Mervyn Peake in Lilliput

This month I’ve been redesigning the Savoy Books edition of The Exploits of Engelbrecht by Maurice Richardson, in preparation for a reprint. This has involved scanning the covers of the issues of Lilliput, the magazine where Richardson’s tales of the dwarf surrealist sportsman first appeared, and one number of these, from May 1950, also includes a feature about nursery rhymes illustrated by Mervyn Peake. The paintings were reprinted in Mervyn Peake: The Man and his Art in 2006 but shrunk onto a single page so this is a chance to see them at a larger size. Also reproduced below is the accompanying article by Leslie Daiken and the Arcimboldo-style cover by Ronald Ferris. Some of the earlier covers by Walter Trier—all of which featured a man, a woman and a dog in a variety of guises—can be seen at VTS.

Update: For more about Mervyn Peake, see also Peake Studies.


“How many miles to Babylon?”
“Three score miles and ten.”
“Can I get there by candle-light?”
“Yes, and back again.
If your heels are nimble and light
You may get there by candle-light.”

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