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Peake Letters

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0103 MS ADD 248
Held at: University College London
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Full title: Peake Letters
Date(s): 1943-1959
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 7 letters
Name of creator(s): Peake | Mervyn | 1911-1968 | poet and novelist
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

Mervyn Peake was born in China on 9 July 1911. He attended Tientsin Grammar School and Eltham College, Kent. He became a poet, novelist, painter, playwright and illustrator. He married Maeve Gilmore, an artist, in 1937 and had two sons and one daughter. Peake died on 17 November 1968. Publications include: Rhymes Without Reason (1944); Captain Slaughterboard Drops Anchor (1945, reprinted 1966); The Craft of the Lead Pencil (1946); Titus Groan (novel, 1946); Letters from a Lost Uncle (1948); The Glassblowers (poem) and Gormenghast (novel), awarded the W H Heinemann Foundation Prize, Royal Society of Literature (1950); Mr Pye (1953); The Wit to Woo (play, 1957); Titus Alone (novel, 1959); The Rime of the Flying Bomb (1962); Titus Groan (novel, reprinted as trilogy in UK and USA, 1967); A Reverie of Bone (poems, 1967).

Graham Greene was born on 2 October 1904. Following graduation from Oxford he joined the staff of The Times newspaper in 1926, became literary editor of The Spectator in 1940, and during the war worked in the Foreign Office. He was Director of the publishers Eyre & Spottiswoode from 1944 to 1948 and of Bodley Head publishers from 1958 to 1968.


Scope and content/abstract:

Manuscript letters from Mervyn Peake to Graham Greene, 1943-1959 and undated.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:


Conditions governing reproduction:

Normal copyright restrictions apply.

Finding aids:

Collection level description.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Purchased from Sotheby's sale in July 1975.

Allied Materials

Related material:

University College London Special Collections also holds papers and correspondence of Peake, 1938-1962 (Ref: MS ADD 234).

Oxford University, Bodleian Library, Special Collections and Western Manuscripts, holds papers of Peake (Ref: Peake deposit). The Tate Gallery Archive holds his correspondence with Kenneth Clark, 1937-1942 (Ref: 8812).

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Source: National Register of Archives.

Rules or conventions:

Date(s) of descriptions:
1999, revised Aug 2001

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