A secret... Peake's Gormenghast books have affected me more than any other literature. Including Moby-Dick. I've read the first two a dozen times, but only read Titus Alone one and a half times. I need an illustration project to center me and focus me again, and I think it's time for a reassessment of this book. Stay tuned. #mervynpeake#gormenghast#titusgroan#titusalone
Found a couple of ancient sketchpads at my mum's house earlier. Mostly containing utter crap tbh, my drawing skills/discipline have always been hit-and-miss, but way back whenever it was, 10-15 years, I guess, I was reading Gormenghast and drew a few characters. These two, Belgrove and Steerpike, came out best I think.
Sometimes you come across a gem that's so precisely relevant to your interests - as we did my favourite book the other day, here's a nod to Crow's, the Gormenghast books, because this odd little Avon sf anthology from 1969 has not one but two Mervyn Peake stories within! Strange and excellent cover art by Josh Kirby, who you may know best for his work illustrating Terry Pratchett's Discworld covers! .
If you'd like us to choose some weird and wonderful sci-fi for you to add another dimension to your summer, hop over to www.prudenceandthecrow.com now to buy yourself or a human of your choice a July #patcbox 📚💕🎉 .
It's been the longest week already, but it's Friday tomorrow, and halftime in the England game is almost up (Prudence here, in her England '96 shirt) so, onwards it is, and at least there's something to read afterwards! Here we go! ~P
“Alone among the Twisted Woods – like a branch himself, restless among the rooted trees, he moved rapidly, the sound of his knees becoming day by day familiar to the birds, and hares.” *****************************
Shabnam Sarmadi | Untitled
Mervyn Peake | Titus Groane
As true a #booksellersbreakfast as you will ever get. We have lost George, our much loved Saturday man, who guided us through the bitter but much needed process of a complete stock take earlier this year. This has resulted in us having a 99% completion rate on @abebooks which for a walk-in #bookshop is almost miraculous. I know no #bookstagrammer would ever steal from a #usedbookstore but even moving, wrong-shelving or hiding a book you might come back for later means the poor bookseller cannot find it when it is ordered through Abe or Amazon (same company now - how was that ever allowed? - what is the point of monopolies and merger commissions when things like this happen? ) Not finding the book leads to a drop in our ratings which does not happen if you are a warehouse. This makes a small high street bookshop even more vulnerable. So we have much to thank George for.
Our new Saturday man does not start until next week and I had to be up early to open the shop myself.... the long commute down a flight of stairs! I toasted the tea cake from @pughsonwye (the best @official_londis in the world), made a large cup of tea in my new @yourfavouritemug Mugly cup and once the front door was opened, quickly arranged these gorgeous @panmacmillan #vintagepanbooks
With all the retro-publishing going on I don’t know why Pan doesn’t redo some of these. They have wonderfully pulpy covers and had a range of good and very readable authors. These included three volumes of C S Lewis’s Cosmic Trilogy - the first predated his Narnia stories by 12 years. They also had a fantastic detective fiction stable and their logo was designed by that super hero of the bookshop #mervynpeake Last year was their 70th anniversary and they published 20 classics in bright new bold covers which we had as giveaways for @bookstagramhay I am just reading about Pan now and have very much enjoyed one of the descriptions, “ Pan’s illustrative covers were unashamedly commercial as was their list.” I love the smell of old Pans. They were often printed in France which may add to this difference of scent.
Book review: The Gormenghast- Mervyn Peake
Even with a book club meeting about this Book, I am still seriously conflicted about how I feel about it. I liked it and would like to read the other two books in the series someday but it was seriously painful to get through: very formally written with no real main character. Upon reading the blurb, you assume Titus is the main charater but you hear very little about him until the end and are introduced to enough minor characters to make Dickens jealous. I came to my own conclusion that Gormenghast (the castle) was the main character and that helped me wrap my head around the story. This fantasy series is compared to Tolkiens work but I found no comparison to one of my favorite authors (not even the same playing field-sorry!). I also wouldn't count it as fantasy novel, it read more like a historical fiction and didn't have any magical elements.
One of Mervyn Peake's final illustrations. For the Folio Society edition of Droll Stories by Honore De Balzac, 1961.
A fabulous figure in English 20th century literature, & equally important as an artist & illustrator I think.
This I didn't know, but from wikipedia "Peake designed the logo for Pan Books. The publishers offered him either a flat fee of £10 or a royalty of one farthing per book. On the advice of Graham Greene, who told him that paperback books were a passing fad that wouldn't last, Peake opted for the £10"
The sad news this week of the passing of Pop artist Robert Indiana, famously the creator of LOVE, prompts us to repost our collaboration with the artists group DAMP in the Ian Potter Courtyard at the Monash University Caulfield campus in Melbourne outside MUMA. The project, called Gormenghast (a title all Melvyn Peake fans would know well), formed part of Rosemary Forde’s PhD. It was a teaching space, a space for performance and for exhibition. DAMP slowly added to the structure with their own ingenious and roughshod interventions throughout the course of 2016. See earlier post here. @dampgram @debkunda @monashada @nasdez @thepeoplespapijackprince @andrebonnice #mervynpeake @mumamonash