Peake's progress: Selected writings and drawings of Mervyn Peake

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9780140046298: Peake's progress: Selected writings and drawings of Mervyn Peake

A selection of short stories and poems taken from this collection of Mervyn Peake's lesser-known work, including the epic poem Rhyme of the Flying Bomb. This collection is read by Mervyn's sons Sebastian and Fabian. Preface to the book (by Sebastian): Ten years after my father's premature death in November 1968, my mother's own selection of some of his writings was published, as Peake's Progress. The first complete story my father wrote, The White Chief of the Umzimbooboo Kaffirs was begun in China, where he was born in 1911, and completed at the age of eleven in England, where he had been sent to boarding school. This early story in the collection, tells of Hugh, a thinly disguised Jim from Treasure Island, whose parents, called Silver, unambiguously confirms the powerful influence Robert Louis Stevenson's masterpiece had on my impressionable father. My grandfather had given him the novel to read at a young age, and such was its impact that most of the story was committed to memory. So absorbed had my father been in this world of pirates, adventure and hidden treasure he would continue to be inspired by this primal literary experience throughout the rest of his professional life. At the age of eighteen, danger on the high seas was further evoked in his A Touch o' the Ash, the narrative confirming his infatuation with high maritime drama. On the advice of his former English teacher, my father left the Royal Academy Schools where he was studying fine art, at the age of twenty-two, moving to Sark in the Channel Islands where he lived for two years, and wrote Mr Slaughterboard. Six years later, and by now commissioned, having metamorphosed into Captain Slaughterboard, my father's sabre-waving villainous anti-hero, longs for an end to piracy and murder, finally reaching his own treasure island, after years of sailing the seven seas. First published by Country Life in 1939 and still in print today, the story is perhaps the high water mark of my father's early life, even though by then he was already halfway through his short span on earth. Stories both short and long fill the pages of the collection, with the nascent Lord Groan making a first appearance in The House of Darkstones, written between 1938 and 1940, with other ideas from personal experiences evolving in the late 1940s into Five Short Stories. Concurrent with regular calls for his work as an illustrator, poetry, inspired by love and war, family and country, germinated and was published. Illustrations and drawings, both preliminary and finished, accompany the text, while Peake s Progress displays in abundance his perceptive eye in the numerous line drawings. With humour, nonsense, whimsy, and the gentlest mocking of man's foibles, the reader is lured into a visual and verbal world, where the writer and artist inhabit the same world. There is a philosophy to my father s dictum; his headstone in an eleventh-century graveyard attests to this, that To Live at all is Miracle Enough, while on a lighter note we re reminded that, the trouble with geraniums is that they're much too red , the painter in him letting us know that colour is central to both flower and artist. The inclusion near the end of the book of For Mr Pye An Island, a BBC radio adaptation of his novel Mr Pye, tells the story of an ex-banker committed to saving souls. My father s own missionary zeal; his father leading the way as a Congregationalist lay preacher, inspired in him a didactic imperative, a desire in this case to impart his enthusiasm for painting and writing to his students, pre the onset of Parkinson's Disease. How gratifying therefore to know that my mother s homage to her husband s art, her belief in his uniqueness and a settled and lifelong conviction that his voice should be heard, and his art seen, is reproduced here in this handsome British Library edition

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Product Description:

Peake1s 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,1 the early ?Mr. Slaughterboard,1 which foreshadows the Titus books, two plays, ?the Wit to Woo1 and ?Noah1s Ark,1 a broadcast version of ?Mr. Pye,1 and a generous selection of Peake1s short stories, poems and nonsense verses as well as his drawings. Including a new preface written by Mervyn Peake1s son, Sebastian, this edition of Peake1s Progress is published to coincide with the centenary of Peake1s birth.

Review:

Praise for Mervyn Peake:
?A gorgeous, volcanic eruption . . . a work of extraordinary imagination.? --"The New Yorker"
?Mervyn Peake is a finer poet than Edgar Allan Poe, and he is therefore able to maintain his world of fantasy brilliantly through three novels. It is a very, very great work . . . a classic of our age.? --Robertson Davies, author of The Deptford Trilogy
?[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.? --C.S. Lewis
?The true fantasy classic of our time.? --"The Washington Post"
?Peake's style is marvelous... His inventiveness, his ingenuity, and his humor are astonishing.? --"San Francisco Chronicle"
?Many readers admire Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, but fans of Mervyn Peake's Titus trilogy maintain that this extravagant epic about a labyrinthine castle populated with conniving Dickensian grotesques

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Peake, Mervyn
Published by Penguin UK (1981)
ISBN 10: 0140046291 ISBN 13: 9780140046298
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
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Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
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Book Description Penguin UK, 1981. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110140046291

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