Assessments of Peakes life and work in books
James, British Book Illustration 193545. [National Book League Exhibition
Catalogue.] Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1946, p.14.
Noticed in MPR 17:22
M. Lines, Four to Fourteen: a library of books for children. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 1950, p.20.
Concerns Captain Slaughterboard (A1) only.
Newton, In My View. Longmans, Green, 1950, pp.15557.
Reprints his review of the 1944 Peter Jones exhibition see Parts E and H.
Charles Ede (editor), The Art of the Book. Some record of work carried out
in Europe and the USA 19391950. Studio, 1951, p.182.
Discusses MPs Treasure Island and, in the section on commercial book-binding, reproduces the cover of Dr Jekyl and Mr Hyde (B11) executed by W. & J. Mackay at Chatham.
Bland, The Illustration of Books. Faber, 1951, pp.102103; 2nd ed.,
revised, 1953 , pp.102103; 3rd ed., enlarged, 1962, p.136.
The first ed. thought that Captain Slaughterboard Drops Anchor 1945 (A1b) was printed on coloured paper; it was revised to ‘over-all tints’ in the third ed. The first editions surprise that it should be possible to produce Ride a Cock-Horse (B1) for only 5s is omitted in the third edition.
Kathleen Raine, under ‘Poetry’ in The Years Work in Literature 1950, edited by John Lehmann. British Council / Longmans, 1951, p.62.
Eyre, 20th Century Childrens Books. Longmans, Green & Co, for the
British Council, 1952, pp.3233, 3738.
Applauds the individuality of MPs illustrations in Captain Slaughterboard Drops Anchor and Household Tales.
Adventures of a Ballet Critic.
Cresset Press, 1953, f.p.32 and pp.7980.
Describes how Buckle invited MP to draw the ballet dancer Jean Babilée. Reproduces one of the eight sketches printed in Ballet, July 1946, Vol.2, No.2, pp.29-36 (see Part D).
Malcolm Muggeridge, Foreword to Alices Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. Wingate, 1954, pp.vii-viii (B8b).
Bland, A History of Book Illustration: the illustrated manuscript and the printed
book. 2nd edition, Faber; Cleveland and New York: World Publishing Co., 1958,
‘It is in fact questionable how far his subtle satirical drawing appeals to children. Often it must seem to parents to be too gruesome; and this quality is rightly to the fore in The Ancient Mariner, one of his best books.’
Fritz Eichenberg and Ruth Hill Viguers, in Illustrators of Childrens Books, 194656, edited by Ruth Hill Viguers, Marcia Dalphin, and Bertha Mahony Miller. Boston: The Horn Book, 1958, p.54 (by Fritz Eichenberg, in ‘The European Picture Book’) and p.165 (by Ruth Hill Viguers).
Hassall, Edward Marsh, patron of the arts: a biography. Longmans, 1959,
pp.551 & 611.
Brief mentions reveal the extent of Marshs pre-war interest in both MPs paintings and his poems. See Vast Alchemies (F11) pp.1089 and 113.
Amis, New Maps of Hell: a survey of science fiction. New York: Harcourt,
Brace Jovanovich, 1960, p.153; Gollancz, 1961, and Science Fiction Book Club,
1962 (p.152); Four Square, 1963, N.E.L., 1969 (p.131); and New York: Arno, 1975
Dismisses MP as ‘a bad fantasy writer of maverick status.’
Crouch, Treasure Seekers and Borrowers: childrens books in Britain.
Library Association, 1962, pp.98 & 100. (Pages 99 & 101 in the reprint ‘with
amendments’ of 1970.)
‘The most impressive Grimm . . . with powerful, disturbing and creative drawings, perhaps the major achievement of this curious genius.’ Of Captain Slaughterboard, he writes, ‘vital and exuberant but grotesque and violent in the extreme.’
Jacques, Illustrators at Work. Studio Books, 1963, p.59.
Brief biblio-biographical entry; reproduces a drawing from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (B5).
M. Etheridge (editor), Contemporary Authors: a bio-bibliographical guide to
current authors and their works. Detroit: Gale Research, 1963, vols.78,
Bibliographical entry only.
Anon, Whos Who. Adam & Charles Black, 1964, p.2360.
Edward Marsh and Christopher Hassall, Ambrosia and Small Beer: the record of a correspondence. Longmans, 1964, pp.189, 191 & 192.
Maurice Collis, Foreword to Poems and Drawings. Keepsake Press, 1965, p.[v]. (A14)
Rigby Graham, Romantic Book Illustration in England, 194355. Pinner: Private Libraries Association, 1965, pp.1418.
R. Townsend, Written for Children. Garnet Miller, 1965, pp.2034;
Pelican, 1976, revised 1983, 1987. pp.18283.
On the illustrations for Ride a Cock-Horse (B1).
S. Lewis, Of Other worlds: Essays and Stories (edited by Walter Hooper).
Geoffrey Bles; New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1966; Harvest (Harcourt
Brace Jovanovich), 1975, pp.39 & 71 (the same in each edition).
Passing mentions of MP as creator of ‘another world’.
Terence Mullaly, Introduction to the catalogue of the MP exhibition, Upper Grosvenor Galleries, July 1966, p.. (See Part E)
[Noel Claude] Lewis, The 20th-century Book: its illustration and design.
Studio Vista, 1967, and revised edition, Herbert Press, 1984, pp.203, 206, 209,
211, 213, & 272.
Celebrates MPs illustrations for Treasure Island.
Mackay Shaw, Childhood in Poetry: a catalogue of . . . the Shaw childhood in
poetry collection. Florida State University. Detroit: Gale Research, 1967
Bibliographic notices of Peake books acquired by the collection; the Third Supplement (1980) catalogues 56 additional items.
Williams, The Lucidities: sixteen in visionary company. Turret Books, 1967.
Edition limited to 280 copies. Unnumbered pages.
Prose poem No.14 is entitled, ‘Dirge for Seer-Scrivener, Prince-Plangent of Gormenghast’.
Doyle (editor), The Whos Who of Childrens Literature. Hugh
Evelyn, 1968; New York: Schocken, 1969; pp.34142.
See also his Boys Writers and Illustrators (1964).
Burgess, Introduction to Titus Groan. Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1968, pp.913
Reprinted in the Penguin and later hardback issues.
Crisp, The Naked Civil Servant. Cape, 1968, pp.14042; Duckworth,
1977; Fontana, 1977; Flamingo, 1985.
Describes the commissioning, writing, illustrating and publishing of All This and Bevin Too (B4).
Harte and Carolyn Riley (editors), Contemporary Authors: a bio-bibliographical
guide to current authors and their works. Detroit: Gale Research, vols.58,
1st revision, 1969, p.871.
Quotes mainly from American reviews of the 1968 Titus books.
Moorcock, ‘Mervyn Peake’ in Nebula Award Stories 4, edited by
Poul Anderson. Gollancz, 1969, pp.28485.
A 460-word obituary; ‘his books have been erroneously labelled Gothics: an insult to a subtle, sophisticated and skilful writer.’
Spencer, ‘MP 19111968’ in The Years Art 19681969,
edited by Michael Dempsey. Hutchinson, 1969, pp.14142.
Factually and chronologically inaccurate obituary. Critically unsound.
Gilmore answers ‘Discussion questions on the life and works of MP’ at
the Secondary Worlds Symposium, Edinburgh University, 25 April 1969, 5 pp. transcript
of recording on duplicated sheets.
Covers subjects developed in A World Away (F1).
Maurice Collis, The Journey Up: reminiscences, 19341968. Faber, 1970, pp.48, 77, 78, 96, 111, & 112.
Langdon Jones, in the ‘Publishers Note’ to Titus Alone. Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1970 (A12d). pp.7 & 8. Also in later editions.
C. Ward, Longman Companion to Twentieth Century Literature, revised by
Maurice Hussey. Longman, 1970, p.412; 2nd ed. 1975, p.412, unchanged; 3rd edition,
A brief bio-bibliographical note in first two editions; the third laments the literary cult of MP, undeterred ‘by the luxuriance of the descriptive prose or even the absence of a solid and well-defined literary theme to support it all.’
Eyre, British Childrens Books in the 20th Century. Longman, 1971,
pp.37, 44, 45, 53, & 55.
A revised and enlarged edition of 20th Century Childrens Books (1952, above).
Riley (editor), Contemporary Authors: a bio-bibliographical guide to current
authors and their works. Detroit: Gale Research, 1971, vols.2528, p.564.
Five lines only, listing obituaries.
Davis, in his Introduction to The Illustrators of Alice in Wonderland and Through
the Looking-Glass, edited by Graham Ovenden. Academy Editions; New York: St.
Martins Press, 1972, pp.14 and (reproductions) half-title, 10, 43, 89, &
Singles out MPs as ‘the most memorable interpretation’ of Alice.
Maeve Gilmore, Introduction to A Book of Nonsense. Peter Owen, 1972 (A17). pp.912.
Kearns, Fantasy: Library Association Bibliography No.14. Library Association,
Observes of the Titus books, ‘these masterpieces are modern Gothic romances.’
Gilmore, Introduction to the catalogue of the ‘Word and Image II: MP 19111968’
exhibition. National Book League, 1972, pp.59.
See Part E.
Aldiss, The Billion Year Spree. Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1973, pp.26769
& 299; New York: Doubleday, 1973; New York: Schocken Books, 1974; Corgi (paperback),
1975, pp.3047 & 342.
Compares MP with Tolkien and finds his prose ‘sharp and particularized ... considerably less lulling than Tolkiens’; although ‘too dense’ it ‘gets nearer to the things that haunt shadows.’ Repeated in Trillion Year Spree (1986).
Carter, Imaginary Worlds: the art of fantasy. New York: Ballantine, 1973,
pp.99101, and 107.
In well-chosen terms, praises the strengths and pinpoints the weaknesses of the Titus books; a fine example of their hold upon the reader.
and Peter Opie, catalogue notes to their exhibition, Three Centuries of Nursery
Rhymes and Poetry for Children. Oxford: OUP for the National Book League,
Quoted in MPR 17:22.
Alderson, catalogue notes to the exhibition, ‘Looking at Picture Books’.
National Book League, 1973, pp.77, 271, & 295.
Laudatory assessments of Ride a Cock-Horse (B1) (‘raises the stature of these little verses to a new imaginative level’) and of the line drawings in Captain Slaughterboard (A1).
Blount, Animal Land: The Creatures of Childrens Fiction. Heinemann,
Brief comments on Captain Slaughterboard Drops Anchor in the context of animals invented and illustrated by children; MPs drawings resemble those of Sybil Corbet, aged 6.
Clifford, The Transformations of Allegory. Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1974,
On Gormenghast as architectural allegory.
Maeve Gilmore, Foreword to The Drawings of MP. Davis-Poynter, 1974 (A18); Allison & Busby (paperback) 1984, p.[vii].
Hilary Spurling, Introduction to The Drawings of MP. Davis-Poynter, 1974 (A18); Allison & Busby (paperback) 1984, pp.[ixxvi].
Maeve Gilmore, ‘MP’, the introduction to Writings and Drawings. Academy, 1974 (A19); New York: St. Martins, 1974, pp.68.
Wakeman (editor), World Authors 19501970. New York: H. W. Wilson,
The first half of the entry was written on MPs behalf by MG; the second half draws substantially on American reviews of the novels.
N. Manlove, Modern Fantasy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1975,
Ch.6, ‘MP (19111968) The Titus Trilogy’, pp.20757.
Reviewed in MPR 2:3133 by Austen Wilks.
H. Peake, Carol J. Snow, and Andrew Guy Peake, The Peak-Peake Family History:
a genealogical and historical account from the earliest known origins to the present.
Self-published by Cyrus H. Peake, Claremont, California, from 1975, by installments.
No continuous pagination. Vol.1, part 2 (1977) reprints the obituary from The Times (19 November 1968) followed by a 10-line note on his genealogy. MPs branch of the family has not yet been investigated by the authors.
Wilson, The Craft of the Novel. Gollancz, 1975, pp.174, 212, & 239.
Quoted in MPR 8:3839.
Maeve Gilmore, Introduction to Boy in Darkness. Exeter: Wheaton, 1976 (A21). pp..
de Bolt and John Pfeiffer, in Anatomy of Wonder: Science Fiction, edited
by Neil Barron. New York: Bowker, 1976, p.118.
They class MP as one of ‘the three most popular writers of fantasy in the last forty years’ (the other two being Tolkien and Ursula LeGuin).
Nasso (editor), Contemporary Authors: a bio-bibliographical guide to current
authors and their works. Detroit: Gale Research, vols.2528, 1st revision,
Five lines only, listing obituaries.
Carmel Mendelson and Dedria Bryfonski (editors), Contemporary Literary Criticism.
Volume 7. Detroit: Gale Research, 1977, pp.3013.
Quotes from TLS review (26 January, 1973) of A Book of Nonsense (A17), Hugh Brogans ‘Gutters of Gormenghast’ (1973), Philip Guerrards ‘Strategic Fantasies of MP’ (1976), and Duncan Fallowell in Books & Bookmen (1976).
Ashley, Whos Who in horror and fantasy fiction. Elm Tree Books, 1977,
Appreciative but wildly inaccurate; see MPR 6:34.
Collis, Diaries, 19491969. Heinemann, 1977.
Numerous references throughout.
Connolly, Collecting Modern First Editions. Studio Vista, 1977, p.131.
Reviewed in MPR 7:3334.
William Feaver, When We Were Young: two centuries of childrens book illustration. Thames & Hudson, 1977, p.24 and (reproductions) p.22 & pl.107.
Hawkes, Sark. Newton Abbott: David & Charles, 1977, pp.7, 13031,
A glimpse of soccer-playing Peake.
Hoban, Introduction to Household Tales. Picador [Pan Books], 1977 (B10d).
Mainly pp.15 & 16.
A. Kloet, catalogue notes to the exhibition, ‘After Alice: a hundred years
of childrens reading in Britain.’ Library Association, 1977.
Quoted in MPR 17:20.
Davies, ‘Gleams and Glooms,’ in One Half of Robertson Davies.
New York: Viking Press, 1978. p.229.
Asks reader to compare Poe with MP, ‘whose trilogy ... possesses qualities of sustained macabre fantasy, of poetic expression, and of sheer creative power which I do not think Poe can rival.’
Lee Kingman, Grace Allen Hogarth, Harriet B. Quimby, Illustrators of Children‘s Books. Horn Books, 1978, p.150.
Myers (compiler and editor), A Dictionary of Literature in the English Language
from 1940 to 1970. Oxford, New York, etc: Pergamon, 1978, p.243.
Rottensteiner, The Fantasy Book: the ghostly, the gothic, the magical, the
unreal. Thames & Hudson, 1978, pp.13032.
Reviewed in MPR 8:2931.
Brian Sibley, a bibliographical note to Alices Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. Methuen, 1978 (B8c) pp.[vii-viii].
Barbara Stoney, Sybil: Dame of Sark. Hodder & Stoughton, 1978. Not yet seen. Info from LBS.
H. Tuck, The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Chicago: Advent,
Brief, bio-bibliographical assessment; derivative.
Waggoner, The Hills of Faraway: a guide to fantasy. New York: Atheneum,
1978, pp.6162, 66, & 259.
‘As an exercise in the weird, the eccentric, and the remote [the trilogy] is unique, a fantasy which is whole, solid and complete, but has no relation to Primary reality: not a metaphor for the real world, but a frozen distortion of the popular image of Victorian life.’
John Watney, Introduction to Peakes Progress. Allen Lane, 1978 (1979) (A22); New York: Overlook Press, 1981, pp.1333.
Maeve Gilmore, Introduction to ‘The Voice of a Pencil’ exhibition catalogue. Durham: DLI Museum & Arts Centre, 1979, p.[v]. Reissued at the other venues of this exhibition. Reprinted, with corrections, in MPR 10:3133. See Part E.
Maeve Gilmore, Programme notes on The Wit to Woo. Edinburgh: Nottingham Theatre Group, 1979, p.8. See Part E.
John Clute and Peter Nicholls, entry ‘Peake’ in The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction: an illustrated A to Z, edited by Peter Nicholls. Granada, 1979, p.453.
C. Oliver-Morden, entry ‘Peake’ in Novelists and Prose Writers,
edited by James Vinson, in the series, ‘Great Writers of the English Language’.
Macmillan, 1979, pp.95960.
Noticed in MPR 12:38. Reprinted in 20th Century Fiction (1983).
J. Radcliffe, Gothic Novels of the Twentieth Century: an annotated bibliography.
Metuchen N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1979, p.170.
‘The sort of literature from which cults have sprung. Evidently Peake wasnt at the right place and time for the readership. As it is, I just couldnt get involved with the tale and kept going under.’
Robert Reginald, Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature: a checklist 17001974. Detroit: Gale Research, 1979. 2 vols. pp.407 (bibliographical) & 1028 (biographical).
C. Schlobin, The Literature of Fantasy: a comprehensive, annotated bibliography
of modern fantasy fiction. New York: Garland, 1979, pp.19697.
Reviewed in MPR 10:3839 by Pierre Versins.
B. Tymn, Kenneth J. Zahorski and Robert H. Boyer, Fantasy Literature: a core
collection and reference guide. New York: Bowker, 1979, pp.2122.
Excludes the Titus books (‘pure Gothic fiction’) from fantasy.
Maeve Gilmore, Foreword to Mervyn Peake / Oscar Wilde. Spilstead (limited edition); Sidgwick & Jackson (trade), 1980 (B23). p.9.
Punter, The Literature of Terror: a history of gothic fictions from 1765 to
the present day. Longman, 1980.
Numerous references throughout.
Gamini Salgado, entry on Peake in Novels and Novelists: a guide to the world of fiction, edited by Martin Seymour-Smith. Windward, 1980, pp.75, 197, & 243.
Moorcock, Introduction to The Great Captains by Henry Treece. New English
Library, 1980, pp.1, 3 & 4.
A new introduction to a book first published in 1956 by the Bodley Head; Moorcock draws several parallels between Treece and MP ‘who merely sought to describe and make coherent the colourful ... world in which [they] lived.’
Osborne (editor), The Oxford Companion to 20th-century Art. Oxford: OUP,
‘Neither reliable nor well-balanced’ MPR 15:43.
Commire (editor), Something about the Author: facts and pictures about authors
and illustrators of books for young people. Vol.23. Detroit: Gale Research,
A chronological summary of MPs life with abundant quotations from his writings. Perpetuates the myth that he was ‘officially assigned to visit Belsen concentration camp’ but otherwise accurate and appreciative.
Evory (editor), Contemporary Authors: a bio-bibliographical guide to current
authors and their works. Detroit: Gale Research, vol.3, new revision series,
Includes a full column of quotations from reviews.
Fallowell, entry ‘Peake’ in The Makers of Modern Culture, edited
by Justin Wintle. Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1981, pp.4045.
Reprinted in MPR 12:3031.
Greenland, entry ‘Peake’ in Twentieth-Century Science Fiction Writers,
edited by Curtis C. Smith. Macmillan; New York: St. Martins, 1981, pp.63233
(in a terminal section entitled ‘Major fantasy writers’).
A balanced attempt to take in the many facets of MPs prose.
Alberto Manguel and Gianni Guadalupi, A Dictionary of Imaginary Places. Granada, 1981, pp.14951.
Jackson, Fantasy: the literature of subversion. Methuen, 1981.
MP is dismissed in the Introduction. No other mention. Reviewed in MPR 13:3742, by Peter McKenzie.
Colin Manlove, entry ‘Peake’ in Dictionary of National Biography: 19611970, edited by E. T. Williams and C. S. Nicholls. Oxford: OUP, 1981, pp.82830.
Leech and Michael H. Short, Style in Fiction: a linguistic introduction to
English fictional prose. Longman, 1981, pp.14045.
Reprinted in MPR 15:3035.
C. Schlobin (editor), The Aesthetics of Fantasy Literature and Art. Notre
Dame (Indiana): University of Notre Dame Press; Brighton: Harvester. 1982.
Brief mentions of MP; reviewed in MPR 18:4345 by Colin Greenland.
Blamires, Twentieth-century English Literature. [The final volume of the
Macmillan History of Literature] Macmillan, 1982, pp.2045, 207, 263.
Diminishes by implication ‘the Gormenghast trilogy’ [sic] has ‘a largeness that generally appertains to masterpieces’ and reproduces ‘The Dancers’ from Drawings 1949.
F. Bleiler, The Guide to Supernatural Fiction. Ohio: Kent State University
Press, 1983, pp.400401.
Deals only with Mr Pye, which ‘might have been successful as a nouvelle. The illustrations are superior to the text.’
and Susie Harries, The War Artists: British official war art of the twentieth
century. Michael Joseph in association with the Imperial War Museum and the
Tate Gallery, 1983, pp.180, 2013, 25556, & 306.
Mentions MPs attempts to be a war artist.
N. Manlove, The Impulse of Fantasy Literature. Macmillan, 1983, Ch.7, ‘Fantasy
and Mind: MP’, pp.11526.
Revised from ‘A World in fragments: Peake and the Titus Books’, MPR 11:916.
Michael Moorcock, Preface to A World Away, by Maeve Gilmore (F1). Methuen, 1983, pp.[ix]xv.
C. Oliver-Morden, entry ‘Peake’ in 20th Century Fiction, edited
by James Vinson, in the series, ‘Great Writers Student Library.’ Macmillan,
Reprinted without change from Novelists and Prose Writers (1980).
Tom Pocock, 1945: the dawn came up like thunder. Collins, 1983, Ch.4, pp.12347.
Room, Dictionary of Trade Name Origins. Routledge, 1983, p.133.
Claims that ‘Towards the end of the Second World War ... MP gave a small pen-and-ink drawing to Alan Bott, the managing director of the Book Society and the Reprint Society. Bott was at the time thinking of starting a paperback publishing company as soon as the war was over but was stuck for a suitable name. He did not want to have a bird (because of Penguin) or an animal (because of the American kangaroo logo on Pocket Books), so had to try elsewhere. Sitting at his desk and pondering on the problem he found himself staring at MPs little picture and there, in the god Pan, was the name he had been seeking. Pan Books was actually founded in 1944.’ This story is not attested. (See Part C)
G. Peter Winnington, entry ‘Peake’ in Dictionary of Literary Biography. Vol. 15: British Novelists, 19301959 (Part 2: MZ), edited by Bernard Oldsey. Detroit: Gale Research, 1983, pp.42331.
Lee (artist) and David Day (author), Castles. Allen & Unwin; New York:
Bantam, 1984, pp.18889 (illus.) & 190 (text).
The double spread reproduces Alan Lees drawing for the cover of the Penguin edition of the Titus books (A4l, etc.); p.190 is David Days commentary.
Leon Garfield and Edward Blishen, Introduction to Sketches from Bleak House. (B24) Methuens Childrens Books, 1984 [copyright notice dated 1983]. pp.57.
Anthony Burgess, Ninety-nine Novels: the best in English since 1939. Allison & Busby, 1984, p.36.
Joseph Connolly, Modern First Editions: their value to collectors. Orbis, 1984, pp.22425.
Harry Blamires (editor and contributor), A Guide to 20th-Century Literature in English. Methuen, 1984, pp.21617.
Crisp, The Wit and Wisdom of Quentin Crisp, compiled and edited by Guy
Kettlehack. New York: Harper & Row, 1984; Century, 1985, pp.129130.
Brief, garbled, reference to baby-sitting for the Peakes.
Greenland] The Science Fiction Source Book, edited by David Wingrove. Longman,
‘Titus Groan books are as vigorously Romantic as all his work, a tale of spiritual and emotional revolt against a corrupt and decrepit order’.
Rates Titus Groan very highly (17/20).
Roger Hardy, entry ‘Peake’ in Fontana Biographical Companion to Modern Thought, edited by Alan Bullock and R. W. Woodings. Fontana, 1984, p.587.
Edwards and Robert Holdstock, Realms of Fantasy. Limpsfield, Surrey: Dragons
World, Paper Tiger, 1984, Ch.3, ‘Gormenghast: the Realm of Titus Groan’,
A commentary largely inspired by quotations, especially from Michael Moorcock, to accompany four illustrations by Ian Miller.
Little, The Fantasts. Amersham: Avebury, 1984, Ch.4, ‘MP (19111968):
Covers ground much better handled by Bristow-Smiths dissertations (Part I), for example; ultimately depressing, for that is Littles view of Gormenghast.
Peppin and Lucy Micklethwait, Dictionary of British Book Illustrators: the
20th century. Murray, 1984, pp.22930.
Devotes a full page to MP; laudatory but frequently inaccurate.
Carpenter and Mari Prichard, Oxford Companion to Childrens Literature.
Oxford: OUP, 1984, pp.39798.
Treasure Island ‘had to wait until 1949 to find an artist exactly fitted to it, MP.’
L. Sanders, ‘The passions in the clay: MPs Titus stories’ in Voices
for the Future, vol. 3. Bowling Green, Ohio: Popular Press, 1984, pp.75105.
A rich, tightly argued discussion of the moral and philosophical bases of the world of MPs fiction. Reprinted in Mervyn Peake, Titus Alone (A12l). Woodstock, New York: Overlook Press, 1992. pp.26091.
Swinfen, In Defence of Fantasy: a study of the genre in English and American
literature since 1945. Routledge & Kegan Paul. 1984, pp.3 & 100.
MP is excluded because ‘his novels appear to be rather different in character from the works being discussed here’ (p.3).
Harry Blamires, A Short History of English Literature. Routledge, 1985. p.407
Margaret Drabble, Oxford Companion to English Literature, 5th edition. Oxford: OUP, 1985, p.748.
Bernard Smith, entry ‘Peake’ in Writers in Sussex, by Bernard Smith and Peter Haas. Bristol: Redcliffe, 1985, pp.1057.
Sullivan (editor), British Literary Magazines: vol.4, The Modern Age, 19141984.
New York: Greenwood Press, 1986, pp.254 and 362.
Notices MPs contributions of poetry and ‘a fine series of drawings of contemporary authors’ to Mercury, and ‘etchings [sic] for The Ancient Mariner’ to Poetry (London).
W. Aldiss with David Wingrove, Trillion Year Spree: the history of science
fiction. Gollancz, 1986, pp.266 & 26264.
Reprints unchanged the assessment from Billion Year Spree (1973), see above.
Quirk, Words at Work: Lectures on Textual Structure. National Univ. of
Singapore Press, 1986. pp.5456.
On distance and perspective in the Titus books.
Bloom (general editor), Chelsea House Library of Literary Criticism: Twentieth-Century
British Literature, vol.4. New York: Chelsea House, 1987, pp.221828.
The first page reproduces photographs of MP and other authors. Extracts from A World Away (F1), from articles (see Part H) by Duncan Fallowell (1976), G. Peter Winnington (1979), Hugh Brogan (1973) and Colin Greenland (1981), plus Anthony Burgesss Introduction to Titus Groan (A4d), complete.
Dodsworth, ‘Mid-Twentieth-Century Literature: 19301980’ in The
Oxford Illustrated History of English Literature, edited by Pat Rogers. Oxford:
OUP, 1987, Ch.9, pp.446, 447.
‘Two novelists of fantasy embody the forties taste for extravagance most clearly’: MP and Tolkien.
Leray, Titus ou lhéritier errant: modalités et sens de la
quête dans la trilogie de MP, in Le Voyage romantique et ses réécritures,
ed. Christian La Cassagnère, Fac. Lettres Clermont-Ferrand, France, 1987,
On the quest motif in the Titus books. Not seen.
Tigges, Explorations in the Field of Nonsense. Rodopi, Amsterdam, 1987.
Quotes Graham Greene with reference to MPs Alice.
Wright, The Literary Zodiac. Anodyne Publishing; Sebastopol, Ca: CRCS Publications.
Reprints Wrights 1980 article, ‘The Gutters of Gormenghast’ (see Part H).
Cawthorn and Michael Moorcock, Fantasy: the 100 best books. Xanadu, 1988,
Chapter 64, pp.13738.
Enthusiastic thumbnail sketches of MPs life and the three Titus books.
Hodnett, Five Centuries of English Book Illustration. Scolar Press, 1988,
A 500-word bio-bibliographic critical commentary, sometimes perceptive, sometimes ill-founded a fine example of the lovehate relationship that MPs work inspires.
Pringle, Modern Fantasy: the hundred best novels. Grafton, 1988, Chs.1,
10, & 23, pp.2728, 4647, 7677.
Plot summaries of the three Titus books, the first two of which are ‘masterpieces of modern fantasy.’ The third is not so appraised.
Tigges, Wim, An Anatomy of Literary Nonsense. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1988. pp.53–4, 57, 59, 87, 96, 165–6, 195, 226, 231, and 257.
On page 165 Tigges calls Peake the only ‘true heir’ of Lear as far as nonsense verse is concerned.
Marowski & R. Matuz (eds.). Contemporary Literary Criticism (vol. 54).
Detroit: Gale Research, 1989.
Nine critical essays not seen.
Sinclair, War Like a Wasp: the lost decade of the forties. Hamish
Hamilton, 1989. pp.61, 74, 94, 151, 164, 18486, 226.
Page 165 reproduces three drawings from The Adventures of the Young Soldier (B3) and page 186 the cover of Poetry London X, with the nightmare figure of life-in-death.
Ingoldby, Out of Call or Cry: The Island of Sark. Heinemann, 1990. Chapter
10, mainly, pp.12539.
A personal study of the island of Sark, recalling MPs participation in Eric Drakes painter community and the filming of Mr Pye for television, the two main events on the island in the twentieth century.
G. Peter Winnington, The critical reception of Mervyn Peakes Titus books, in Mervyn Peake, Titus Alone (A12l). Woodstock, New York: Overlook Press, 1992. pp.21726.
Ann Yeoman, The cry of a fighting-cock: notes on Steerpike and ritual in Gormenghast. In Mervyn Peake, Titus Alone (A12l). Woodstock, New York: Overlook Press, 1992. pp.32231.
Stevenson, A Reader‘ Guide to the 20th-century Novel in Britain. Kentucky
U P, 1993.
Depicts MP as ‘a unique figure in English fiction’ (p.81).
Piette, Imagination at War. British Fiction and Poetry 19391945.
Macmillan Papermac, 1995, pp.4954, 227, 228.
Reviewed at length by Laurence Bristow-Smith in PS 4:iv.
Mills, entry ‘Peake’ in Dictionary of Literary Biography. Vol. 160:
British Childrens Writers, 19141960, edited by ?Meena Khorana?.
Detroit: Gale Research, 1996, pp.207216.
A generally balanced assessment of MP as illustrator and writer for children, with the occasional lapsus calami (for which see PS 5:i).
Parker (ed.), Entry under 1959 in The Readers Companion to the 20th-Century
Novel, Fourth Estate, 1994. pp.36063.
A sympathetic and perceptive but also erratic assessment; suggests that the genesis of the series may be found in ‘Boy in Darkness’; concludes that it is a parable of the contemporary world, where good and evil inextricably merge.
Russell Davies (ed.), The Kenneth Williams Letters, HarperCollins, 1994.
Two brief mentions of MP in connection with The Wit to Woo, in which Williams played Kite – whom he remembers as Pike. Clearly, his memories (written more than 15 years after the event) should be treated with caution.
Margaret Drabble and Jenny Stringer (editors), Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature. Oxford: OUP, 1996. p.445.
Gardiner-Scott, Entry ‘The Titus Groan Trilogy’ in the Guide to Science
Fiction and Fantasy Literature. eds Tom Shippey and A J Sobczak. Magill 1996.
Roughly 70% plot summary, 30% analysis. ‘Classic high fantasy . . . looks back to Gothic novels.’ MPs ‘feast of language’ sets the characters apart from much twentieth-century writing. Devices in TA are similar to those of 1950s sf.
Clute and John Grant (eds), The Encyclopedia of Fantasy. Orbit [a division
of Little Brown & Co], 1997. p.749.
Perceptive, accurate entry, ending: ‘He is the most potent visionary the field has yet witnessed.’
Christoph Schöneich, Edmund Talbot und seine Brüder: Englische Bildungsromane nach 1945. 1999, Gunter Narr Verlag Tübingen, 344p. (In German)
There‘s a chapter on Peake (pp. 152–78) about the conflict between frozen ritual and individual development, petrified tradition and the wish of the protagonist to become ‘Titus Groan in his own right’ – in narratological terms: the tension between allegory and Bildungsroman, from the point of view of Erich Fromm‘s political psychology in Escape from Freedom: between necrophilia and biophilia. (Not seen. Author’s summary.)
Duperray, La folie et la méthode. Essai sur la déréalisation
en littérature. Paris, France: LHarmattan, 2001. pp.181-6.
A rare analysis (and rather lengthy summary) of ‘Same Time, Same Place’ in the context of theories of the unreal in fiction and the limits imposed on the fantastic by generic definitions. (In French)
Pagetti, The Whale and the Gryphon: On the Road to Gormenghast. In Literature
and Visual Arts in the Twentieth Century, ed. and introd. by Daniela Carpi.
Bologna, Italy, 2001. pp.193204.
Watson (ed.), The Cambridge Guide to Childrens Books in English.
p.607 on MP‘s nonsense verse, ‘exuberant but odd’.
Tim Woods, Whos Who of Twentieth-Century Novelists. Routledge, 2001. p.271.
Barber, Warningcamp: The History of a Sussex Community. Bognor Regis: Woodfield
Brief mention of MP as a resident in the village, naming the houses he lived in.
Sophie Aymès, La bille et l‘encrier: écriture et auto-illustration chez MP. In Texte/Image: nouveaux problèmes. Eds Liliane Louvel and Henri Scepi. Rennes, France: Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2003. pp.201–18. (In
Punter and Glennis Byron, The Gothic. Oxford and Malden, Ma: Blackwell,
Several brief notices, particularly pp.1545.
Boxall (ed.), 1001 Books You Must Read before You Die. Intro. Peter Ackroyd.
Contains entries for both Titus Groan (‘a novel of superb craft’) and Gormenghast (‘an outstanding feat of literature’).
Stephen Jones and Kim Newman, eds. Horror: Another 100 best books. New York: Carroll & Graf, 2005.
Apparently contains an essay by Christopher Fowler on Gormenghast (not seen).
Victoria de Rijke and Howard Hollands, The Thing that is not There: A Psychoanalytic Reading of Mervyn Peake’s Captain Slaugterboard Drops Anchor. In The Story and the Self: Children’s Literature: Some Psychoanalytic Perspectives. University of Hertfordshire Press, (1st March) 2008. pp.236–48
Sara Wasson, Urban Gothic of the Second World War: Dark London. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.
Chapter 6 contains a section on ‘Mervyn Peake’s wartime writing’ (pp.142–56).
It was reviewed by Adam Piette in PS 12, i: 48–50.
Arrate Hidalgo Sánchez,
Steerpike and Evasive Villainy in MP’s
Gormenghast Novels. In Villains: Global Perspectives on Villains and Villainy Today (ed. Burcu Genc & Corinna Lenhardt). Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2011. pp.55–62.
Argues that ‘Steerpike challenges classifications and escapes satisfactory definitions of the modern villain.’
Michael Moorcock, ‘Breaking Free: an introduction to MP’s Titus Alone.’
In London Peculiar and other Non-Fiction. Oakland, Ca: PM Press, 2012.
First published (in German) as the introduction to the German translation of TA published by Klett-Cotta in 2010.
Martin Salisbury and Morag Styles, Children’s Picturebooks: the art of visual storytelling. London: Laurence King. 2012.
Calls Captain Slaughterboard ‘a key picturebook that was way ahead of its time’.
Sophie Aymes, ‘La bille et l’encrier: écriture et auto-illustration chez Mervyn Peake.’ In Texte/image — Nouveaux problèmes edited by Henri Scepi. Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2016. pp.201–18.
© G. Peter Winnington 2016
me of any corrections or additions I should make.
Continue with Part H, articles on Mervyn Peake in periodicals, or