Titus Groan (1946) by Mervyn Peake

“Gormenghast, […] the shadows of time-eaten buttresses, of broken and lofty turrets, and, most enormous of all, the shadow of the Tower of Flints. This tower, patched unevenly with black ivy, arose like a mutilated finger from among the fists of knuckled masonry and pointed blasphemously at heaven. At night the owls made of it an echoing throat; by day it stood voiceless and cast its long shadow.”  -One of Peake’s descriptions of Gormenghast Castle

Art by Mark Robertson



Mervyn Peake’s Titus Groan is the first novel in the Gormenghast series. It was published in 1946. It tells the story of the Groan family and their servants, and it is set in the sprawling Gormenghast castle. The head of the family is Lord Sepulchrave, the 76th Earl of Groan. His wife, the Countess Gertrude, lives in a different part of the castle with a large collection of cats and birds. They have a teenage daughter, Fuchsia, and Titus is their newborn son. Continue reading