Monday, August 08, 2011

Opportunity found

Fans of Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast series have long known that the author outlined a fourth and final volume called Titus Awakes before his death in 1968, but it seemed destined to remain one of literature's many lost opportunities. However, in January of 2010, Peake’s granddaughter found four composition books in her family's attic. The books contained a complete version of Titus Awakes written by Peake's widow, Maeve Gilmore, who had apparently finished the book according to her husband's outline. The novel is now available from Penguin, just in time for Peake's 100th birthday. Behold:

That "found in an attic" story sounds too cinematic to be true, frankly, but I've always felt that way about the Gormenghast books. The entire series is like an Edward Gorey drawing made novel-length flesh.



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