Gormenghast series

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The Gormenghast series is three novels, by Mervyn Peake, featuring Castle Gormenghast and the title character of the first book Titus Groan.


Works in the series

The series consists of three novels, Titus Groan (1946), Gormenghast (1950), and Titus Alone (1959). A novella, Boy in Darkness (1956), tells the story of a brief adventure by the young Titus away from Gormenghast, although it does not explicitly name the castle.

Peake had intended to write a series of books following Titus Groan through his life, as well as detailing his relationship with Gormenghast. At least two other books, tentatively titled Titus Awakes and Gormenghast Revisited, were planned; but Parkinson's disease and Peake's ensuing death at age 57 prevented him from writing down more than a few hundred words and ideas for further volumes. Only three pages of Titus Awakes were coherently written, and these appear in the Overlook Press edition of Titus Alone (ISBN 0–87951–427–2) and in the omnibus volume (0-87951-628-3).

In the 1970s, Peake's widow Maeve wrote her version of Titus Awakes, which she called Search without End. The Peake family rediscovered this novel at the end of 2009 and are planning to have it published in 2011, to coincide with the 100th anniversary of Peake's birth.[1]

Genre and style

The series is usually described as a fantasy work. However, the books have no magic and no intelligent races other than humans, as is usual in high fantasy such as The Lord of the Rings. Another valid classification would be to place Gormenghast in the genre of the fantastic, with marked gothic and surrealist influences. It may also be considered a fantasy of manners.

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