Maeve Patricia Mary Theresa Gilmore was born in London in 1918. Her Irish father was a surgeon from Co. Down and her mother the daughter of the owner of the Western Mail. Maeve grew up in Chelsea and was sent as a boarder to the Convent of the Holy Child in Hastings. At seventeen she spent a year at a Swiss finishing school. When she returned to London she enrolled as a student at the Westminster School of Arts, where on her first day she met Mervyn Peake. Despite disapproval from her father Maeve continued to meet with him and they married in December 1937. Maeve Gilmore died in August 1983 at the age of sixty-five, surviving her husband by fifteen years. The eldest of Mervyn Peake and Maeve Gilmore's three children, Sebastian was brought up in London, Kent, Surrey and Sark and in his childhood attended nine different schools. A keen interest in languages took him to Europe where he lived in various countries for almost five years. On his return he worked in shops and breweries and set up his own transport, and painting and decorating companies before becoming involved in the wine trade. He now runs his own wine company. Sebastian Peake has a son and three daughters and lives in London.