Peake Papers

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Manuscripts, typescripts and some correspondence. Includes chapters of 'Titus Groan', 'Gormenghast', 'Titus Alone', and notebooks on 'Titus IV' and 'Mr Pye'. The correspondence includes letters from eminent individuals including: Walter De La Mare, CS Lewis, Laurence Olivier and Dylan Thomas.

Administrative / Biographical History

Mervyn Peake was born in China on 9 July 1911. He attended Tientsin Grammar School and Eltham College Kent. He became a poet, novelist, painter, playwright and illustrator. He married Maeve Gilmore, an artist, in 1937 and had two sons and one daughter. He is best known for: 'Rhymes Without Reason', 1944; 'Captain Slaughterboard Drops Anchor', 1945 (rep.1966); 'The Craft of the Lead Pencil', 1946; 'Titus Groan' (novel), 1946; 'Letters from a Lost Uncle', 1948; 'The Glassblowers' (poem) and 'Gormenghast' (novel) were awarded W.H.Heinemann Foundation Prize (Royal Society of Literature) 1950; 'Mr Pye', 1953; 'The Wit to Woo' (play), 1957; 'Titus Alone' (novel), 1959; 'The Rime of the Flying Bomb', 1962; 'Titus Groan' novel (as trilogy; in UK and US), rep. 1967; 'A Reverie of Bone' (poems), 1967. Peake died on 17 November 1968.

Conditions Governing Access

Access at the discretion of the Peake estate and the librarian.

Acquisition Information

Deposited on indefinite loan in March 1974 by Mrs Maeve Peake.

Other Finding Aids

Draft handlist