Gormenghast Trilogy: [Titus Groan; Gormenghast; Titus Alone] with ALS

PEAKE, Mervyn. Gormenghast Trilogy: [Titus Groan; Gormenghast; Titus Alone] with ALS.

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PEAKE, Mervyn. Gormenghast Trilogy: [Titus Groan; Gormenghast; Titus Alone] with ALS. London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1946-59.

8vo. 3 vols.; original red cloth, spines lettered and decorated in gilt; all in the unclipped pictorial dust-jackets (15s. 15s. And 21s. Net, respectively) designed by the author; frontispiece to Titus Alone by the author; pp. [v], 6-438, [ii]; [viii], 9-453, [iii]; [viii], 7-222, [ii]; the books themselves very good, light spotting to prelims and compression to the edges and spines; some volumes cloth a little rubbed to the outer edge; splash mark to outer edge of volume I, the jackets good only, the upper panels remaining bright, however with some toning to spines and folds, rubbed and creased to extremities with some loss, particularly to the head of Gormenghast, overall shelf-wear, and each volume reinforced internally with brown tape. Provenance: previously in the collection of a Mr Engle (name written in ink to ffep of Vol I and III, along with the contemporary inscription in the latter "Given by I. to G. 18/11/59 the day before V.C.H.'. Also included are two handwritten lists in the same hand, with lists of characters appearing in the books.
First editions all of Peake's celebrated Titus Trilogy. Titus Groan is complete in the first state dust jacket, with no "Second / Impression" statement and no extracts from six book reviews printed on front flap.
Together with an unusual ALS, in which Peake writes to a Mr Croft [?]: "Thank you very much for taking the trouble to write to me about Gormenghast. How strange to hear of your dreams - you must be feeling quite diggy - I am rather jealous of it as I have never dreamt of a single character or (hinterland) although I felt them very close. Do let me know how you feel about "Titus Groan" . Yours very sincerely, Mervyn Peake. Thanks again for writing - M. Peake." The letter includes his 55 Wallington address in Surrey, and is dated April 17th, presumably in the 1950s, before the publication of the final volume, Titus Alone. Peake lived on Woodcote Road between 1922-32, and later from 1952-62. The trilogy would therefore have been written from this address.
Peake's magnum opus concerning the inhabitants of Castle Gormenghast. The novelist was writing a fourth to add to the series, Titus Awakes, when he passed away in 1968. The book was completed by his widow, Maeve Gilmore, in the 1970s, but was not published until 2011 after it was discovered by their family. It is often cited as one of the greatest fantasy novels of all time
Signed copies of these volumes are incredibly scarce, so to find a set thus, with the books themselves discussed in such detail, is genuinely rare indeed.
"Peake's books are actual additions to life; they give, like certain rare dreams, sensations we never had before" - C. S. Lewis

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