Today Mervyn Peake’s reputation rests largely on his three novels, 

Titus Groan



 (1950), and 

Titus Alone

 (1959) which became widely known after they were published as Penguin Modern Classics in 1968. Prior to that, Peake was known rather for his poems, paintings, drawings, and book illustrations. Specialists still consider the pictures he provided for 

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

 as one of the most powerful interpretations of the poem, and his 

Alice in Wonderland


Through the Looking-Glass

 as the most memorable illustrated edition. During the 1950s most of Peake’s energy went into playwriting, but only one of his plays reached the London stage.

The younger son of missionary parents who had met and married in China, Peake was born on 9 July 1911 in

1721 words

Citation: Winnington, G. Peter. "Mervyn Peake". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 February 2003; last revised 21 April 2022. [, accessed 15 April 2024.]

3515 Mervyn Peake 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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