Archive for the Gormenghast journey Category

Titus Groan: Swelter receives a surprise

Posted in Gormenghast journey with tags , , , , , , , on March 15, 2010 by echostains

Titus Groan, read but still writing about it

Well I finished Titus Groan  a several weeks ago.  I saw him safely come into his Kingdom and I have been propelled five years into the future.  Ghosts haunt Gormenghast – but some aren’t dead.  Flay is living, not roughly but quite nicely thank you.  He has now acquired two caves for himself, which he has furnished sparsely.  He had become a keen hunter, he cooks, he cleans, he still slips into Gormenghast from time to time, he watches and he waits – but what for, he doesn’t know.  But he has survived.

So has Steerpike.  he has dispensed with the Doctors dispensary and spare room and ensconced himself in a nice apartment befitting his new position – but I am getting beyond myself: far into Gormenghast.  I am following on from Keda, Titus’s wet-nurse.

sepulchrave played by Ian Richardson

Sepulchrave haunts the burnt out library.  He travels from shelf to shelf reciting the classics.  he is joined by burnt up Barquentine – minus head.  If you remember, his head had to be replaced with that of a small calf as the original had been stolen.  Well, the original does turn up again, in a further chapter…

Swelter is another ghost.  He has been replaced by a bow-legged chef with a mule shaped head and mouthful of metal teeth!  Where do they get their staff from?  I digress.  Back to Titus Groan.

It is the morning of the Titus’s christening and all are preparing for the event.  Even the head gardener Pentecost (where does Peake get these names from) is cutting flowers and polishing the apples in his little leather cape.

In Gormenghast violet eyes are an unfortunate disfigurement.  Titus’s are mentioned quite a few times in a uncomplimentry way.  It’s a good job Elizabeth Taylor wasn’t born in Gormenghast – her career would never have taken off.  But I digress…..

flay

Nannie Slagg is trying to awaken Fuschia, Sepulchrave and Sourdust are eating breakfast together.  Rottcodd is still dusting and the Dr is singing away in his bath.  The main action in this chapter comes from Flay and Swelter though:-

Suddenly the door opened and Flay came in.  He was wearing his long black moth-eaten suit, but there had been some attempt on his part at getting rid of the major stains and clipping the more ragged edges of cuff and trouser into straight lines.  Over and above these improvements he wore around his neck a heavy chain of brass.  In one hand, he balanced on a tray, a bowl of water.  The negative dignity of the room threw him out in relief as a positive scarecrow.  Of this he was quite unconscious.  He has been helping to dress Lord Sepulchrave. and had made a rapid journey with the christening bowl as his lordship stood polishing his nails by the window of his bedroom……..

I love this encounter between these old adversaries, but Flay is no match for Swelter’s dripping sarcasm..

A voice came out of the face: ‘Well. well well,’ it said, ‘may I be boiled to a frazzle if it isn’t Mr Flee.  ‘The one and only Mr Flee, Well, well, well.  Here before me in the Cool Room.  Dived through the keyhole I do believe.  Oh, my adorable lights and liver, if it isn’t the Flee itself.’

swelter as played brilliantly by Richard Griffiths

To add insult to injury, Swelter then proceeds to introduce Mr Flay to his kitchen boys:-

‘Mr Flee, I will introduce you,’ said Swelter as the boys approached, glueing their frightened eyes on their precarious cargoes.  ‘Mr Flee – Master Springers – Mater Springers – Mr Flee.  Mr Flee – Master Wrattle, Master Wrattle – Mr Flee.  Mr Flee – Master Spurter – Mr Flee…….

For Flay, this proves too much.  He strikes Swelter across the face with the heavy chain.  But before there can be any retaliation, Flee manages to escape.  The next encounter between the two enemies is interrupted by Sourdust being there, so there can be no return match.  Later.

Titus Groan: Keda

Posted in Flashback challenge, Gormenghast journey with tags , , , , , , , , on February 25, 2010 by echostains

Alas no image of Keda

I’ve not wrote about my re reading of Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake for a while.  But that doesn’t mean that I’ve haven’t been reading it.  I have and am very nearly finished the first book and shall be soon into Gormenghast itself.   But as far as the writing concerned, I am up to the chapter about Titus’s wet-nurse Keda.

This woman seems to alien compared to the other characters – even the Dwellers.  I think this is down to her having a kind of vitality and beauty.  Beauty in the Gormenghast region seems very scarce. The Dwellers have it for such a short time before premature ageing.  They have a hard life and cluster around the bottom of the mountain – like they have been  cast out of Shangri la..

Keda has a past, and she’s running away from it.  Her ancient husband died and she had to choose between two lovers.  She is glad to go to Gormenghast.

With the dark cloth hanging to her ankles and caught in at the waist with the thong of jarl root: with her bare legs and feet and her head still holding the sunset of her darkened day, she was in strange contrast to little Nannie Slagg, with her quick jerky walk, her dark satin dress, her black gloves, and her monumental hat of glass grapes.  Before they descended the dry knoll towards the archway in the wall, a sudden gutteral cry as of someone being strangled, froze the old womans blood and she clutched at the strong arm beside her and clung to it like a child.  Then she peered towards the tables.  They were too far for her to see clearly with her weak eyes, but she thought she could make out figures standing and there seemed to be someone crouching like a creature about to spring…….

Keda had not long ago buried her baby.  She came willingly to be Titus’s nurse, though her first meeting with the little boy was fraught with sorrow:-

Keda stared down at Titus.  Tears were in her eyes as she watched the child.  Then she turned to the window.  She could see the great wall that held in Gormenghast.  The wall that cut her own people away, as though to keep out a plague; the walls that barred her view the stretches of arid earth beyond the mud huts where her child had so recently been buried…..

The relationship between the wet-  nurse from the Dwellings becomes increasingly unbalanced as the story unfolds.  It seems that Keda has two babies to look after (the other being Nannie Slagg who becomes more and more reliant on her).  Meanwhile:-

Titus had stolen the limelight and Keda’s indifference was soon forgotten, for he was beginning to cry, and his crying grew and grew in spite of Mrs Slagg dangling a necklace in front of his screwed up eyes and an attempt at singing a lullaby from her half-forgotten store.  She had him over her shoulder, but his shrill cries rose in volume.  Keda’s eyes were still upon the wall, but of a sudden, breaking herself away from the window, she moved up behind Nannie Slagg and, as she did so, parted the dark brown material from her throat and freeing her left breast, took the child from the shoulders of the old woman.  Within a few moments the little face was pressed against her and struggles and sobs were over.  Then as she turned and sat at the window, a calm came upon her as from her very centre, the milk of her body and the riches of her frustrated love welled up and succoured the infant creature in her keeping.

What a tender moment this is between baby and Keda – the only mother Titus will ever know.

Titus Groan – Nannie Slagg’s outing

Posted in Flashback challenge, Gormenghast journey with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 13, 2010 by echostains

nannie Slagg played by June Brown in the BBC adaptation

Back to the story.  I am now more than half way through ‘Titus Groan’, the writing is miles behind though…. This chapter deals with Nannie Slagg undertaking to get baby Titus a wet-nurse from the dwellings outside the castle.

The acacia trees, silhouetted on her right, cut patterns against the mountain and on her left glowed dimly with a sort of subterranean light.  Her path was striped like the dim hide of a zebra from the shadows of the acacia trunks.  Mrs Slagg, a midget figure beneath the rearing and overhanging of the aisle of dark foliage, awakened small echoes in the neighbouring rocks as she had moved, for her heels beat a quick uneven measure on the stone path.

Whenever Nannie Slagg is mentioned,  her height (or lack of it) is always alluded to.  I should still like to know how tall the old nurse is.   I am sure I saw a picture somewhere of her perched on Prunesquallor’s knee and she looked miniscule.

The Dwellers live in mud huts and always ate their suppers out in the open on long tables arranged in rows.  The actual terrain outside the castle walls is curious – drab grey dust and cacti which sounds more like a desert:-

From the lush shadows of the acacia drive Mrs Slagg had suddenly broken in upon an arid world.  She saw the rough sections od white Jarl root and their bowls of sloe wine standing before them.  This long tubular Jarl root which they dug each day from a wood in the vicinity, stood upon the tables every evening, sliced up into scores of narrow cylinders.  This, she remembered with a flutter that her social status was very much in advance of that held by these poor mud hut dwellers….

I have searched in vain for ‘Jarl root’, but it seems to be a delicacy that Peake invented.  I would think it would be like bamboo which panda’s eat or bamboo shoots.  Full of fibre probably. They are using spoons to eat with, so it must be quite soft.  It doesn’t seem very appetising, but it’s all they have.  The Castle people are luckier with Swelter’s cuisine, though it shall be seen that the Dwellers do get a few scraps from those enormous kitchens thrown them 

Nannie is very proud to announce the purpose of her visit to the Dwellers and let’s them know in  no uncertain terms of the honour that is being bestowed upon them.  That a wet-nurse from among them shall be selected to feed the heir of Gormenghast:-

We are all proud.  All of us.  The Castle,’ (she said this in a rather vain way) ‘is very very satisfied and when I tell you what has happened, then you’ll be happy as well; oh yes, I am quite sure you will.  Because I know you are dependent on the castle’

Mrs Slagg was never very tactful.  ‘You have some food thrown down to you from the battlements every morning, don’t you?’  She had pursed her mouth and stopped a moment for breath.

A young man lifted his thick black eyebrows and spat.

‘So you are very much thought of by the Castle.  Every day you are thought of aren’t you?  And that’s why you’ll be so happy when I tell you the wondrous thing that I am going to tell you.’……

It is decided almost immediately who shall be going with Mrs Slagg back to the castle.  Her name is Keda.  Her story is next.

Titus Groan – Fuchsia’s attic and adventures with cake

Posted in Flashback challenge, Gormenghast journey with tags , , , , , , on February 9, 2010 by echostains

Fuchsia played by Neve McIntosh BBC adaptation

Fuchsia has gone on an adventure.  She has pulled back her bed, opened a cupboard door and ascended into darkness with only a candle to lead her.  This is Fuchsia’s secret world – her attic:-

One of these narrow beams lit Fuchsia’s forehead and shoulder, and another plucked a note of crimson from her dress.  To her right was an enormous crumbling organ.  It’s pipes were broken and the keyboard shattered.  Across its front the labour of a decade of grey spiders had woven their webs into a shawl of lace.  It needed but the ghost of an infanta to arise from the dust to gather it about her head and shoulders as the most fabulous of all mantillas.

What wonderful imagery!  Peake is so descriptive with his words – he paints with them.  This attic is filled with all sorts of junk – some of it very strange indeed, for example;-

Within reach of her hand the hide and head of a skinned baboon hung dustily over a broken drum that rose behind the dim ranges of this attic medley.

Now where did the skinned baboon come from?   Did an ancestor actually leave Gormenghast to acquire it?  Was an ancestor in touch with other countries, other lands?

I am alone,’ she said, her chin in her hands and her elbows on the sill.  ‘I am quite alone, like I enjoy it.  Now I can think, for there’s no one to provoke me here.  Not in my room.  No one to tell me what I ought to do because I’m a Lady.  Oh no.  I do just what I like here.  Fuchsia is quite alright here.  None of them knows where I go to.  Flay doesn’t know.  Father doesn’t know.  Mother doesn’t know.  Even Nannie doesn’t know.  Only I know.  I know where I go.  I go here.  This is where I go.  Up the stairs and into my lumber room.  Through my lumber room and into my acting room.  All across my acting room and up the ladder and on to my verandah.  Through the door and into my secret attic.  And here it is I am.  I am here now.  I have been here lots of times but that is in the past.  That is over, but now I’m here it’s in the present.  This is the present.  I’m looking at the roofs of the present and later on when I’m older, I will lean on the window- sill again.  Over and over again.

I too used to have an attic that I used to escape to.  An attic full of what most people would perceive as junk or rubbish.  But I didn’t, it was a secret world to escape to – indeed a place to think and talk to myself (I still do that – with no attic).  Every so often I would think ‘I must remember this moment and this scene when I am grown up’  And I do sometimes.  At least I think that I do – memory can play strange tricks.

Further on, perhaps we have a clue to the adventurous ancestor:-

The other walls were less imposingly arranged, fifteen pictures being distributed among the three.  The head of a jaguar, a portrait of the twenty-second Earl of Groan with pure white hair and a face the colour of smoke as a result of immoderate tattooing, and a group of children in pink and white muslin dresses playing with a viper were among the works which pleased her the most…..

She instinctively knows that there is something afoot in the castle, something that they are not telling her.  I had the same sort of feeling when I was eight and my mother was expecting my sister.  I don’t remember how I felt exactly – but I remember that I wasn’t exactly pleased at the time.  With typical childishness my brother and I felt very much left out of things and isolated.

Another revelation is in this book is the wonderful poetry of Peake – unexpected.  The style, I feel,  is a cross between Lewis Carol and Edward Lear;-

The Frivolous Cake

A freckled and frivolous cake there was

That sailed on a pointless sea

or any lugubrious lake there was

In a manner emphatic and free.

How jointlessly, and how jointlessly

The frivolous cake sailed by

 On the waves of the ocean that pointlessly

Threw fish to the lilac sky.

Oh, plenty and plenty of Hake there was

Of a glory beyond compare,

And every conceivable make there was

Was tossed through the lilac air

Up the smooth billows and over the crests

Of the cumbersome combers flew

The frivolous cake with a knife in the wake

Of herself and her curranty crew.

Like a swordfish grim it would bounce and skim

(This dinner knife fierce and blue),

And the frivolous cake was filled to the brim

With the fun of her curranty crew

Oh plenty and plenty of hake there was…..

As usual, it is up to poor Nannie Slagg to spill the beans about the prospect of Fuchsia’s brother.  Needless to say, the girl does not take the news at all well:-

“No!’ shouted Fuchsia, the blood rushing to her cheek.  ‘No! no! I won’t have it.  Oh no, no, no!  I won’t!  I won’t!  It mustn’t be, it mustn’t be!’  And Fuchsia flinging herself to the floor burst into a passion of tears.

 Here is a wonderful detailed extract about the attic by Sebastian Peake, and The Gormenghast website

 The whole of The Frivolous Cake poem HERE

Titus Groan – Climb upon my knee Nannie Slagg

Posted in Flashback challenge, Gormenghast journey with tags , , , , , , , on February 5, 2010 by echostains

Nannie Slagg played by June Brown in the BBC adaptation

The reading is now 18 chapters ahead – the writing is following at a slower pace.  In this chapter we get another glimpse into Fuchsia’s bedroom;-

The sunlight was streaming through the eastern turrets and was lighting the Carvers battlements and touching the sides of the mountain beyond.  As the sun rose, thorn tree after thorn tree on Gormenghast mountain emerged in the pale light and became a mass until the whole shape was flattened into a radiant jagged triangle against the darkness.  Seven clouds like a group of naked cherubs or sucking-pigs, floated their plump pink bodies across a sky of slate.  Fuchsia watched them from her window sullenly.  Then she thrust her lower lip forward.  Her hands were on her hips.  Her bare feet were quite still on the floorboards

‘Seven,’ she said, scowling at each.  ‘There’s seven of them.  One, two, three, four, five, six, seven.  Seven clouds.’

It is curious that Peake uses the term ‘sucking-pigs’ instead of ‘suckling’, but I love the juxtaposion of them against the grey slate.  It’s not often we get a glimpse outside Gormenghast.  The battlements being  the hallowed ones used by the lucky  Bright Carvers who have earned the privilege to walk them.

Fuchsia loves to scrawl on her wall.  Scribblings which mean something only to herself.  She is superstitious too in her counting of clouds, rather like we count magpies – I can only get up to 10 myself and the tenth one is very dubious (being a bird you cannot miss), I talk of the children’s programme ‘Magpie’ now, popular many years ago.

But back to Nannie Slagg whose chapter this is.  When Fuchsia is trying to remember what the seven ‘clowds’ are for, old Nannie Slagg is preoccupied:-

Fuchsia stamped her foot and peered into the poor old nurses face.  Nannie Slagg made little noises in her throat which was her way of filling in time and then said “would you like some hot milk my precious?  Tell me now because I am busy, and I must feed your mother’s white cats.  Just because I’m of the energetic system, my dearheart, they give me everything to do.  What did you ring for?  Quickly, quickly my caution.  What did you ring for?’

 

Demanding a big breakfast, Nannie is dispatched to prepare it.  Nannie is an old woman – just how old? we do not know, only that she has been a Nannie for a long long time so was probably Lord Groan’s too.  What  we do know is that she is very small, ancient and of a nervy disposition.  She is prone to tears and much wringing of hands.  Yet both the Groan children are in her charge and she does take her duties seriously, even though she is always compaining about her ‘poor weak heart’.  In her haste to prepare the girl’s breakfast, she collides with strange Dr Prunesquallor.  This gives us an insight into the old nurse’s thoughts and feelings:-

‘Well, well, well, well, well, ha, ha, ha,, if it isn’t dear Mrs Slagg, ha, ha, ha, how very, very, very dramatic,’ said the doctor, his long hands clasped before him at his chin, his high-pitched laugh creaking along the timber ceiling of the passage.  His spectacles held in either lens the minute reflection of Nannie Slagg.

The old nurse had never really approved of Doctor Prunesquallor.  It was true that he belonged to Gormenghast, as much as the tower itself.  He was no intruder, but somehow, in Mrs Slagg’s eyes he was definitely ‘wrong’.  He was not her idea of a doctor in the first place, although she could never have argued why.  Nor could she pin her dislike down to any cause.  Nannie Slagg found it very difficult to marshal her thoughts at the best of times, but when they became tied up with her emotions she became quite helpless.  What she felt but had never analysed was that Dr Prunesquallor rather played down to her and even in an obtuse way made fun of her.  She had never thought this, but her bones knew it.

Poor old Nannie Slagg.  She is surrounded by larger than life characters.  Her whimperings are drowned out by the whinnyings of Prunesquallor, the monosymbolic barking of Lady Groan and the crushing caresses of Fuschia.   Out of all the characters in Gormenghast, Nannie Slagg is probably the most ordinary.  She might not be able to express herself vocally, being overshadowed by one and all.  But she does have feelings.  She feels the weight of responsibility at times, feels helpless at other.  When the mood strikes her she can be full of her own self-importance.  She cries a lot, is frightened a lot, sucks her knuckles a lot and loves babies so much that she could ‘eat them up!’

Nannie Slagg is coerced into sitting upon the long bony knee of Prunesqaullor.  I always find this image very surreal.  How long is the Doctor’s knee?  He is squatting at the time too.  How small is Nannie Slagg? and how frightened she must be of this strange man!  He does his best to put her at her ease though, by talking about her favorite subject:-

‘Do you like babies my dear Mrs Slagg?’ asked the doctor, shifting the poor woman on to his other acutely bended knee-joint and stretching out his former leg as though to ease it.  ‘Are you fond of the little creatures, taken by and large?’

‘Babies?’ said Mrs Slagg in the most animated tone that she had so far used.  ‘I could eat the little darlings, sir, I could eat them up!’

Nannie Slagg is very maternal, which offsets her character against the Countess.  Slagg is the only mother Fuschia has ever really known.  But Fuchsia is now 17 years of age and she has no friends – just her old nurse who she has now outgrown.  The teenager does love her old nannie but she does get frustrated with her times:-

‘Can’t wait until doomsday – you’re so SLOW!’

This is the note left on Fuchsia’s door.  She has given up waiting for her breakfast.

HERE is the wonderful website of Gormenghast

Lot’s of information about Peake and his work at Peake Studies

Titus Groan: Lord Sepulchrave – why the long face?

Posted in Flashback challenge, Gormenghast journey with tags , , , , , , , on February 1, 2010 by echostains

sepulchrave played by Ian Richardson in the BBC adaptation

This chapter gives us a better idea of the melancholy Sepulchrave, the man and his world as he starts his morning in the Stone Hall, where his ancestors have before him.  The raised table gives him a good view of the refectory and its ancient ceiling:-

On either side and running the entire length, great pillars prop the painted ceiling where cherubs persue each other across a waste of flaking sky.  There must be about a thousand of them all told, interweaving among the clouds, their fat limbs forever on the move and yet never moving, for they are perfectly articulated.  The colours, once garish, have faded and peeled away and the ceiling is now a very subtle shade of grey and lichen green, old rose and silver.

This man has no sentimental feelings towards his home – only a sense of duty and a weariness, which seems to be part of his disposition.  His life is dictated by ritual –  different ones for each day of his life.  They must be adhered to because?  He doesn’t know why exactly – only that it must be.  There is not much narrative in this chapter, though Sepulchrave does sigh a lot. Here’s a description his breakfast – what a wonderful picture it paints!

The silver shone and the napkins were folded into the shapes of peacocks, and were perched decoratively on the two plates.  There was a delicious scent of bread, sweet and wholesome.  There were eggs painted in gay colours, toast piled up pagoda wise, tier upon tier and each as frail as  as a dead leaf; and fish with their tails in their mouths lay coiled in sea blue saucers.  There was coffee in an urn shaped like a lion, the spout protruding from the animal’s silver jaws.  There were all varieties of coloured fruit that looked strangely tropical in that dark hall -.  There were honeys and jams, jellies nuts and spices and the ancestral breakfast plate was spread out to the greatest advantage amid the golden cutlery of the Groans.  In the centre of the table was a small tin bowl of dandelions and nettles.

This is the very first meeting with Sourdust, the ancient keeper of the rituals.  Without him, Gormenghast would come to a halt.  He is the Lord of the dance, the oil that makes the creaky repetition of Gormenghast gasp.  His age is indeterminate, his beard black, white and knotted and:-

…His face was very lined, as though it had been made of brown paper that had been crunched by some savage hand before being hastily smoothed out and spread over the tissues……

What a wonderful explaination Peake offers us of the old servants face!  More about Sourdust later.  Here we get a more detailed description of Lord Groan’s physical appearance :-

…His face was very long and was olive coloured.  His eyes were large, and of an eloquence, withdrawn.  His nostrils were mobile and sensitive.  His mouth a narrow line.  On his head was the iron crown of the Groan’s that fastens with a strap under the chin…..

Sourdust reads from 3 huge books.  All the rituals of the day are written there – hour by hour, minute by minute.  The clothes to be worn, routes that Lord Groan will take, the gestures, the rituals that he shall perform.  All lies within the books.  Is it any wonder that the man is melancholy?  This is all he has to look forward to – all his time mapped out for him. Yet, he loves his library and his books!  Where does he find the time to enjoy it though? What time does he have to himself?  He is enslaved to those ancient stones.  He has no power over his own will.  He has no will.  The stones own him.

HERE is the wonderful website of Gormenghast

Lot’s of information about Peake and his work at Peake Studies

Titus Groan: A gold ring for Titus

Posted in Flashback challenge, Gormenghast journey with tags , , , , , , , , on January 28, 2010 by echostains

I am galloping through this book, now on page 150 which is about halfway through ‘Titus Groan’.  The writing though is about 100 pages behind.  In this chapter his mother names him.  It also gives us another look at the Countess’s relationship with Slagg, Prunesquallor and her new-born  son.  Peake gives us a descriptive glimpse into Titus’s inheritance:-

Nannie Slagg entered, bearing in her arms the heir to the miles rambling stone and mortar; to the tower of flints and the stagnant moat; to the angular mountains and the lime-green river where twelve years later he would be angling for the hideous fishes of his inheritance.

The Countess, who cannot abide Dr Prunesquallor, shouts for him whilst he is in the act of drinking:-

My lady,” he said, when he had reached her door and was showing the Countess and Mrs Slagg nothing except his head around the door post in a decapitated manner, before entering.  “My lady, ha ha, he, he, I heard your voice downstairs as I er – was -“

“Tippling,” said Lady Groan.

‘Ha, ha – how very right you are, how very right you are, ha, ha, he, he, , as I was, as you so graphically put it, ha, ha, tippling.  Down it came, ha, ha – down it came.”

“What came?” interrupted the Countess loudly.

“Your voice,” said Prunsquallor, raising his right hand and deliberately placing the tips of his thumb and little finger together, “your voice located me in the Coldroom.  Oh yes it did.”

The Countess stared at him heavily and then dug her elbows into the pillow.

Being the Countess of course she informs the Doctor that she will be getting up the very next day.  To argue with her is futile.  She is a formidable woman, and a strange one.  She doesn’t seem to have any maternal instincts whatsoever, for her husband nor her children.  Any sentiment she has is reserved for her cats and birds.  Indeed she misses greeting the morning with her cloud of white cats (what a surreal image that conjures up).

“Isn’t he sweet, oh isn’t he the sweetest drop of sugar that ever was?” said Mrs Slagg.

Who?” shouted the Countess so loudly that a string of tallow wavered in the shifting light.

The baby awoke at the sound and moaned, and Nannie Slagg retreated.

“His little lordship,” she whimpered weakly, “his pretty little lordship.”

Slagg,” said the Countess, “go away!  I would like to see the boy when he is six.  Find a wet-nurse from the Outer Dwellings.  Make him green dresses from the velvet curtains.  Take this gold ring of mine.  Fix a chain to it.  Let him wear it around his wry little neck.  Call him Titus.  Go away and leave the door six inches open.”

HERE is the wonderful website of Gormenghast

Lot’s of information about Peake and his work at Peake Studies