Mervyn Peake: Titus Groan

(760 words)

Written during the Second World War when Peake was in the Army (but given little to do), Titus Groan is the first of three books about the life of the eponymous hero, the following volumes being Gormenghast (1950) and Titus Alone (1959). An out-of-sequence novella, “Boy in Darkness”, was published in Sometime, Never (1953) alongside stories by John Wyndham and William Golding.

Although clearly set on Earth the sequence is situated in no identifiable time or place. Titus is the 77th Earl of Gormenghast, a castle community that ignores the existence of anything beyond its confines. The reader just has to take on faith the presence of fine wines and exotic food without agriculture or commerce, a…

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Winnington, G Peter. "Titus Groan". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 31 May 2006
[, accessed 01 October 2016.]