Mervyn Peake (1911-1968) was a painter, poet, illustrator, dramatist, and most famously the creator of the
trilogy. Very much his own man, and charmingly so, neither as an artist nor as a painter did he belong to any school or movement; his work was distinctive and peculiar to him. He was not a loner though, his friends included Graham Greene, Augustus John, Dylan Thomas and Walter de la Mare. His marriage to one of his students, Maeve Gilmore was a happy one, too. Parkinson's disease tragically curtailed his life.
Malcolm Yorke's biography was written with the full co-operation of the Peake family who granted him access to letters, photographs and drawings never previously published.
'Yorke, aware of the many interpretations that have been imposed on Peake's trilogy, does not burden the reader with more. He catches, instead, through apt summary, the wide range of opinion on Peake's achievement, as poet, novelist, painter and illustrator.' Frances Spalding, Times Literary Supplement
'His book goads the reader to search out Peake, and what more could that unique man or his family ask?' John McEwen, Spectator
'Most valuably, the book is generously illustrated with examples of the works discussed. There will never be a clearer explication of Peake's progress as a visual artist.' Michael Swanwick, Washington Post
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