Clare Peake : Under a Canvas Sky

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Saturday 23 July 2pm ST MICHAEL'S CHURCH,

By Adam Jones

In the shadow of Gormenghast Published to coincide with the centenary (on 9 July 2011) of the birth of novelist, poet, painter and illustrator Mervyn Peake, his daughter Clare Peake’s autobiography vividly recreates a sometimes idyllic and always bohemian childhood lived in what she fondly remembers as ‘an enchanted playground’. Her father is mostly remembered for his Gormenghast Trilogy, books which take the reader on a journey through the more grotesque reaches of the imagination. Clare Peake’s mother, Maeve Gilmore, was a painter, several years younger than the husband she adored. However there was an urgency to Mervyn Peake's creativity, spurred on first by a nervous breakdown and then the onset of Parkinson's disease: he died in 1968 with his life's work far from complete. In Under a Canvas Sky Clare Peake evokes a childhood dominated by loving and artistic parents who coped with the tragedy of Mervyn’s degen- eration with stoicism and a remarkable degree of good humour. ‘I am acutely aware that my account has him coming in and out like a codicil, but he comes in and out of these pages as he came in and out of my life . . . And the truth is, past seven years old I hardly knew him’, she admits. Clare Peake remembers the father she loved but barely knew, her lovely mother and the world of artistic friends who seem ever present at the party that was her early life.

To book : Dome Box Office;Tel:01273 709709; WWW.BRIGHTONTICKETSHOP.COM or on the door FESTIVAL ENQUIRIES ;festival@cmpcaonline.org.uk; or Tel 07816 403099

This page was added on 20/05/2011.

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