The Worlds of Mervyn Peake

Sangster, M. and Wilcox, Z. (2011) The Worlds of Mervyn Peake. [Exhibitions]

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Abstract

Mervyn Peake (1911–1968) was a prolific and astonishingly original writer and artist, who touched at one time or another on almost every literary form. To celebrate the centenary of Peake’s birth, the British Library’s exhibition The Worlds of Mervyn Peake (5 July - 18 September 2011) examines Peake's output as novelist, poet, playwright and illustrator through the worlds he inhabited, both real and imagined. The exhibition brings together a wealth of material from the British Library’s collections, including the recently acquired Mervyn Peake archive. Previously unknown works discovered amongst Peake’s papers include: the manuscript of the soon-to-be published fourth Titus book, Titus Awakes, completed by Peake’s wife Maeve Gilmore after his death; and the complete first scene of his sci-fi play ‘Isle Escape’, in which a couple escape to a tropical island to wait out a world war that they later discover failed to take place. Other highlights include: - Gormenghast notebooks beautifully illustrated with character drawings of the Prunesquallors, Flay and Barquentine - Peake’s original drawings for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass - A letter home to his wife from Germany in 1945, where Peake attended the war crimes trial of Peter Back and visited Bergen-Belsen as war correspondent for The Leader magazine - ‘Just a Line’, a storyboard for an animated television programme in which an ordinary little line transforms into pirates, princesses and other strange sights as it journeys across the screen - ‘The White Chief of the Umzimbooboo Kaffirs’ the earliest surviving story by Peake, written when he was eleven years old on his return from China where he had spent the first part of his life - Correspondence from Dylan Thomas, Graham Greene and C S Lewis.

Item Type:Exhibitions
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Sangster, Dr Matthew
Authors: Sangster, M., and Wilcox, Z.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Literature
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