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The E-BNR aims to build a comprehensive & unique cross-artform guide to the British neo-Romantic tradition, from 1880 to the present day.

While the British Romantics of 1789-1824 have spawned a vast industry of publishers, conferences & tourism, the later neo-Romantic traditions remain largely neglected. The E-BNR is aimed at bringing this hidden tradition to light.

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 WHAT IS NEO-ROMANTICISM ?

  Neo-Romantic artists have drawn their inspiration   from artists of the age of Romanticism or earlier.   Characteristic themes in their work include a   mystical approach to the British landscape...

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  This is the online   Encyclopedia-BNR,   version 0.5 beta.

  Contact the editor.
INDEX OF ENTRIES:

1880-1920:


  Fiction:

George Macdonald.
Lewis Carroll.
John Ruskin.
Christina Rosetti.
Rudyard Kipling.
William Morris.
Richard Jefferies.
Edward Carpenter.
Kenneth Grahame.
Arthur Machen.
Algernon Blackwood.
'Saki'.

  Poetry:

G.M. Hopkins.
W.B. Yeats.
A.E. Housman
Laurence Binyon.

  Music:

Gustav Holst.
Vaughan Williams.
Edward Elgar.
Granville Bantock.

  Painting:

Edward Burne-Jones.
Maxwell Armfield.
Mark Symons.
John Duncan.
George Henry.
  & Edward Atkinson
  Cornell.

Gerald Moira.
Robert Bateman.
Samuel Palmer.
Walter Crane.
Edward Robert Hughes.
Bernard Sleigh.
Eleanor Fortescue
  -Brickdale.

Nathaniel Sparks.
F.C. Robinson.
Reginald Hallward.
Laurence Housman.
James Joshua Guthrie.
Paul Nash.
Charles Mahoney.
Arthur Rackham.
Thomas Cooper Gotch.
Christopher Wood.

  Movements:

Symbolism.
Aesthetic movement.
Birmingham Group.
Neo-gothic architecture.
Pictorialism.
Fairy & ghost photos.


1920s - 'places to hide':

Ballet design.
Book illustration.
The Kibbo Kift.


1930-to-1955:


  Fiction:

John Cowper Powys.
J.R.R. Tolkien.
Mervyn Peake.
C.S. Lewis.
Daphne du Maurier.
Mary Webb.
Herbert Read.
Forrest Reid
T.H. White.
Hugh Walpole.

  Non-fiction:

Robert Graves.
Rev. Francis Kilvert.
Geoffrey Grigson.
Bill Brandt.
Roger Mayne.
John Deakin.
Nikolaus Pevsner.

  Music:

Arnold Bax.
Vaughan Williams.

  Painting:

John Piper.
John Craxton.
John Minton.
David Jones.
Graham Sutherland.
Stanley Spencer.
Eric Ravilious.
Ralph Chubb.
Charles Mahoney.
Michael Ayrton.
Thomas Monnington.

  Poetry:

Dylan Thomas.
Edwin Smith.
Ithell Colquhoun.
Francis Berry.
George Barker.
Laurence Whistler.

  Film:

Humphrey Jennings.
Powell & Pressburger.
David Lean.
Epic British film music.

 


 

 

 

 

   ENTRY: Peake, Mervyn

   Mervyn Laurence Peake (b. July 9, 1911 d. November 17, 1968) was a British fantasy writer, artist, poet and illustrator. He is best known for what are usually referred to as the Gormenghast books Peake also wrote poetry and nonsense verse, and short stories for adults and children. Peake first made his reputation as a painter and illustrator during the 1930s and 1940s.

   Mervyn Peake was born in Kuling in central China in 1911 of British missionary parents. He attended Tientsin Grammar School until the family returned to England in 1923. His schooling continued at Eltham College, Mottingham (1923-1929). He then went on to Croydon School of Art and at the Royal Academy Schools from 1929 to 1933, where he first painted in oils and wrote his first long poems.

   His early career in the 1930s was as a painter in London. He began teaching life drawing at Westminster School of Art where he met painter Maeve Gilmore, whom he married in 1937. They had three children.

   He had a very successful exhibition of paintings at the Calmann Gallery in London in 1938, and his first book, the self-illustrated children's pirate romance Captain Slaughterboard Drops Anchor (1939).

   At the outbreak of the Second World War he was conscripted in the Army, where he served first with the Royal Artillery, then with the Royal Engineers. He began writing Titus Groan, part of Gormenhgast, at this time. The five years between 1943 and 1948 were some of the most productive of his career. He finished Titus Groan and Gormenghast and completed some of his most acclaimed illustrations for books by other authors, including Lewis Carroll's Hunting of the Snark and Alice in Wonderland, romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner, the Brothers Grimm's Household Tales, as well as producing many original poems, drawings, and paintings.

   A book of nonsense poems, Rhymes Without Reason, was published in 1944 and was described by John Betjeman as "outstanding". Shortly after the war ended in 1945 he was commissioned by a magazine to visit France and Germany. With writer Tom Pocock he was among the first British civilians to witness the horrors of the Nazi concentration camp at Belsen, where the remaining prisoners, too sick to be moved, were dying before his very eyes. He made several drawings, but not surprisingly he found the experience profoundly harrowing, and expressed in deeply felt poems the ambiguity of turning their suffering into art.

   Gormenghast was published in 1950, a fantastic trilogy set in an ancient and sprawling castle, with marked gothic and surrealist influences - although lacking the use of magic and mysticism that marks out most fantasy fiction. After the publication his family settled in Smarden, Kent, and Peake taught part-time at the Central School of Art.

   In the late 1950s he was showing unmistakable early symptoms of Parkinson's Disease, and the next few years he gradually lost the ability to draw steadily and quickly, although he still managed to produce some drawings with the help of his wife.

   Titus Alone was published in 1959 and was revised by Langdon Jones in 1970 to remove apparent inconsistencies introduced by the publisher's careless editing.

   Peake died in November 1968. His work, and the gothic fantasy of Gormenghast in particular, became much better known and more widely appreciated after his death, and they have since been translated into many languages. His gothic and spiky artwork was influential in keeping alive the tradition of art of pen & ink work in England, at a time when photography was undermining the market for illustration.

   Four collections of his poems were published during his lifetime; Shapes & Sounds (1941), The Glassblowers (1950), Poems & Drawings (1965), and A Reverie of Bone (1967).

Selected works:

Titus Groan (1946)
Gormenghast (1950)
Titus Alone (1959)
Selected Poems (1972)
A Book of Nonsense (1972)
The Drawings of Mervyn Peake (1974)

~

INDEX OF ENTRIES:

1955-to-1975:

  Painting:

Leslie Hurry.
Robin Tanner.
Ceri Richards.
Michael Ayrton.


  Classical music:

Havergal Brian.
Benjamin Britten.

  Poetry:

Dylan Thomas   (reputation).
Vernon Watkins.
Ted Hughes.
Christopher Logue.
Keith Vaughan.
Ore magazine.
Eric Ratcliffe.
Edwin Morgan.
Roland Mathias.

  Fiction:

Laurie Lee.
Alan Garner.
John Gordon.

  Non-fiction:

Laurie Lee.
E.P. Thompson.
J.A. Baker.
Geoffrey Grigson.


1975-to-2000:


  Photography:

Fay Godwin.
James Ravilious.
Raymond Moore.
Andy Goldsworthy.

  Popular music:

Robert Wyatt.
Syd Barrett.
Marc Bolan.
John Foxx.
Throbbing Gristle.
Genesis P. Orridge.
The Dancing Did.
Virginia Astley.
Brian Eno.
Roger Eno.

  Classical music:

Dave Heath.

  Illustration:

Clifford Harper.

  Film:

Derek Jarman.
David Rudkin.

  Fashion:

Vivienne Westwood.

  Literature:

Angela Carter.
Ted Hughes.
Peter Ackroyd.
Heathcote Williams.
Keith Roberts.
Richard Cowper.
Robert Holdstock.
Susan Cooper.

  Poetry:

Kathleen Raine.
Roland Mathias.
Gwyn Thomas.
R.S. Thomas.
George Mackay
  Brown.

Seamus Heaney.
Pauline Stainer.

  Artists:

Graham Ovenden.
Annie Ovenden.
Ann Arnold.
Robert Lenkiewicz.
John Elwyn.
Cecil Collins.
Ian Hamilton Finlay.
Andrew Logan.
Alan Reynolds.
Norman Ackroyd.
Christopher P. Wood.
Jim Leon.

  Groups & circles:

The Ruralists.
Temenos magazine.
Resurgence magazine.
Crop Circles, makers.
English Underground.


2000 - to the present:

Andrew Logan.
Ian Hamilton Finlay.
Vivienne Westwood.
Andy Goldsworthy.
Christopher Bucklow.
Peter Ackroyd.
Pauline Stainer.
Brian Eno.
Roger Eno.
Jon Aldersea.
Christopher P. Wood.
Made in Staffordshire, England.   2007. Last updated: 18th Jan 2007. Site search by PicoSearch.
Some of the initial E-BNR text was sourced or partly derived from Wikipedia, used here under the GNU licence.