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Peake's Progress: Selected Writings and Drawings of Mervyn Peake
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Peake's Progress: Selected Writings and Drawings of Mervyn Peake

4.24  ·  Rating Details ·  106 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
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. Peake’s Progress is a selection, compiled by his widow, Maeve Gilmore, from every period of his work as a writer and draughtsman. It contains a remarkable work from childhood. ?The White Chief of the ?Umzimbooboo Kaffirs,’ ...more
Paperback, 592 pages
Published January 14th 1980 by Overlook Press (first published 1978)
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May 02, 2013 Kyle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Mervyn Peake. And other people.
In my review of Titus Alone I begin with a seemingly outrageous claim, and now that I have made it through this massive collection of various works by Mervyn Peake, my fears have been laid to rest that my claim may have been overstated.

Peake's Progress is a massive (and I must say, beautifully bound) smorgasbord of Mervyn Peake's poems, short stories, plays, and art, meant to display the wide range of Peake's talent and aspirations, and it succeeds beautifully. After seeing the wide range of Pe
An extraordinary collection of poems, plays, short stories and drawings, displaying something of Peake's extraordinary range, and also exposing recurring themes, especially islands, isolation and the longing for security. There is even a story he wrote when he was 11, though it has the very un-PC title, "The White Chief of the Umzibooboo Kaffirs"!

I had already read "Boy in Darkness and Other Stories", a Titus novella ( and seen some of the pictures, but m
Simon Mcleish
Aug 16, 2012 Simon Mcleish rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Originally published on my blog here in August 2000.

A collection of Peake's writings (much of which is previously unpublished) and drawings put together by his widow, Peake's Progress seems to give a fuller picture of the man than can be seen in his best known work (his completed novels, especially the Gormenghast trilogy, and the illustrations not included here). By choosing the unknown and little known, Maeve Gilmore has created a volume which is of great interest to any fan.

The written works
William Herschel
Jan 19, 2011 William Herschel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Gormenghast readers looking for more
Shelves: own, poems-verse, 2011
This provided a lot of insight into Peake and ultimately the Gormenghast trilogy. I found many pervasive themes in much of his work and learned a bit about his childhood and history thereafter.

Peake dabbled in a lot. He wrote novels, illustrated, made costumes, wrote plays, poetry.. which are mostly all exhibited here. There are also notes/drafts to an early version of Titus Groan and an autobiography that never really got past the preliminary stages.

One highlight is one of two plays, The Wit to
Adam Stone
Apr 20, 2013 Adam Stone rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Peake's Progress is a collection of some of the works of Mervyn Peake collected into one volume by his wife some years after his death.

It contains short stories, poems, drawings, plays, radio scripts, many of which had been published previously, but quite a few which were never published in the author’s lifetime.

I am never quite sure what to think about stuff that was never published in the first place being published after their death as if it was never published in the first place then maybe
Jan Kjellin
Intressant antologi som dels ger en bild över Mervyn Peakes skapande, men som också blir väldigt splittrad, eftersom han rörde sig över en mängd olika genrer. Vissa saker är guldklimpar, medan annat har mer gråsten över sig.

Läsvärt om man vill grotta ner sig i Peakes produktion och - typ - navigera sig fram till de ådror man vill bryta mer malm ur. Annars kan man nog hoppa över den, tror jag. Guldklimparna till trots.
Brian Steed
Very cool miscellany of Peake's shorter non-Gormenghast work (including some Gormeghast prototype pieces). Peake's amazing. So few artists are able to develop a recognizably unique style of their own in any one given field, yet Peake managed to define a "Peakean" style in both his writing and his sketch work.
Jul 17, 2014 Corey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mervyn Peake is a delightful writer, as in 'full of delights.' This miscellany is made up of poems, plays, memoir, short stories, and songs. While one should start with his magisterial 'Gormenghast' novels this book is also a testament to what a wonder he was.
Sep 05, 2010 Chas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010, fiction
A brilliant insight into Mervyn Peake and his art(s). Read it for "Boy in Darkness" and be mesmerized by everything else.
I haven't got all the way through but so far its the best thing..better than butter
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Mervyn Laurence Peake was an English modernist writer, artist, poet and illustrator. He is best known for what are usually referred to as the Gormenghast books, though the Titus books would be more accurate: the three works that exist were the beginning of what Peake conceived as a lengthy cycle, following his protagonist Titus Groan from cradle to grave, but Peake's untimely death prevented compl ...more
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