Mervyn Peake: Titus Alone

(578 words)
  • The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume 11: Theory, Philosophy, Concepts: History of Ideas and Science.

Written during the mid-1950s, Titus Alone recounts Titus Groan’s experiences beyond the confines of Gormenghast, in a world that is more like our own, only a few years in advance, with pilotless, dart-like planes and remotely controlled spy-globes that can hover and whiz around a suspect person.

In the traditional picaresque manner, Titus enters a city by drifting down a river in a boat. He is rescued by Muzzlehatch who takes him to his private zoo, but Titus needs independence and soon walks out. As a vagrant without papers, claiming to come from some unheard of place with a name like “Gorgonblast”, Titus is seen as suspect, possibly mad. He starts to question his very identity. Arrested and imprisoned he i…

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Winnington, G Peter. "Titus Alone". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 31 May 2006
[, accessed 01 December 2015.]