This introductory chapter sets out the book's purpose: to identify the main themes, motifs, and structural patterns of Mervyn Peake's prose and verse, relating them where relevant to his drawings and illustrations. All Peake's works are treated as products of the same mind and therefore mutually illuminating. The book also respects the unique form of Peake's works by dealing with them in and on their own terms, grouping findings in chapters with titles that reflect his preoccupations rather than pre-established concepts.
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