The birth of the 77th Earl of Gormenghast, innocent Titus Groan, gives celebratory license to the scullions and other assorted assistants and slaves of the Great Kitchen, to drink themselves into stupor.  Here they are portrayed like starving babes at the breast.

‘… they attacked the bungs as though unweaned.’

See another reference to this permitted drunkenness.

See also our bestellar review of this book, with its lavishly illustrated quote-mosaic, packed with fine phrasing and fresh metaphors.  


Source: Mervyn Peake, Titus Groan, introduction by Anthony Burgess (London: Vintage Books, 1998), p. 19

Photo credit: Ethan Weil at


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