Born in China, Mervyn Peake was educated in England and trained and exhibited at the Royal Academy. Although best known as an author, he also produced set and costume designs for the theatre and illustrations for many children's books including Treasure Island and Alice in Wonderland. He wrote: 'As I see it, life is an effort to grip before they slip through one's fingers and slide into oblivion, the startling, the ghastly or the blindingly exquisite fish of the imagination before they whip away on the endless current and are lost for ever in oblivion's black ocean'. A gift for a child, the present work shows characters from around the world. It was drawn for the son of the artist's great friend, Graham Greene.