I recently began re-reading the phenomenal Gormenghast trilogy by Mervyn Peake. It consists of Titus Groan (published 1946), Gormenghast (1950), and Titus Alone (1959). I’m only a few chapters into Titus Groan but already I’m remembering why I loved it so much.


It’s an incredibly strange story and like nothing I’ve ever read before (or since). It’s been hugely influential on modern fantasy fiction yet nobody seems to read it anymore or even have heard of it. In fact, I was only introduced to it through a miniseries I saw several years ago (14 years, actually! How time flys). Starring Christopher Lee and Jonathan Rhys Meyers, it was deliciously weird and I fell in love immediately. I read the books as soon as I could get my hands on them and they’ve been a favorite ever since.

Has any one else read, seen or heard of Gormenghast? I love that it’s always felt like my little secret but good things are always better shared.


2 thoughts on “Gormenghast

  1. jubilare says:

    I have heard of it, and have a friend who loves it very much, but I know practically nothing about it…


    • Mary says:

      Ha, I tried to describe it, I really did. But every time I read back on what I wrote, it didn’t make sense. It’s a bit complicated, and a bit weird, and, well, it’s really something that’s better to just jump into I think. I’ve heard rumors that it’s meant to be a satire/critique on English society right around the time of WWI. Lots of ritual for the sake of ritual, resistance to change and not much common sense.


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