The Gormenghast TrilogyThe Gormenghast Trilogy
by Mervyn Peake

Dust jacket artwork by Mervyn Peake

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Titus Groan: Overlook Press, 1982; 505 pp.; First Edition.

Gormenghast: Overlook Press, 1982; 511 pp.; First Edition.

Titus Alone: Overlook Press, 1982; 262 pp.; First Edition.

The Gormenghast Trilogy is a fantasy series by British author Mervyn Peake, about the inhabitants of Castle Gormenghast, a sprawling, decaying, gothic-like structure. Originally conceived as a single on-going novel, the series was ended by Peake's death and comprises three novels, Titus Groan (1946), Gormenghast (1950), Titus Alone (1959). Peake was writing a fourth novel, Titus Awakes at the time of his death, which was later completed and released by Peake's widow in 2009.

Although the first two installments do not contain any overtly fantastical elements, Gormenghast is almost unanimously categorized as fantasy because of the atmosphere and pseudo-medieval setting. The series has received widespread acclaim from the speculative fiction community and mainstream literary critics, with some scholars arguing that it is a more accomplished work than the contemporary and better-known Lord of the Rings.

The series has been included in Fantasy: The 100 Best Books, Modern Fantasy: The 100 Best Novels and 100 Must Read Fantasy Novels as one of the greatest fantasy works of the twentieth century. Literary critic Harold Bloom has praised the series as the best fantasy novels of the twentieth century and one of the greatest sequences in modern world literature. Gormenghast is often credited as the first fantasy of manners novel. The books have been translated into over twenty languages.

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