Only the second example I have come across of violet eyes, never yet seen in real life. Here the 76th Earl of Gormenghast learns from his physician, Dr. Prunesquallor, that the newborn 77th Earl-to-be, Titus, has this glorious oddity. The other, also of aristocratic origins, is Virginia Woolf’s Orlando.

‘Eyes?’ said Lord Groan.  ‘What’s wrong with them?’

‘Wrong?’ cried Prunesquallor.  ‘Did you say “wrong”, your lordship?  Have you not seen them?’

‘No, quick, man. Hurry yourself. What is it? What is the matter with my son’s eyes?’

‘They are violet.’

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 (London: Vintage, 1998), p. 41

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