The works of Mervyn Peake have fascinated readers for sixty years. His Gormenghast sequence of novels – recently serialized to great acclaim by the BBC – stands as one of the great imaginative accomplishments of twentieth-century literature. In The Voice of the Heart, G. Peter Winnington, the world’s foremost expert on Peake, sets his subject’s fiction in context with the poetry, plays and book illustrations which are less well known. He traces recurrent motifs through Peake’s works (islands, animals, and loneliness, for example) and explores in detail Peake’s long-neglected play, The Wit to Woo. Through close readings of all these elements of Peake’s oeuvre, Winnington is ultimately able to offer unparalleled insight into one of British literature’s most vibrant imaginations.
G. Peter Winnington teaches English at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. He is the editor of the journal Peake Studies and the author of 'Vast Alchemies: The Life and Work of Mervyn Peake'.
Abbreviated references and editions quoted
11. Mr Pye
September 1, 2006
Liverpool English Texts and Studies 48