The Voice of the Heart in the TLS
"This is the first critical monograph on Mervyn Peake’s work as a whole”, writes its author, G. Peter Winnington. The Voice of the Heart is, indeed, a thorough study of Peake’s “poems, plays, short stories and graphic work”. In separate chapters Winnington examines Peake’s understanding of the creative process, recurrent motifs in his oeuvre (such as solitude, islands, animals, birds) and larger thematic complexes (love, identity and evil). The book concludes with discussions of Peake’s rarely discussed novel Mr Pye and Peake’s work in the theatre, especially his play The Wit to Woo, which ran briefly in the Arts Theatre in London in 1957. Winnington rightly concentrates on Peake’s Gormenghast novels, but also considers lesser-known texts like Captain Slaughterboard Drops Anchor and Letters from a Lost Uncle.