Mr Pye by Mervyn Peake

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November 2009 Guest Editor Geraldine McCaughrean on Mr Pye by MERVYN PEAKE

Gormenghast towered over my teenage years: that dusty, crenellated castle-world built from the rubble of the author’s crumbling intellect. But the Peake book that stays with me is much tinier – no bigger than one brick in the curtainwall of Gormenghast. A deliciously simple notion, Mr Pye tells the see-saw life story of a man too good to endure. Blighted with angel wings after a surfeit of good deeds, he attempts to backpedal, with disastrous results.


Mr Pye by Mervyn Peake

Equipped with love, Mr Pye lands on the island of Sark; his mission is to convert the inhabitants into a crusading force for the undiluted goodness that he feels within. Mr Pye is, however, prone to excess and this is very nearly his downfall.

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About the Author

Mervyn Peake was born in 1911. He is perhaps most famous for the ‘Gormenghast’ trilogy which were published between 1946 and 1959 - Titus Groan, Gormenghast and Titus Alone. He has also written a book for children, Captain Slaughterboard Drops Anchor and several volumes of poetry. He was also a gifted book illustrator. He died in 1968.

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Mervyn Peake
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Publication date

2nd December 1999




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