The Gormenghast Trilogy

First printing

Mervyn Peake

Illustrated by Dave McKean

Introduced by Neil Gaiman

The gothic majesty of Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast trilogy is presented in this visionary edition from Folio. Introduced by master of modern fantasy Neil Gaiman, and illustrated by the extraordinary Dave McKean, this is an original take on a cornerstone of speculative fiction.

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‘Every glorious sentence, every obscure word pulled from obscurity and out into the light, every fragment of poem is waiting here for you. Revel in it.’
  1. Neil Gaiman, from his introduction

A crumbling castle the size of a city. A menagerie of sinister eccentrics. A labyrinth of ritual, mystery and conspiracy. This is the world of Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast, three masterpieces of the fantastic – Titus Groan (1946), Gormenghast (1950) and Titus Alone (1959) – collected by Folio in an edition as fantastical as the books themselves. A new and innovative vision of these classic works, this box-set collection is truly worthy of one of the wildest imaginations in literature.  

An author, poet, playwright and artist, Peake wrote with a painter’s eye. His peculiar flair for life and colour is perfectly captured in brand-new illustrations by award-winning artist and designer Dave McKean, who provides the collection’s 142 original hand-drawn illustrations, as well as startling cover designs for each book. The trilogy has cast its spell over generations of readers, writers, illustrators and musicians, and award-winning fantasist Neil Gaiman – yet another Peake devotee – examines the trilogy’s appeal in his expert introduction to this unique Folio edition.

Three volume set

Three-quarter bound in blocked cloth with a blocked cloth front board

Set in Albertina  

1,376 pages in total over three volumes 

Printed in colour throughout 

142 colour illustrations integrated throughout the three volumes 

Printed endpapers

Printed slipcase

10˝  x 6¾˝ 

Printed in Slovakia

‘It stands above all other works of its type.’
  1. Michael Moorcock

The Gormenghast trilogy is a mesmerising dynastic saga, often surreal and darkly comic, in which the eccentric House of Groan rules over a world of crumbling stone and meaningless ritual. This royal household soon find themselves threatened not only by the ill-omened birth of Titus but also the rapid ascent of a Machiavellian kitchen boy named Steerpike, a character long recognised as one of the most compelling and complex villains in English literature. The trilogy quickly outgrew its cult reputation, its popularity skyrocketing following the author’s death in 1968, and the novels remain without precedent. They echo the grotesquery of Dickens, the cruel fabulism of Lewis Carroll, and the wonder and scope of Tolkien, yet Gormenghast continues to defy categorisation. A grand and gothic dream come true, this lavish edition of the Gormenghast trilogy offers a modern testament to Peake’s timeless creative genius.

About Mervyn Peake

Mervyn Peake (1911-1968) was born to Christian missionaries in the Kiang-Hsi Province of China. He returned to England at the age of twelve, and later trained at the Royal Academy of Arts. Joining the Royal Artillery in 1940, Peake received a special dispensation to continue writing his first novel, Titus Groan. Having served as a war artist for the Ministry of Information, he moved to the island of Sark and lived in an artist’s colony with his family. A prolific and well-regarded illustrator, Peake provided extraordinary images for all his own works, including the children’s book Captain Slaughterboard Drops Anchor (1939), and his novels Titus Groan (1946), Gormenghast (1950), Mr Pye (1953) and Titus Alone (1959). He also illustrated several classics including Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Treasure Island, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, as well as publishing several of his own plays and volumes of poetry. Regarded as one of Britain’s greatest literary fabulists, Peake continues to influence generations of authors and filmmakers including Michael Moorcock, Neil Gaiman and Terry Gilliam.

About Dave McKean

Dave McKean has released 60 books as an illustrator, author, photographer and designer, including Cages (1990–6, winner of two Harvey Awards, the Ignatz Award, La Pantera Award, and the Alph-Art Award), Pictures That Tick (2009, V&A Illustrated Book of the Year), and Black Dog: The Dreams of Paul Nash (2016, a 14–18 NOW Foundation/Imperial War Museum/LICAF commission). He has collaborated with Neil Gaiman (Sandman, 1989–97; Coraline, 2002), John Cale (What’s Welsh for Zen, 1998; Sedition and Alchemy, 2003), David Almond (The Savage, 2008), Richard Dawkins (The Magic of Reality, 2011), Heston Blumenthal (as Director of Story at The Fat Duck), and others. He has worked in theatre, galleries, and the music industry, and has written and directed three feature films: MirrorMask (2005), The Gospel of Us (2012, winner of two Cymru BAFTAs), and Luna (2014, winner of the Raindance Award for Best Picture, BIFA). He illustrated the Folio Society edition of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods in 2017 and Richard Matheson’s I am Legend in 2018.

About Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman is a critically acclaimed writer of short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, audio theatre and films. His many notable works include the groundbreaking series Sandman (the first comic book to win a literary award, the 1991 World Fantasy Award for Best Short Story), and the novels Good Omens (1990, in collaboration with Terry Pratchett), Stardust (1999), American Gods (2001, The Folio Society 2017; winner of the Hugo Award and Nebula Award for Best Novella, and a Bram Stoker Award for Best Work for Young Readers),  Anansi Boys (2005, The Folio Society 2019) and Neverwhere (1996, The Folio Society 2022). Gaiman also wrote introductions to Folio editions of Gene Wolfe’s The Book of the New Sun (1980, The Folio Society 2020) and Mervyn Peake’s The Gormenghast Trilogy (1950, The Folio Society 2024). Credited with being one of the creators of modern comics, Gaiman is an author whose work crosses many genres and reaches audiences of all ages. His most recent publication is What You Need To Be Warm (2020).


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