Titus Groan, heir to Lord Sepulchrave, has just been born. A Groan of the strict lineage, he will inherit the miles of rambling stone and mortar that form Gormenghast Castle and its surrounding kingdom. His world will be predetermined by complex rituals, the origins of which are lost in time, and peopled by the dark characters who inhabit the half-lit corridors – Lord Sepulchrave and his red-haired Countess; Swelter the chef and his bony enemy Flay; Prunesquallor, the castle physician, and his etiolated sister Irma; and Steerpike, the Machiavellian youth.
Dreamlike, fantastic and macabre, Mervyn Peake's extraordinary novel is one of the most astonishingly sustained flights of the imagination in modern English fiction.
Mervyn Laurence Peake (1911–1968) was an English writer, artist, poet and illustrator. He is best known for what are usually referred to as the Gormenghast books. The three works were part of what Peake conceived as a lengthy cycle, the completion of which was prevented by his death, and consequently should not be considered a trilogy. They are sometimes compared to the work of his older contemporary J. R. R. Tolkien, but his surreal fiction was influenced by his early love for Charles Dickens and Robert Louis Stevenson rather than Tolkien's studies of mythology and philology.
Peake also wrote poetry and literary nonsense in verse form, short stories for adults and children (Letters from a Lost Uncle), stage and radio ... (more)