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Collected Poems

Mervyn Peake

Edited by Robert Warner Maslen

Mervyn Peake: Collected Poems
RRP: GBP£ 12.95
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Price: GBP£ 11.65
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ISBN: 978 1 857549 71 3
Categories: 20th Century
Imprint: FyfieldBooks
Published: June 2008
216 x 135 x 20 mm
280 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: eBook (EPUB), eBook (Kindle)
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  • His ear is tuned to ‘what is beyond the noise of things’, his eye to the unseen beyond the seen.

                    Russell Hoban

    It is forty years since the death of Mervyn Peake (1911-68), the author of the much-loved Gormenghast novels. To mark the anniversary this first comprehensive edition of Peake’s poetry is published. It includes every black-and-white illustration he made for his verse, together with many previously unpublished drawings. Of the more than 230 poems in the collection, over 80 are printed for the first time. Robert Maslen's detailed work on the manuscripts reveals the poems as a dazzling link between the fantasy world of Gormenghast and the narrative of Peake’s own life and of the turbulent times he lived in.

    Peake emerges as a compelling poet, with an acute sense of his responsibilities as an artist, passionately engaged with current events, from unemployment in the 1930s to the horrors of the London Blitz and the concentration camp at Bergen-Belsen. He is also a fine love-poet and a sensitive observer of the human form. Readers who love the world of Peake’s novels, and those who are new to his work, will discover here one of the great originals of the twentieth century.

    Cover painting Mervyn Peake, The Glassblower. Presented to Manchester City Galleries by H.M. Government War Artist’s Advisory Committee, 1947. Cover design

    Mervyn Peake
    Mervyn Peake was a novelist, poet, playwright, painter, illustrator and children’s writer. Born in a small European settlement called Kuling, on 9 July, 1911 Peake spent most of his childhood south of Peking, in Tientsin, China, where he attended the Tientsin Grammar School. His family returned to England in 1923 when ... read more
    Robert Warner Maslen
    Educated at Christ Church, Oxford, Robert Maslen has taught at Universities in Oxford, London and Exeter. He is currently a Senior Lecturer at the University of Glasgow, where he teaches an MLitt in Creative Writing, and has been Visiting Professor at Dartmouth College, NH, the University of St Thomas, MN, and ... read more
    'a landmark volume... a testament to a poet who never quite achieved the level of attention that he deserved.'
    Jay Parini, the Guardian
    Praise for Mervyn Peake '...full of a fastidious author's joy in the sheer music of language, shot through with the sensitivity, melancholy and savage realism that sings in all his work.'
    A L Kennedy
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