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Titus Awakes

Overview

Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast trilogy is widely acknowledged to be, as Robertson Davies pronounced, "a classic of our age." In these extraordinary novels, Peake created a world where all is like a dream—lush, fantastical, and vivid. Yet it was incomplete. Parkinson's disease took Peake's life in 1968, depriving his fans of the fourth and final volume of the series, Titus Awakes except for a few tantalizing pages, after which his writing became indecipherable. Or so it seemed.

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Titus Awakes: A Novel

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Overview

Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast trilogy is widely acknowledged to be, as Robertson Davies pronounced, "a classic of our age." In these extraordinary novels, Peake created a world where all is like a dream—lush, fantastical, and vivid. Yet it was incomplete. Parkinson's disease took Peake's life in 1968, depriving his fans of the fourth and final volume of the series, Titus Awakes except for a few tantalizing pages, after which his writing became indecipherable. Or so it seemed.

In January of 2010, Peake's granddaughter found four composition books in her attic. They contained the fabled Titus Awakes in its entirety. Peake had outlined the novel for his wife, Maeve Gilmore, who had at last finished Peake's masterpiece.

It starts with Titus leaving Castle Gormenghast. Peake wrote: With every pace he drew away from Gormenghast mountain, and from everything that belonged to his home. That night, as Titus lay asleep in the tall barn, a nightmare held him.

Fans of Peake will delight in this new, wonderful novel, published one hundred years after his birth, every bit as thrilling and masterfully written as his famed trilogy.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Gilmore, Peake's widow, has expanded a handful of pages written by her husband into a full-length sequel to Peake's celebrated Gormenghast trilogy (published between 1946 and 1959), though it differs considerably from the original books. Titus Groan leaves the grotesquerie of Gormenghast and tries to make his way in a world far more like ours. Titus struggles to connect to the mute, nameless individuals he meets; when he makes love to a woman and she becomes pregnant, he feels only a sense of being trapped, and after the child is stillborn, he moves on. Once Titus encounters chatty Ruth Saxon, he begins to feel more comfortable and embarks on a journey that leads to a startling revelation. The tale is thin, and Peake's fans will likely be disappointed by Gilmore's considerably different style and focus. (July)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590204283
  • Publisher: Overlook Press, The
  • Publication date: 7/7/2011
  • Series: Gormenghast Series
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 690,334
  • Product dimensions: 8.06 (w) x 5.80 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Meet the Author

Mervyn Peake(1911-1968) was a playwright, painter, poet, illustrator, short story writer, and designer of theatrical costumes, as well as a novelist. Among his many books are Gormenghast, Titus Groan and Titus Alone.
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Table of Contents

Introduction Brian Sibley vii

Foreword Maeve Gilmore xv

1 Titus Awakes from the Snows 1

2 Titus Among the Snows 7

3 Sacrifice. Behold 13

4 Titus's Awakening 17

5 As the Spring Awakes, So Do the Two Strangers 23

6 Awakening Is Sweet Sorrow 27

7 Living Refound 29

8 Life Can Be a Miracle 33

9 Autumn and Winter, the Pain of Both 39

10 Away from the Mountains 43

11 Titus Learns of Other Loves 49

12 Among the Rivers 55

13 They Reach the Archipelagos and Forests 63

14 Lagoons - Fires 69

15 Among the Soldiers 75

16 Still Among the Soldiers 83

17 Back at Camp 89

18 Plans of Escape 97

19 Escape 103

20 An Unexpected Meeting 113

21 An Affectionate Welcome 129

22 Titus as Model 141

23 Titus Thinks of the Past 153

24 Moments of Serenity 159

25 At Mrs Sempleton-Grove's 167

26 From Riches to Rags 177

27 Other Places, Other Work 185

28 Among the Dead Men 191

29 Intimations of Other Days 199

30 Happening in a Side Street 207

31 Under the Masks 215

32 A Sanctuary 225

33 An Unwelcome Interlude 237

34 The End of an Unwelcome Interlude 251

35 Search Without End 257

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