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Showing death in life, Gillian Anderson’s Miss Haversham in BBC’s last production of Great Expectations was a compelling reminder of the power of trauma to block progress, to freeze life at the instant of the shock and never to release its grip. A similar ‘death in life’, though this time of a whole culture can be found in Gormenghast in Peake’s Titus trilogy – though here  90% of people’s effort is devoted to preserving the past and Titus Groan is ‘heir to a crumbling ruin.’

It doesn’t serve us to be ignorant of the power of traumatic events – in our own lives as well as those of others!