The Illustrated Gormenghast Trilogy

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9780099528548: The Illustrated Gormenghast Trilogy
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A tour de force that ranks as one of the twentieth century's most remarkable feats of imaginative writing.

Enter the world of Gormenghast. The vast crumbling castle to which the seventy-seventh Earl, Titus Groan, is Lord and heir. Titus is expected to rule this Gothic labyrinth of turrets and dungeons, cloisters and corridors as well as the eccentric and wayward subject. Things are changing in the castle and Titus must contend with a kingdom about to implode beneath the weight of centuries of intrigue, treachery, manipulation and murder.

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Review:

Mervyn Peake's gothic masterpiece, the Gormenghast trilogy, begins with the superlative Titus Groan, a darkly humorous, stunningly complex tale of the first two years in the life of the heir to an ancient, rambling castle. The trilogy continues with the novels Gormenghast and Titus Alone, and all three books are bound together in this single-volume edition.

The Gormenghast royal family, the castle's decidedly eccentric staff, and the peasant artisans living around the dreary, crumbling structure make up the cast of characters in these engrossing stories. Peake's command of language and unique style set the tone and shape of an intricate, slow-moving world of ritual and stasis:

"The walls of the vast room which were streaming with calid moisture, were built with gray slabs of stone and were the personal concern of a company of eighteen men known as the 'Grey Scrubbers'.... On every day of the year from three hours before daybreak until about eleven o'clock, when the scaffolding and ladders became a hindrance to the cooks, the Grey Scrubbers fulfilled their hereditary calling."

Peake has been compared to Dickens, Tolkien, and Peacock, but the Gormenghast trilogy is truly unique. Unforgettable characters with names like Steerpike and Prunesquallor make their way through an architecturally stifling world, with lots of dark corners around to dampen any whimsy that might arise. This true classic is a feast of words unlike anything else in the world of fantasy. Those who explore Gormenghast castle will be richly rewarded. --Therese Littleton

About the Author:

MERVYN PEAKE was born in 1911 in Kuling, Central Southern China, where his father was a medical missionary. His education began in China and then continued at Eltham College in South East London, followed by the Croydon School of Art and the Royal Academy Schools. Subsequently he became an artist, married the painter Maeve Gilmore in 1937 and had three children. During the Second World War he established a reputation as a gifted book illustrator for Ride
a Cock Horse
(1940), The Hunting of the Snark (1941), and The Rime of The Ancient Mariner (1943). Other books include Alice's Adventure's in Wonderland and Grimm's Household Tales (both 1946) and Treasure Island (1949). Titus Groan was published in 1946, followed in 1950 by Gormenghast. Among his other works are Shapes and Sounds (1941), Rhymes Without Reason (1944), Letters from a Lost Uncle (1948) and Mr Pye (1953). Titus Alone was published in 1959. Mervyn Peake died in 1968.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780879516284: The Gormenghast Novels (Titus Groan / Gormenghast / Titus Alone)

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0879516283 ISBN 13:  9780879516284
Publisher: Overlook Press, 1995
Softcover

9781590207178: The Illustrated Gormenghast Trilogy

The Ov..., 2011
Hardcover

9780749314262: The Gormenghast Trilogy: Titus Groan, Gormenghast, Titus Alone

ARROW, 1997
Softcover

9780099288893: Gormenghast Trilogy

VINTAG..., 1999
Softcover

9780140068351: GORMENGHAST

Penguin, 1983
Softcover

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