Robert Graves


October 28, 2021

Robert von Ranke Graves (Wimbledon, London, July 24, 1895 - Deyá, Spain, December 7, 1985) was a British writer and scholar. Popular for historical novels brought to television such as Yo, Claudio (1934), in addition to being a poet, he has stood out as a researcher of Greek myths and the figure of The White Goddess (1948). He is the father of the writer and translator Lucía Graves.


At the outbreak of World War I he enlisted in the Royal Welsh Rifles; sent to the front, the horrors he witnessed on the battlefield marked him deeply. The he first volume of his poetry was published in 1916, although he would later try to hide the poetry written during the war. During the Battle of the Somme, that same year, he was wounded so badly that his family was informed that he had died. Despite this, he recovered, although there were sequelae in his lungs, and spent the rest of the war in England, trying in vain to rejoin the front. In 1917, Graves had a leading role in saving his friend Siegfried Sassoon, also a poet and belonging to the same regiment, from the accusation of desertion from a court-martial after he had been absent without permission and addressed a letter denouncing the war to his commander. The event was the subject of Pat Barker's novel Regeneration. Through Sassoon, Graves met Wilfred Owen, whom he invited to his wedding to Nancy Nicholson in 1918. After their marriage, Graves enrolled at Oxford University while opening a small shop to support himself, but the business ended in failure. In 1926 he secured a position at the University of Cairo, where he was accompanied by his wife, his children, and the poet Laura Riding. With Riding he founded the Seizin Press publishing house and published two well-received scholarly works: A Survey of Modernist Poetry (1927) and A Pamphlet Against Anthologies (1928). In 1929 he moved with Riding to Deyá, in Mallorca, an island that he had to abandon in 1936 due to the Spanish civil war. In 1929 he published his autobiography Goodbye to All That ('Goodbye to all that', revised by himself and published again in 1957), a work that was highly successful but cost him many of his friends. In 1934 he published his most famous work I, Claudio, in which from classical sources he constructs a complex and complete account of the life of the Roman Emperor Claudius, a story that later continued with the sequel Claudio, the god, and his wife Messalina. , published in 1943. He was also the author of historical novels with a biographical background such as El Conde Belisario (1938), in which he recounted the life of the Byzantine general Belisario or Rey Jesús (1946). His essays abound in material on mythology, and one of them, The White Goddess ('The White Goddess', published in 1948) is considered by some to be a turning point in his poetic and novelistic work. [1 ] In 1939 he returned to England, where he began a romantic relationship with Beryl Hodge. Among the children they had in common is the writer and translator Lucía Graves. [2] In 1946, after the hiatus of World War II, he returned to Deiá, a town where he married Beryl in 1950 (and which after her death would become a museum). [3] In 1948 he published The White Goddess, in the one that exposes his peculiar poetic vision of myths. In 1961 he was appointed Professor of Poetry at the University of Oxford, a post which he held until 1966.



Fairies and Fusiliers, William Heinemann, London, 1917. Complete Poems (Collected Poems), Cassell, London, 1959.


I, Claudio (I, Claudius), Arthur Barker, London, 1934. Claudius, the god, and his wife Messalina (Claudius the God and his Wife Messalina), Arthur Barker, London, 1935. The count Belisario (Count Belisarius), 1938, Edhasa, 1998 (republished). The Golden Fleece, Cassell, London,

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