Title: The Gormenghast Trilogy [1946-1959.
Publisher: London: Eyre & Spottiswoode.
Publication Date: 1946-1959
Book Conditions: Near Fine
Dust Jacket Conditions: Very Good
Edition: 1st Edition
Titus Groan. [London]: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1946. First edition in first issue dust jacket. Octavo. 438 pages. Publisher's dark red cloth, spine stamped in gilt; original illustrated dust jacket. Head and foot of spine very slightly pushed, very minor edgewear, gilt on spine darkened. Cream endpapers; ink owner s signature to the front free endpaper recto, penciled bookseller's notations beneath. Internally clean and tight, all edges trimmed; text block slightly toned along margins and edges. Dust jacket unclipped (15s), minor edgewear, chipping to head and foot of spine and corners with some losses, spine and upper edges sunned, somewhat rubbed; tear along front hinge separating the two panels, and another closed tear midway down the spine. Very good book with very good dust jacket. [Together with]: Gormenghast. London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1950. First edition in first issue dust jacket. Octavo. 453,  pages. Publisher's red cloth, spine stamped in gilt; original illustrated dust jacket. Cream endpapers; slight offsetting. Internally clean and tight, all edges trimmed; text block very slightly toned. Dust jacket unclipped (18s sticker superimposed on 15s); very minor edgewear, spine slightly sunned, toned. Near fine book with near fine dust jacket. [And]: Titus Alone. London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1959. First edition in first issue dust jacket. Octavo. 222, , [1, blank] pages. Publisher's red cloth spine stamped in gilt; original illustrated dust jacket. Front bottom corner slightly bumped & rubbed, head and foot of spine very slightly pushed. Feint damp tidemarks on upper and lower covers, not too obtrusive. Cream endpapers. Internally clean and tight, all edges trimmed; text block edges toned with very minor staining. Dust jacket unclipped (21s); very minor edgewear, very minor chipping to head of spine, spine panel sunned. Very good book with near fine dust jacket. Provenance: purchased from the niece of and signed by Pat Marriott, a British artist and book illustrator, best known for her thirty-year collaboration with author Joan Aiken. Born in Chester in 1920, she was interested in art from a young age, and entered the St. Martin's School of Art at age fourteen. She went on to study at Westminster and Chelsea, where her work with life studies laid the foundation for her illustrative style (that was clearly influenced by Mervyn Peake). Marriott worked as a nurse during World War II, and enjoyed painting, particularly bird studies. Her first book commission came in 1952, for Ian Serraillier's Belinda and the Swans. In 1953, she married Michael Howard, a director at the publishing firm Jonathan Cape. After Howard's death, she was married again, to family friend Brian Bullen. Marriott died in 2002. July 1940 Peake was called up & started writing Titus Groan while training in the artillery. May 1942, after being moved from unit to unit and trained in various trades but without seeing active service, Peake had a nervous breakdown and spent more than four months in a hospital, writing Titus Groan as part of his therapy. It's at this time Peake and Marriott possibly became friends. At its publication in March 1946, Titus Groan sold well enough for it to be reprinted before the end of the year. Peake managed to finish Titus Alone early in 1959 but when the publisher wanted him to make alterations to the text he could not concentrate enough to do so due to his Parkinson's disease. "Peake's books are actual additions to life; they give, like certain rare dreams, sensations we never had before, and enlarge our conception of the range of possible experience." - C. S. Lewis, review. An oft overlooked series in the United States but beloved in the U.K., the Gormeghast Trilogy is a rich, fantasy world depicting the life and times of the inhabitants of Castle Gormenghast. The work touches on gothic themes, steampunk, high fantasy, and more, and was described by noted literary critic and professor, Harold Bloom, as being a more accomplished work than Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. Similar to Tolkien, Peake was a noted illustrator and completed the dust jacket art for these editions himself. Indeed, the series went on to be included in several top 100 lists for must-read fantasy novels and has been adapted for television, radio, music, and theatre productions, with movie adaptations in the works in recent years. George R. R. Martin is noted as being a fan of this work and makes mention of it in his series, A Song of Ice and Fire, by naming House Peake, presided over by Lord Titus. Seller Inventory # 5122