Robert Graves (July 24, 1895 - December 07, 1985)
Born: 24th July, 1895
Died: 7th December, 1985
Nationality: Irish
Profession/Occupation: Novelist
Region: London, England, Spain
Notable works: "I, Claudius", "The White Goddess", "Good-Bye to All That", "Claudius the God", "Count Belisarius"

Robert Graves Facts

Biography

Robert Graves, in full Robert von Ranke Graves, (born July 24, 1895, London, England--died December 7, 1985, Deya, Majorca, Spain), English poet, novelist, critic, and classical scholar who carried on many of the formal traditions of English verse in a period of experimentation. His more than 120 books also include a notable historical novel, I, Claudius (1934); an autobiographical classic of World War I, Good-Bye to All That (1929; rev. ed. 1957); and erudite, controversial studies in mythology.

As a student at Charterhouse School, London, young Graves began to write poetry; he continued this while serving as a British officer at the western front during World War I, writing three books of verse during 1916-17. The horror of trench warfare was a crucial experience in his life: he was severely wounded in 1916 and remained deeply troubled by his war experiences for at least a decade. Graves's mental conflicts during the 1920s were exacerbated by an increasingly unhappy marriage that ended in divorce. A new acceptance of his own nature, in which sexual love and dread seemed to exist in close proximity, appeared in his verse after he met Laura Riding, an American poet, who accompanied him to the island of Majorca, Spain, in 1929 and with whom he was associated for 13 years.

The success of Graves's Good-Bye to All That, war memoirs notable for their unadorned grimness, enabled him to make his permanent home on Majorca, an island whose simplicity had not yet been altered by tourism. Graves's novel I, Claudius is an engaging first-person narrative purportedly written by the Roman emperor Claudius as he chronicles the personalities and machinations of the Julio-Claudian line during the reigns of Augustus, Tiberius, and Caligula. This work was followed by other historical novels dealing with ancient Mediterranean civilizations and including Claudius the God (1934), which extends Claudius's narrative to his own reign as emperor; Count Belisarius (1938), a sympathetic study of the great and martyred general of the Byzantine Empire; and The Golden Fleece (1944; U.S. title Hercules, My Shipmate). Graves's researches for The Golden Fleece led him into a wide-ranging study of myths and to what was his most controversial scholarly work, The White Goddess; A Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth (1948). In it the author argues the existence of an all-important religion, rooted in the remote past but continuing into the Christian Era, based on the worship of a goddess.

Graves began before 1914 as a typical Georgian poet, but his war experiences and the difficulties of his personal life gave his later poetry a much deeper and more painful note. He remained a traditionalist rather than a modernist, however, in his emphasis on meter and clear meaning in his verse. Graves's sad love poems are regarded as the finest produced in the English language during the 20th century, along with those of W.B. Yeats.

Graves was elected professor of poetry at the University of Oxford in 1961 and served there until 1966. His Collected Poems appeared in 1948, with revisions in 1955, 1959, 1961, and 1975. His controversial translation of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, with Omar Ali-Shah, appeared in 1967. His own later views on poetry can be found in The Crowning Privilege (1955) and Oxford Addresses on Poetry (1962).

Top 15 Robert Graves quotes

The remarkable thing about Shakespeare is that he really is very good, in spite of all the people who say he is very good.
About
Good
He
People
Really
Remarkable
Say
Shakespeare
Spite
Thing
Very
Who
There's no money in poetry, but then there's no poetry in money, either.
Either
Money
Poetry
Then
Marriage, like money, is still with us; and, like money, progressively devalued.
Like
Marriage
Money
Still
Us
Prose books are the show dogs I breed and sell to support my cat.
Books
Breed
Cat
Dogs
Prose
Sell
Show
Support
A remarkable thing about Shakespeare is that he is really very good in spite of all the people who say he is very good.
About
Good
He
People
Really
Remarkable
Say
Shakespeare
Spite
Thing
Very
Who
Genius not only diagnoses the situation but supplies the answers.
Answers
Genius
Only
Situation
Supplies
If I were a girl, I'd despair. The supply of good women far exceeds that of the men who deserve them.
Deserve
Despair
Far
Girl
Good
Men
Supply
Them
Were
Who
Women
What we now call 'finance' is, I hold, an intellectual perversion of what began as warm human love.
Began
Call
Finance
Hold
Human
Human love
Intellectual
Love
Now
Perversion
Warm
If there's no money in poetry, neither is there poetry in money.
Money
Neither
Poetry
To be a poet is a condition rather than a profession.
Condition
Poet
Profession
Rather
Than
In love as in sport, the amateur status must be strictly maintained.
Amateur
Love
Maintained
Must
Sport
Status
Strictly
One gets to the heart of the matter by a series of experiences in the same pattern, but in different colors.
Colors
Different
Different colors
Experiences
Gets
Heart
Matter
Pattern
Same
Series
A well chosen anthology is a complete dispensary of medicine for the more common mental disorders, and may be used as much for prevention as cure.
Chosen
Common
Complete
Cure
Disorders
May
Medicine
Mental
More
Much
Prevention
Used
Well
Anthropologists are a connecting link between poets and scientists; though their field-work among primitive peoples has often made them forget the language of science.
Among
Between
Connecting
Forget
Language
Link
Made
Often
People
Poets
Primitive
Science
Scientists
Them
Never use the word 'audience.' The very idea of a public, unless the poet is writing for money, seems wrong to me. Poets don't have an 'audience'. They're talking to a single person all the time.
Audience
Idea
Me
Money
Never
Person
Poet
Poets
Public
Seems
Single
Single person
Talking
Time

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