Mervyn Peake was born in China in 1911 of medical missionary parents. He began to draw, paint and write stories at an early age and his first book of poems, Shapes and Sounds, was published in 1941.
Peake is probably best known for his Titus novels — Titus Groan, Gormenghast and Titus Alone — but other well known poetry collections include: The Glassblowers and The Rhyme of the Flying Bomb.
Peake married Maeve Gilmore in 1937 and was later awarded the W.H. Heinemann Foundation Prize by the Royal Society of Literature in 1950. Mervyn Peake died after suffering a long illness in 1968.