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This page last updated
March 2013
© G. Peter Winnington 2013

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Recent & Forthcoming Books
by and about Mervyn Peake

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From Cambridge Scholars Publishing

a selection of the papers presented at
the Centenary Conference on Mervyn Peake
at the University of Chichester in 2011

Miracle Enough

cover of Miracle Enough

A pdf of the opening pages and the Introduction
can be viewed here.

‘The varied approaches taken by these papers contribute to our understanding and appreciation of Mervyn Peake’s work, both as a writer and an illustrator’—Joanne Harris

 

 

View this item in CSP’s catalogue.

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2011 was Peake’s centenary year, marked by new books, plays, and exhibitions. Check out the special page devoted to it!

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Published by Carcanet in July 2011

Cover of Complete Nonsense

Mervyn Peake’s Complete Nonsense

See this page for corrections and additions

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Published by La Maison d’Ailleurs, Yverdon, Switzerland

Cover of exhibition book

a book – ‘catalogue’ would be a misnomer – accompanying the exhibition of Peake’s illustrations

‘Lignes de Fuite / Lines of Flight’ (3rd October 2009–14th February 2010).

It contains an Introduction by the curator of the Maison d’Ailleurs, Patrick Gyger, an essay on Peake’s technique and a chronology of Peake’s life by G. Peter Winnington, and an original Afterword by Michael Moorcock.

All the texts are printed in both English and French.

PLUS

100 pages of reproductions of Peake’s illustrations for
Captain Slaughterboard, The Hunting of the Snark,
Alice in Wonderland & through the Looking-Glass,
Household Tales, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Treasure Island
and Mr Pye.

For sale through the Maison d’Ailleurs (ISBN 978-2-9700675-0-4)


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Published by Peter Owen 1st October 2009

Cover of Mervyn Peake's Vast Alchemies

Mervyn Peake’s Vast Alchemies, a new edition of Vast Alchemies

with much updated information and more than 60 illustrations,

some in colour, few of which have appeared in any book before.

The index is on this site and there’s a page for additions and corrections. (ISBN 978-0-7206-1341-4)

 

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Published by Carcanet in June 2008

Cover of Collected poems

Mervyn Peake’s Collected Poems

See this page for corrections and additions

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Published in December 2007 by Peter Owen
(the publisher of both Peake’s Book of Nonsense and Peter Winnington’s biography of Peake, Vast Alchemies,
as well as Mervyn Peake: the Man and his Art mentioned below),



Boy in Darkness and other stories

Contains all Peake’s shorter fiction: “Boy in Darkness” and his five short stories, along with
40 paintings and drawings by Peake in colour and black & white, many of them previously unseen.
£9.95 ISBN 978-0-7206-1306-3

 

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The most wonderful book in the world

Click on the image to see a pdf of the full cover of this book.

This large volume (11 x 9 inches, more than 200 pages) in full colour called Mervyn Peake: the Man and his Art was published by Peter Owen on 3rd October 2006. A paperback edition came out at the end of 2008, the hardback having already sold out.

It contains about three hundred reproductions of paintings, drawings and illustrations by Peake, chosen by Sebastian Peake and Alison Eldred, as well as essays on his life and work. Contributors include Joanne Harris, John Howe (whose essay can be read here), Michael Moorcock, and half-a-dozen others. Peter Winnington edited the book and wrote several of the chapters.

The book was very well received; the European edition of Time magazine devoted a whole page to it in the issue dated 11th December 2006, The Week named it as one of its favourite non-fiction books of the year, and it was the top-selling book in its category at Christmas 2006.

“A magnificent book”
The July 2007 issue of Booklist (the monthly journal of the American Librarians’ Association) opined that “Peake seems ever about to be vaulted into the front rank of 20th-century English artists. This marvelous album, focused on his artwork, may do the trick.” After praising the “seven technically revelatory biocritical chapters by Winnington”, the starred review concludes: “As rewarding to the intellect as to the eye, this is a magnificent book.”
It was one of five titles shortlisted for the Locus Best Art Book Award in 2008.

 

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Click on the image to see the full cover of this book.

Peter Winnington’s study, The Voice of the Heart: the working of Mervyn Peake’s imagination, was also published on 3rd October 2006 (by Liverpool University Press, distributed by Chicago University Press in the USA). It was available in both hardback and paperback. It is now out of print. Peter Winnington has a few spare copies.
Tom Shippey (Professor, Walter J. Ong Chair of Humanities, at St Louis University) writes:

Mervyn Peake is the anomaly among fantasists: the illustrator who heard more than he saw, the playwright whose characters habitually reach for solitude and silence, creator, in the Gormenghast sequence, of an intensely-realized world of attics and cellars and peripheries. Peter Winnington’s The Voice of the Heart is the first study to take in Peake’s entire multi-generic work as a whole, and treats it with engagingly new and individual approaches. Peake has at last received the focused and undistracted attention he above all requires.

More information about this book is available on a separate page.

Back to the Peake STUDIES home page.