Mervyn Peake is best known for his novels Titus Groan, Gormenghast, and Titus Alone, also known as the ‘Gormenghast trilogy’. In less than twenty-five years, he produced thousands of drawings and book illustrations, hundreds of paintings, more than two hundred poems, a dozen plays, another novel, a novella, and a handful of short stories. What was the creative process that makes Gormenghast so memorable and facilitated so many works in so many media in so short a time? Although Peake was not given to theorizing, he wrote of what drawing meant for him in the Introduction to a book of his Drawings. This chapter is based on a close reading of that Introduction, illustrated with quotations from his poems and the experiences of his fictional characters.
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