tribune, June 1950, by Alan Ross (quoted by Yorke, p.229)
Time & Tide, 8 July 1950, pp.684–85, by Peter Russell
John O’London’s Weekly, vol.59, no.1398, 18 August 1950, p.513, by Richard Church
Listener, vol.xliv, no.1135, 30 November 1950, p.655


 
 

A9 GORMENGHAST

a. First edition London: Eyre & Spottiswoode 1950
The design of the book, from d/w to typeface, is intended to pair with A4a, particularly the second impression. The d/w by MP is lettered in red on the front and in white on red windows across the spine. Quotes from reviews of TG on the back. The colour of the cloth cover is a brown-red very similar to that of the second impression of A4a, stamped and lettered in gilt across the spine. The book is also reported bound in ‘brilliant scarlet-vermilion buckram’ with better-quality gilt – a later, unacknowledged reprint, reputedly dating from 1952.
The title-page, framed like TG with heavy rules, carries the drawing (58 x 57) of Titus on horseback that was adopted as the emblem of the MPS. Dedication on p.[5] ‘for / MAEVE’.
Reviews
Observer, 17 September 1950, by Lionel Hale
Tribune, 22 September 1950, p.20, by Philip Parrish
Liverpool Daily Post, 3 October 1950, by A. M. C.
Spectator, 6 October 1950, p.375, by L. A. G. Strong
Time & Tide, 21 October 1950, pp.1065–66, by Emyr Humphreys (‘No novel involving any comparable effort of imagination and fancy, of will-power and word-power, has appeared in English since the war.’)
Sunday Times, date not known, by Michael Sadleir (mentioned by Yorke, p.208)
Punch, 22 November 1950, p.507, by R. G. G. Price (‘the finest imaginative feat in the English novel since Ulysses, even though Ulysses is of course still much the greater book.’)
World Review, December 1950, n.s. vol.22, pp.77–78, by Maurice Collis (‘deserves all the compliments that were paid to Titus Groan’)
TLS, 1 December 1950, p.761
Britain Today, March 1951, p.45, by Marie Hannah
Books & Bookmen, July 1965, vol.10, p.22, by Jane Gaskell


b. Second (first American) edition New York: Weybright & Talley 1967
Uniform with A4c in design and binding. D/w continues the Bob Pepper ‘Walt Bosch’ fresco with title and author lettered in violet. The title-page is also uniform with A4c, including the crown-and-crow vignette. It does not have the drawing of Titus on horseback from (a). Ten illustrations in the first half of the book; none in the second.
Reviews: this edition was reviewed as a trilogy; see list under A4c.

c. First American paperback impression New York: Ballantine 1968
Uniform with A4f, the first paperback ed. continues the garish Bob Pepper triptych, front and back. Title and author lettered in blue. Page [i] carries an extensive quote from Langdon Jones’s article, ‘A Reverie of Bone’ from New Worlds, No.176, vol. 151, 1967 (pp.51–54), attributed simply to ‘New World’ (sic). Title-page differs from (b) by reproducing the drawing of Titus on horseback from (a); the lettering is uniform with A4a and A4f, not (a) above. Text and illustrations as in (b).
Reviews: this impression was reviewed as a trilogy; see list under A4f.

d. Third (second English) edition London: Eyre & Spottiswoode 1968
Uniform with A4d except that on the d/w title and author are lettered in pale green; lengthy quotation from Burgess’s Introduction to A4d on back (also in green). Page [2] lists other works by MP and places S&S under ‘Others’ (along with CLP and LLU) instead of under ‘Poems’.
Reprinted in 1971, 1973 and 1977. In 1973, the gilt on the spine changed to silver and in 1977 the endpapers to pale green.
Reviews
Oxford Mail, 5 December 1968
I, 20 December 1968, p.879, by Rodney Ackland
The Times, date not known, (‘beautifully controlled objective prose’ – quoted by Yorke, p. 208)
Irish Times, date not known, (‘a brilliant tour-de-force’ – quoted by Yorke, p. 208)
Punch, 1 January 1969, vol.256, pp.34–35, by R. G. G. Price
Financial Times, 2 January 1969 (‘the authority, the massive swell and fall which mark a master of the form’ – quoted by Yorke, p. 208)
The Tablet, date not known (‘a masterpiece, human and grotesque’ – quoted by Yorke, p. 208)
Books & Bookmen, February 1969, vol.14, p.14, by Oswell Blakeston (‘this castle is already too big for its boots’) [A letter from M. John Harrison et alia protesting at this review and requiring ‘some sort of apology’ was printed in B&B two months later. Listed in Part H.]
Sunday Times, 2 February 1969
British Book News, 1969, p.245 (‘a monstrous world of the imagination’)

e. First English paperback impression Harmondsworth: Penguin Books 1969
Cover drawing of Steerpike and Barquentine in sepia tones. No plates. A few differences as compared with (d) – yet there were differences, e.g. p.116, line 10, read ‘Life itself is an isthmu’ for ‘isthmus’ until corrected in the reprint of 1978. Reprinted 13 times, last in 1980.

f. Fifteenth English paperback impression, with corrections Harmondsworth: Penguin Books 1982
The revived King Penguin in ‘B’ format. New cover design showing the head of Barquentine alone, surmounted by author and title in contour letters. Corrected text – see the article, ‘Editing Peake’ in MPR 13 – using the plates of (e).

g. Fifth impression of second English hardback edition (d), with corrections London: Eyre Methuen, and Woodstock (N.Y.): Overlook Press 1982

h. Third American edition, identical to the fifth impression of the second English hardback edition (d) 1983
Reviews
This edition was reviewed as a trilogy; see list under A4j.

* English omnibus edition, see A4k, 1983
Review
Observer, 17 July 1983, p.27

i. Sixteenth English paperback impression Harmondsworth: Penguin Books autumn 1983
Issued with new cover by Alan Lee, later reprinted in his book, Castles (London: Allen & Unwin, 1984).

j. Second English paperback edition, London:Methuen (uniform with A4l) 1985
Review
Punch, 19 June 1985, p.83 by Stanley Reynolds (‘masterpieces, but they are not fit work for the mature mind. . . . merely for more grown-up, adolescent children.’)

* First American omnibus edition in hardback, see A4n, 1988

* Second English omnibus edition in paperback, see A4o, 1992

k. Fourth (third English) edition, revised London: Folio Society 1992
White simulated-cloth boards, 252 x 178, printed in black with an illustration by Peter Harding depicting the walls of Gormenghast; title lettered in gilt down the spine; maroon endpapers.
Contains numerous b&w illustrations by Peter Harding.
For a discussion of the text and a review of the illustrations, see PS Vol.3, No.1 (Winter 1992), pp.21–32.

l. Second American paperback edition Woodstock, New York: Overlook Press 1992 (actually published 1993)

* First American omnibus edition in paperback, see A4q 1995

m. New paperback edition from Vintage (Random House) 1998; new cover 2005

*Third English omnibus edition in paperback London: Vintage 1999
See A4t.

n. Fourth English omnibus edition, with illustrations London: Vintage 2011
Text reset; new illustrations.
Reviews
Spectator, 13 August 2011, by John Spurling
 

A10 MR PYE

a. First edition London: Heinemann 1953
In pale blue d/w by MP featuring Mr Pye sitting on one of Sark’s half-buried canons (from the illustration heading ch.27, p.219), with title and author lettered in plum and black on the front and across the spine. Bound in pale blue cloth with title and author stamped and lettered in gilt across the spine; publisher’s device blind stamped on the rear cover.
Reviews
Time & Tide, 10 October 1953, p.1317, by Alan Ross
Listener, 29 October 1953, p.741, by Graham Hough (‘extremely sympathetic creations. . . . not quite a success in its kind’)
TLS, 6 November 1953, p.705 (‘an oddity’)

b. Second (facsimile) impression, offset from (a) London: Allison & Busby 1969
The d/w designed by Ivan Ripley shows Miss George in her armchair made of figures assembled from MP’s illustrations. Title lettered in black and author in white on the front and across the spine against a bright violet-red ground. The photograph of MP by Derrick Sayer on rear cover dates from 1946 – first used on A4b (q.v.). Bound in golden brown cloth with author, title and publisher stamped and lettered in gilt down the spine.
Apart from the title-page, which was reset, the text is offset from (a), enlarged by 8%.
Reviews
Illustrated London News, no.6796, 1 November 1969, p.28, by Dominic le Foe
Tribune, date not known

c. Second edition; first paperback impression Harmondsworth: Penguin Books 1972
From 1972 to 1980, the cover design by John Gorham carried the author lettered in black across the top of the front, with ‘Author of the Gormenghast trilogy’ in green immediately below; the title, in yellow- and-green shadow letters, ran vertically down the remaining space. Author lettered in black and title in white, on a ‘Penguin orange’ ground, down the spine. For some reason, this ed. was completely reset rather than offset from (a) and consequently contains a few small misprints. Page [3] carries two lengthy quotes from reviews of (b). Reprinted 5 times.
The 7th impression issued in July 1981 has a new cover design in bright yellow with author and ‘Author of the Gormenghast Trilogy’ lettered in black, title in orange, above a portrait of Mr Pye, in white, pink and green, grossly enlarged from MP’s illustration heading ch.11 (p.75).
The 9th impression of February 1986 has a new cover design incorporating a photograph of Derek Jacobi as Mr Pye from the Channel 4 tv adaptation.
Review
Books & Bookmen, March 1972, vol.17, p.R8 [sic], by F. Brown
oystersoupkitchenfloorwaxmuseum.wordpress.com, a review, 22 Febrary 2017

d. Third (facsimile) impression, offset from (a) Woodstock, NY: Overlook Press 1984
With a new cover design by Ann Gold
Review
Library Journal, vol.109, 15 September 1984, p.1774, by Beth Ann Mills

e. Fourth (facsimile) impression, offset from (a) London: Methuen 1985
With an unimaginative pale blue and white d/w design, heavily lettered.
 
 

A11 FIGURES OF SPEECH

a. First edition London: Gollancz 1954
In a grey-green and white d/w by MP reproducing Pl. 11 (reduced), with title and author lettered in black on the front and down the spine (241 x 177). Bound in red boards lettered in gilt down the spine. The title-page has a colon after the author (‘MERVYN PEAKE: / Figures of / Speech’) which is rather unusual. The Contents page reads: ‘We give no table of contents here for to do so would spoil your pleasure. Each drawing represents a particular Figure of Speech. If you cannot identify them, you will find a key at the end of the book.’ No page numbers; 29 plates, all on right-hand pages.
A few of the drawings have been reproduced in various publications over the years; the complete set can be found in Complete Nonsense, interspersed among the poems.
Reviews
TLS, 26 November 1954, p.766
Junior Bookshelf, December 1968, vol.32, p.349, by Marcus S. Crouch (‘hilarious . . . would still make a wonderful classroom exercise’)

 
b. Second edition London: Walker 2003
In a red, ochre, and blue d/w reproducing Pl. 4 (reduced), with author in blue and title in ochre lettered on the front and down the spine (215 x 153). Bound in royal blue boards lettered in gilt down the spine. Contents as in (a) except that (oh dear) the publisher has decided to add colour to the drawings. If you want to appreciate MP’s line drawings, get the first edition or buy Complete Nonsense, in which they are reproduced (without added colour). Of course, if you don’t care about Peake’s drawings and just want to play parlour games, you can use this second edition.

All the drawings in this book, with the key (at the back) are reproduced in Complete Nonsense.
 

A12 TITUS ALONE

a. First edition London: Eyre & Spottiswoode 1959
Following the pattern established by TG and G, TA has a d/w by MP with title and author in red, but it differs from them by using the d/w drawing as a frontispiece as well (very slightly reduced and with the windows for the title etc. crosshatched). Publisher’s blurb on front flap is followed by praise from C. S. Lewis, continuing onto back flap. Quotes from reviews of TG and G on the back – TG being still in print at 18 shillings.
1st issue is bound in red cloth lettered in gilt across the spine; remaindered copies were sold off (c. 1964) in bright red paper- covered boards with the same gilt lettering. Dedication on p.[5] ‘FOR MAEVE’.
Reviews
Guardian, 30 October 1959, by Norman Shrapnel
Sphere, 31 October 1959, p.192, by Vernon Fane
British Book News, 1959, p.814 (‘shows more skill at devising fresh flights of fantasy than at shaping his story to an actual conclusion’)
Observer, 1 November 1959, p.25, by John Davenport (‘a vision of the real that one can share’)
Times Weekly Review, 5 November 1959, p.10
TLS, 13 November 1959, p.657 (‘as fine a piece of fine writing – if you can take it – as we are likely to see for a long time’)
Punch, 18 November 1959, pp.476–77, by R. G. G. Price
Sunday Times, 29 November 1959
The Lady, 3 December 1959 (‘he will not convince everybody that this long nightmare is worthwhile’)
Cork Examiner, 2 (or 21) January 1960, p.4 (‘an enormous literary achievement’)
Flame, vol.1, no 10, October 1960, pp.11–12, by Michael Moorcock (‘if you appreciate what is valuable and inspiring in humanity and in literature . . . you will not be able to put it down unfinished’)

b. Second (first American) edition New York: Weybright & Talley 1967
Design and binding uniform with A4c and A9b.
D/w concludes Bob Pepper’s ‘Hieronymus Disney’ fresco with title and author lettered in blue. The title-page also follows the other two volumes rather than (a), repeating the crown-and-crow vignette of A4a. Five illustrations between half-title and text, some of them borrowed from A4c and A9b; some are repeated (more than once) later in the book. Ten illus. in the text, spaced fairly regularly.
Reviews
This edition was reviewed as a trilogy; see list under A4c.

c. First American paperback impression New York: Ballantine 1968
Uniform with A4f and A9c. Title and author lettered in green on laminated cover. Page [1] carries a lengthy quote from the National Observer (December 17, 1967 by Robert Ostermann). Title-page (p.[3]) is heavily framed and repeats the crown-and-crow vignette of A4a at the head of the page, not three-quarters of the way down as in (b), and rectangular rather than oval. Text and illustrations as in (b). Reprinted 7 times, last in 1978.
Reviews
This impression was reviewed as a trilogy; see list under A4f.

d. Third (second English) edition, revised London: Eyre & Spottiswoode 1970
Uniform with A4d and A9d except that on the d/w title and author are lettered in burgundy. Frontispiece reproduces what p.[6] calls ‘the original drawing for TA’ (?), owned by a Mr I. G. Kenyur-Hodgkins, which had not previously been published. Publisher’s note on pp.7 & 8 contains Langdon Jones’s comments on his revision of the book. Unlike A4d and A9d, contains no plates in the text.
Reprinted in 1971 and 1977. As with the other two volumes of this ed. of the Titus books, the gilt on the spine changed to silver with the impression of 1971 and the endpapers to pale green.
Reviews
TLS, 25 June 1970, p.678
Eildon Tree (Fantasy Association: Los Angeles, Ca.), vol.1, no.1, 1974, pp.22–24, by Darrell Schweitzer

e. First English paperback impression Harmondsworth: Penguin Books 1970
182 x 110. Text offset from (d). Cover portrait of Irma Prunesquallor overprinted in green, leaving author and title lettered in white across the front; author lettered white and title black down the spine. Reprinted 10 times; last in 1980.

f. Twelfth English paperback impression, with corrections Harmondsworth: Penguin Books 1981
The first of the Titus books to appear as a King Penguin (197 x 129). Although she does not appear in the book, Irma Prunesquallor continues to grace the cover with her distinguished presence, overprinted in pale pink leaving author and title contour-lettered in black on white. Corrected text – see MPR 13 – using the plates of (e).

g. Fourth impression of second English hardback edition, with corrections London: Methuen 1983

* English omnibus edition, see A4k, 1983
Review
Observer, 17 July 1983, p.27

h. Second American edition, identical to the fourth impression of the second English hardback edition, Woodstock, New York: Overlook Press 1983
Reviews
This edition was reviewed as a trilogy; see list under A4j.

i. Fourteenth English paperback impression 1983

j. Second English paperback edition London: Methuen 1985
Review
Punch, 19 June 1985, p.83 by Stanley Reynolds (‘masterpieces, but they are not fit work for the mature mind. . . . merely for more grown-up, adolescent children.’)

* First American Omnibus edition, see A4n 1988

* Second English omnibus edition in paperback, see A4o, 1992

k. Fourth (third English) edition, revised London: Folio Society 1992
White simulated-cloth boards, 252 x 178, printed in black with an illustration by Peter Harding depicting the Under-River; title lettered in gilt down the spine; maroon endpapers.
Contains numerous b&w illustrations by Peter Harding.
For a discussion of the text and a review of the illustrations, see PS Vol.3, No.1 (Winter 1992), pp.21–32.

l. Second American paperback edition, Woodstock, New York: Overlook Press 1992 (actually published 1993)
The first printing in the USA of the text of the second English edition. With critical articles (pp.215–363; they are identified in Part H) selected and introduced by G Peter Winnington.

* First American omnibus edition in paperback, see A4q 1995
Contents the same as (l, above).

m. New paperback edition from Vintage (Random House) 1998; new cover 2005
Contents as in (g).

*Third English omnibus edition in paperback London: Vintage 1999
See A4t.

n. New paperback edition from Overlook Press 2008 with new cover
Without the critical articles of (l) and with a new Introduction by David Louis Edelman.


 

A13 THE RHYME OF THE FLYING BOMB

a. First edition London: Dent 1962
Bound in black cloth boards 217 x 140 but also seen in very similar paper-covered boards that closely imitate the cloth – a later issue? – with title and author lettered in gilt down the spine. Black and orange d/w, leaving title white, author lettered in black, reproducing the illus. from p. [8] enlarged, reversed and with reversed tone values. Back of the d/w carries another drawing by MP: figure of the sailor carrying the babe, in white, with orange smoke on a black ground, reproduced in PP (A22) p.468.
Title-page repeats the illus. from p.[8] reduced to 34 x 25. Dedication on p. [iv] ‘To my daughter / CLARE’. Printed in grey ink.
This poem is now available in A27.
For performances of this ballad see Part E.
Reviews
Guardian, 13 April 1962
British Weekly, 26 April 1962
Illustrated London News, 28 April 1962
Poetry Review, Summer 1962, vol.53, no.3, pp.187–88, by Derek Parker
British Book News, 1962, p.511
Radio Times, vol.164, no.2128, 20 August 1964, p.37. [It was broadcast on the Third Programme, 26th August 1964. See Part E.]
Arts Review, date not known (quoted by Yorke, pp.311–12)
Books & Bookmen, date not known (quoted by Yorke, p.312)

b. Second (facsimile) edition Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe 1973
Bound in bright red buckram lettered in gilt down the spine. Also reported ‘bound in dark purple-brown’ – probably the reprint of 1976. The d/w design is based on the drawing by MP on the back of the d/w of (a), executed with a brush in red, orange and brown. (It was reproduced in colour on the back of MPR 2.) Lettered in brown on the front and down the spine.
Text offset from (a) and printed in slightly blacker ink.
Review
Guardian, 29 November 1973, by Martin Dodsworth
 
This poem is often reprinted incomplete: the first ed. of Peake’s Progress (A22), for instance, omitted one stanza; in the following ed., the large-sized Penguin with corrections (A22b), it is complete, but the second Penguin ed. (A22c) reverts to the truncated version of the hardback (A22a). An anthology published in 1996, The Faber Book of War Poetry, ed. Kenneth Baker, printed only 16 stanzas.
At the end of 2001 it was published complete, with Peake’s sketches, as a small paperback in Italian, La Ballata della bomba volante, translated by Alessandro Zaccuri and published by Interlinea of Novara.
The best available edition of this poem is in A27.
Abandoned stanzas were printed from manuscript in PS 10:iv.
 
 

A14 POEMS AND DRAWINGS

a. First edition London: Keepsake Press 1965
A stapled booklet ‘hand set and printed by Fabian Peake, Phyllida Barlow & Roy Lewis’ in an edition of 150 copies. The cover (239 x 154) reproduces a drawing by MP of grotesque animal heads printed in grey on fawn board; title and author lettered in red. 16 unnumbered pages (228 x 146). Foreword by Maurice Collis. 4 poems printed in black ink; 5 drawings in brown. And the price was six shillings and sixpence....
Two variant covers have been noted, one with a drawn frame – thought to be the first issue – the other without.
Collectors are advised that a few sets of originally rejected sheets, a trial printing (on heavier paper than that of the published edition), were later sewn into plain covers with a xerox copy of the original silkscreen-printed cover.
These poems are now available in A27.
Reviews
Books & Bookmen, vol.10, July 1965, p.22, by Jane Gaskell (‘a world of colours and emotions as blazing as they’re subtle’)
New Worlds, vol.49, no.152, July 1965, p.123 (‘a varied glimpse of MP’s great talent’) [probably by Michael Moorcock]

 
 

A15 A REVERIE OF BONE: AND OTHER POEMS

a. First edition London: Bertram Rota 1967
D/w design, front and back, from a gouache by MP. Author and title lettered in white on the front and down the spine. Bound in thin, paper-covered boards, unprinted, unlettered, 255 x 159. Pages untrimmed, unopened at the top. Dedication on p.[v]: ‘For Sebastian, Fabian and Clare’. Preface by George Lawson, p.[vi]. Contains 24 poems and 4 illustrations. An edition limited to 320 numbered copies, of which 300 for sale.
These poems are now available in A27 with omitted stanzas that make the poem much easier to understand.
Review
Contemporary Review, April 1968, pp.222–23, by Richard Whittington-Egan

b. Second edition London: Jay Pickford in association with the Woodstock Gallery Press 1979
Contains only the title poem and none of the 23 others in (a). Illustrated by Jay Pickford: the original drawing ‘was a continuous scroll 156 x 20 inches [3962 x 508]. It has been so printed that it can be, if so desired, reassembled into a scroll.’ The book measures 277 x 352; bound in variously coloured, rather thin board (green, grey, maroon, royal blue and brown) with a white label lettered in black on the front top right-hand corner. A limited edition of 500 copies, signed and numbered by Jay Pickford.
 
 

A16 SELECTED POEMS

a. First edition London: Faber & Faber 1972
Bound in slate-coloured boards lettered in gilt down the spine; cream d/w lettered in black, with a shakey line drawing of a figure by MP printed in dull red. Fawn endpapers. Half-title reads ‘SELECTED POEMS OF MERVYN PEAKE’. (222 x 145)
Reviews
Irish Times, 10 February 1972, by John Armstrong
British Book News, 1972, p.417 (‘Peake writes condensed, tormented lyrics, in which the image draws into itself the knotted emotions of its writer’)
Books & Bookmen, April 1972, vol.17, p.57
TLS, 21 April 1972, p.441
Yorkshire Post, not found but quoted on A16b

b. Paperback impression London: Faber & Faber 1976
Cream laminated cover with title and author lettered in black across the front and down the spine. 197 x 126. Same drawing as on d/w of (a) but placed centrally.
Reprinted mid-1981.
Reviews
TES, 19 March 1976, p.25, by H. F.
MPR, no.4, Spring 1977, pp.30–32, by Belinda Humfrey

c. Paperback impression with corrections London: Faber & Faber 1988
Revised cover design in black & white with Peake’s drawing greatly reduced in the centre.
The corrections (supplied by GPW) rectify misprints in the original edition, e.g. ‘pain’ not ‘plain’ in the last line of ‘London 1941’ (p.28).

All these poems are now available in Collected Poems.

 

A17 A BOOK OF NONSENSE

a. First edition London: Peter Owen 1972
Bound in boards 223 x 143 of a colour very close to that of Selected Poems (A16a) called grey lilac by bookseller P.J. Allen; author and title lettered in gilt down the spine. D/w, designed by Keith Cunningham, lettered in black with drawing by MP on orange ground. Yellow endpapers. Introduction by Maeve Gilmore.
From late 1973, copies were sold with a different endpaper: white overprinted with a design in grey based on the publisher’s device. Price increase on d/w (adhesive label) from £1.95 to £2.50. This would appear to be a late binding rather than another impression.
Now reproduced complete in Complete Nonsense.
Reviews
Guardian Weekly, vol.107, 9 December 1972, p.23
TES, 12 January 1973, p.22
TLS, 26 January 1973, p.86
Teacher, 2 February 1973, p.7, by Martin Booth (‘destined to become a classic in nonsense writing’)

b. Second edition (first English paperback) London: Pan (Picador) 1974
197 x 129 cover bears coloured versions of the Uncle Jake and Aunty Jill illustrations on a pale cream ground. Photograph of MP inside front cover. The text was not offset from (a) but reset (accurately) and the pages renumbered. The final drawing also appears on the half-title, p.[15].
Reprinted 1977.
Reviews
Evening Sentinel (Stoke-on-Trent), 4 December 1974, by T. J.
Evening Chronicle (Newcastle-upon-Tyne), 5 December 1974, by Barbara Argument
North-Western Evening Mail (Barrow-in-Furness), 13 December 1974
Evening Echo (Watford), 21 December 1974, by Melanie Phillips
Malvern Gazette, 2 January 1975
Evening Leader (Wrexham), 7 February 1975, by Victor Hallett
Leicester Advertiser, 11 April 1975, by M. B.

c. Another paperback impression of the second edition Harmondsworth: Penguin Books 1983
Offset from the Picador printing (b) above.

d. Second paperback edition London: Peter Owen 1999
Title-page and prelims reset; otherwise internally identical to (a). Redesigned laminated cover 215 x 137.

e. Third paperback edition London: Peter Owen 2011
Title-page and prelims reset; new Introduction by Sebastian Peake and new Foreword by Benjamin Zepheniah; five new colour plates (of which only one, Uncle Jake as a snake, relates to any of the poems) inserted between pages 58 and 59; otherwise internally identical to (a). Redesigned laminated cover, the same size as (d).
 
 

A18 THE DRAWINGS OF MERVYN PEAKE

a. First edition London: Davis-Poynter 1974
Incredibly, this large (234 x 227) and beautiful volume, designed by Malcolm Young MSIA MSTD, which was exhibited by the National Book League as one of the 50 best-produced books of 1974, was remaindered. Bound in pale, creamy-brown boards with a drawing by MP in cream, lettered in gilt down the spine, it has a black and white d/w – a drawing of the Sphinx from the illustrations to Oscar Wilde (B23) – lettered in gilt. Price £8 on front flap. This was soon increased to £10 then, on a new issue d/w without gilt for the lettering, to £12. Different endpapers front and back reproducing sheets of doodles by MP. The Introduction, by Hilary Spurling, is printed on yellow paper and the reproductions on cream.

b. First paperback impression London: Allison & Busby 1984
 
 

A19 MERVYN PEAKE: WRITINGS AND DRAWINGS

a. First edition London: Academy Editions, and New York: St. Martin’s Press 1974
Published simultaneously in hardback (299 x 221) and soft-bound (292 x 216), the d/w of the one corresponding to the laminated soft cover of the other: pale yellow with drawing by MP of Jo, the crossing sweeper from Bleak House (see Part B), in maroon, on the front; lettered in the same colour down the spine, and a drawing, ‘The Brothers’, Pl. 52 of Drawings 1949 (A7a), again in maroon, on the back. The hardback is bound in royal blue boards lettered in gilt down the spine.
A dreadfully careless production, full of mistakes, e.g. the last 14 lines of the poem, ‘The Glassblowers’, are missing. The photograph on page 16 shows three people, but Peake is not one of them.
Review
Oxford Art Journal, Vol. 2, Art and Society (April, 1979), pp. 49–51, by Geoffrey Moore
 
 

A20 TWELVE POEMS

a. First edition Hayes (Middlesex): Bran’s Head Books 1975
Soft-bound in thin carmine boards 297 x 210, lettered on the front in a brown so dark as to appear black, with a drawing by MP which is repeated on the title-page. Issued in a white, translucent plastic (‘Herculene’) jacket. Printed in dark brown on sand-coloured paper. Contains 8 drawings; 64 unnumbered pages. An edition of 350 numbered copies, of which 330 for sale.
These poems are now available in A27.
 
 

A21 BOY IN DARKNESS

a. First edition Exeter: Wheaton 1976
This is the first separate edition of MP’s novella which appeared in Sometime, Never (see Part C, ‘Contributions to books’). Not printed from the 1st ed. but simply offset from The Inner Landscape published by Allison & Busby in 1969 (also listed in Part C). Soft cover, author lettered in white, title in yellow; cover photograph of stone wall and window. Lettered in black down the spine. Text preceded by 5 pages of drawings, some previously unpublished. Introduction by Maeve Gilmore. Story set from an inferior typescript so it does not correspond to the 1st ed. For more information, see the article, ‘Editing Peake’, in MPR 13.
For dramatic adaptions, see Part E.

b. Second edition London: Hodder Children’s Books, 1996
A completely new edition, with correct text – see PS 5:2 for full details – and original illustrations by P J Lynch, who wrote a short piece about them in Books for Keeps, January 1997, reprinted in PS 5:2, pages 47 & 48, where two of his illustrations were also reprinted.
Reviews
Daily Telegraph, 9 November 1996, by Geoffrey Trease (‘unrelieved horror is the keynote’)
Junior Bookshelf, December 1996, p.279 (‘rich in gothic horror and painful cruelty with a vocabulary esoteric enough to test the average sixth former’s word span’)
Books for Keeps (January 1997), by Diana Wynne Jones, reprinted in PS 5:2, pages 43–45

c. Third edition London: Peter Owen, 2007
A completely new edition, reproducing the text of the 1st (with minor changes of punctuation and capitalization) alongside MP’s five short stories, plus 40 paintings and drawings by MP, none done specifically to go with the stories; they range from early paintings to late line drawings. Of the stories, ‘I Bought a Palm-tree’ is newly edited from the MS and contains small changes and additional words as compared with its first appearance in Peake’s Progress.
Soft cover, author lettered in yellow on a burgundy ground; title and subtitle (‘and other stories’) in white. Cover reproduces in black on yellow a draft of MP’s drawing for the d/w of Titus Alone (A12a). At foot, on a grey ground EDITED BY SEBASTIAN PEAKE. Lettered in yellow and white down the spine.
Contents:
Acknowledgements by Sebastian Peake
new Foreword by Joanne Harris
new Preface by Sebastian Peake; and
Maeve Gilmore’s ‘Introduction’ from the Wheaton edition (above) as: Foreword to Boy in Darkness.
Boy in Darkness
(pp.23–93);
C1: ‘The Weird Journey’ (pp.95–101);
from A22 (below): ‘I Bought a Palm-tree’ (pp.103–109);
D7: ‘The Connoisseurs’ (pp.111–114);
C4: ‘Danse Macabre’ (pp.117–129); and
D11: ‘Same Time, Same Place’ (pp.131–143).
 
 

A22 PEAKE’S PROGRESS

a. First edition London: Allen Lane 1978
Although marked ‘copyright 1978’, the book was not in fact published until January 1979 owing to delay at the printers’. A hefty book bound in dark burgundy boards, stamped and lettered in silver across the spine. D/w uses MP’s drawings of the Mastermire (p.102) in pink, lettered in white; back carries a photograph of MP.
Not recommended as a source text for serious study of Peake’s work, whether prose or verse. The texts are full of misprints and mistakes of all kinds (e.g. a stanza missing from ‘The Rhyme of the Flying Bomb’!). Most of the problems are addressed in the Penguin edition of 1981 (see below)
Reviews
Bookseller, 14 October 1978, p.2735, by S. R. S.
Newsagent & Bookshop, 11 January 1979, p.38, by L. L.
Observer, 28 January 1979, p.34, by Hilary Spurling
Sunday Telegraph, 28 January 1979, p.12, by Francis King
Labrys (London), February 1979, no.4, pp.92—93, by John Matthews
Evening Standard (London), 6 February 1979
Westminster & Pimlico News, 9 February 1979, by Fred. J. Brown
Bath & West Evening Chronicle, 10 February 1979, by Andrew Langley
New Statesman, vol.97, 16 February 1979, pp.222—23, by Jonathan Keates
Time Out, 16 February 1979, p.77, by Steve Pinder
Southern Evening Echo (Southampton), 1 March 1979
Financial Times, 10 March 1979, p.14, by Isobel Murray
Books & Bookmen, vol.24, April 1979, pp.32—33, by Michael Moorcock, reprinted in MPR, Autumn 1979, no.9, pp.28—31, and in Magical Blend (San Francisco, Ca.), 1980, no.1, pp.37—38
Globe & Mail (Toronto, Canada), 12 May 1979, p.41, by Adele Freedman
Sunday Times, 9 December 1979, by John Carey
MPR, no.8, Spring 1979, pp.15—19, by David Lister
MPR
, no.8, Spring 1979, pp.21—24, by Bruce Hunt

b. Facsimile impression; first American Woodstock (N.Y.): Overlook Press 1981
A hardbound edition offset from (a), so it has all the same faults. Remaindered copies were sold off in Britain.
Reviews
Kirkus Reviews, vol.49, 1 June 1981, p.722 (‘most of the poems are tepid, the drawings unctuous’)
Publishers’ Weekly, 12 June 1981, p.51, (‘a grab-bag of pleasant surprises’)
Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Review, no.1, January-February 1982, p.21, by Joe Sanders
[Washington Post] Book World, 27 September 1981, p.11, by Ursula Le Guin; reprinted in Dancing at the Edge of the World: thoughts on words, women and places, New York: Grove Press, 1989, pp.272—75
Booklist, vol.78, no.2, 15 September 1981, p.84, by John Brosnahan (‘astounding talent well displayed’)

c. First paperback edition, with corrections Harmondsworth: Penguin Books 1981
What publishers call a ‘trade paperback’ in size, 235 x 156, with title lettered in black above a portrait of MP painted by MG, mainly in blue. The text, slightly reduced in size (88%), is offset from (a), albeit with hundreds of corrections, ranging from typos to dates. For more information on the status of the texts, see the Peake’s Progress page on this site.

d. Second paperback edition. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books 2000
A disaster: Penguin forgot that their first paperback edition (above) contained corrections and simply reprinted the original hardback. Back to square one! To be avoided by anyone studying MP’s work, at whatever level. Luckily, all the poems except ‘The Touch o’ the Ash’ are in Collected Poems (A27) or the Book of Nonsense (A17), and much of the prose fiction is in Boy in Darkness and other stories (A21c). For the other texts, see the dedicated page on this site.

e. Facsimile impression; second English. London: British Library 2011
A hardbound edition offset from the first Penguin edition (c), with a new, additional introduction by Sebastian Peake.
In the thirty years since (c) was brought out, most of the texts were printed in more reliable (and complete) editions, so this impression is something of an anachronism. For more details, see the dedicated page on this site.
A double CD, with recordings of the stories and poems by Sebastian and Fabian Peake, was released simultaneously with the volume.

 

A23 TITUS GROAN: a radio play

a. First edition London: Mervyn Peake Society 1987
A5 brochure of 98pp containing a typed transcript of MP’s adaptation of Titus Groan (A4) as a radio play in 1956.
 

A24 10 POEMS

a. First edition London: Mervyn Peake Society 1993
Slim A5 stapled brochure containing ten previously unpublished poems. 20 unpaginated pages.
These poems are now available in A27.
 
 

A25 ELEVEN POEMS

a. First edition London: Mervyn Peake Society 1995
Slim A5 stapled brochure containing ten previously unpublished poems – not eleven, as the title would suggest, since it inadvertently includes ‘In Crazy Balance’ from Selected Poems (A16) page 9, with a different last line: ‘Is only the long moment’ for ‘Is always the long moment’.
These poems are now available in A27.
 
 

A26 THE CAVE

a. First edition London: Mervyn Peake Society 1996
A disappointment: reproduces an inferior typescript and contains no pagination, which makes reference to it extremely difficult. See the review-article in Peake Studies 5:iii 28–38.
For performances of the play, see Part E.
 
 

A27 COLLECTED POEMS, edited by R W Maslen

a. First edition Manchester: Carcanet, 2008
One third of the poems in this collection are printed here for the first time, along with 60 illustrations chosen to accompany the poems (but not done specifically for them by Peake). Each poem is reproduced from the most reliable source. (Some corrections are listed on this site.)
Reviews
Booklist (American Librarians’ Association), July 2008, by Roy Olson
Strange Horizons’ by Adam Roberts
Blackbox Manifold’ by Adam Piette
Guardian, 6 September 2008, by Jay Parini
PS 11:i 39–42 (October 2008) by Nick Freeman
PN Review 184, Volume 35, Number 2, November–December 2008
Rain Taxi, Vol. 14 No. 2, pp.14–15, Summer 2009 (#54), by Jeff Bursey

 
 

A28 COMPLETE NONSENSE, edited by R W Maslen and G. Peter Winnington

a. First edition Manchester: Carcanet, 2011
Contains all the poems and illustrations from Rhymes Without Reason (complete for the first time since the 1st edition of 1944); all the poems and illustrations from A Book of Nonsense, and some sixty poems from other sources (e.g. the Titus books). For 20 poems, this is their first publication in book form (having previously appeared in periodicals like Peake Studies); a further 31 poems are completely new, having been found by the editors in MP’s manuscripts. In addition to the illustrations that accompanied the poems in Rhymes without Reason (reproduced here in full colour) and in A Book of Nonsense, this volume contains the drawings from Figures of Speech. (To preserve the guessing game, the key is printed only at the end of the book.) A further twenty illustrations are either completely new or have previously appeared only in periodicals (e.g. Peake Studies). All in all, then, over a hundred poems and a hundred illustrations so placed that they seem to accompany the poems even though they were not specifically intended to do so by Peake. Each poem and each illustration is reproduced from the most reliable source available. (Some corrections are listed on this site.)
Reviews
PS 12:iii (October 2011) pp.21–25, by Stuart Olesker
London Review of Books, 26 January 2012 (Vol 34 No 2), pp.25–26, ‘Eaten by Owls’ by Michael Wood
The Scotsman, 12 January 2012, by A L Kennedy (‘full of a fastidious author’s joy in the sheer music of language, shot through with the sensitivity, melancholy and savage realism that sings in all his work’)


A29 COLLECTED WORKS of Mervyn Peake
in 10 volumes

a. First edition Place?: Queen Anne Press, dated 2011 but available only in 2012
Issued in an edition ‘bound in goatskin with leather onlay designs featuring crystals, exotic shell and iridescent beetle wings’ of 26 sets lettered A–Z, priced at £7,650, and in a simultaneous edition bound in Japanese cloth of 125 sets numbered 1–125, priced at £1,550.
Having seen only three of the cloth-bound volumes, I cannot offer a description of these expensive sets. For comments on them see this extract from PS 13:ii (April 2013).


Broadside

SWANS DIE AND A TOWER FALLS

A poem first printed in The Glassblowers p.12, reset from a signed typescript– the signature and the address, ‘Chalet, Sark, Channel Islands’ (in MP’s handwriting), being reproduced at the foot of the page. Printed on hand-made paper 325(330) x 244(252) (copies vary in size) by the Van Duren Press and published in March 1973 by the Grasshopper Press (Chalfont St. Peter, Bucks). Limited to 100 copies.
 

© G. Peter Winnington 2017

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