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The Gormenghast series is often wrongly called a trilogy, but was in fact intended to be a longer series, charting Titus’s life from cradle to grave. Titus Awakes was written by Maeve Gilmore shortly after her husband’s death from Parkinson’s Disease in 1968, and is formed from a page and a half of fragmented notes that Peake left to her, detailing how he wanted the story to continue. Maeve died in 1983 and the existence of her manuscript, handwritten in brown ink on four exercise books, remained unknown until Sebastian Peake’s daughter discovered them in the attic of the family home.
Gormenghast is a tour de force that ranks as one of the twentieth century’s most remarkable feats of imaginative writing. According to C.S. Lewis: “Peake’s books are actual additions to life; they give, like certain rare dreams, sensations we never had before, and enlarge our conception of the range of possible experience.”
Titus Awakes is published by Vintage, who are also bringing out a new illustrated edition of the original Gormenghast Trilogy which features over 100 illustrations by Mervyn Peake. You will be able to buy your copies at the launch event on the 9th July between 4-8pm.
The opening will be in the presence of Sebastian Peake who will be giving a reading from Titus Awakes, as well as signing copies. To secure a signed copy of the book, please pre-order from http://www.thelasttuesdaysociety.org and collect at the event.
The launch is free, but you will need to RSVP. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your place.
Also: 20th July – Sebastian Peake on his Parents
As part of the Hendrick’s Lecture Series, Sebastian Peake will be giving a lecture about his parents on the 20th of July at 7pm. Tickets are £7 from http://www.thelasttuesdaysociety.org/tickets.html