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Robert Graves


New Member
I went into Waterstones the other week - only because I had one of their book vouchers to spend, normally I wouldn't shop there. I had in mind a single-volume edition of 'I, Claudius' and 'Claudius the God', if such a thing exists. I knew I wasn't going to have much luck when I asked the assistant if Graves's works would be under 'classics' (where they belong) or under 'G' in general fiction. "Robert who" she asked? :rolleyes: They didn't have anything of his - not even 'Goodbye To All That', which, if I remember correctly, has never been out of print.

My wife reckons he is more of a man's author, and I'm inclined to agree with her, even though we both try to avoid such generalisations. One of the things I admire most about him is how he distilled so much of his classical knowledge into the two 'Claudius' books without making them at all dry or academic. I know he regarded most of his prose fiction as 'potboilers', and would probably have preferred to be remembered for his poetry and his non-fiction, but I think he did us all an immense service and he must rate as one of the best British writers of 20th century.


New Member
My wife reckons he is more of a man's author, and I'm inclined to agree with her, even though we both try to avoid such generalisations.
I have intended to read I, Claudius after seeing the series with Derek Jacoby on television, and I will someday. Goodbye to All That is one of the most outstanding (anti) WWI books ever written, says this female admirer of Graves.

Have you tried The White Goddess?


New Member
Oh you'll enjoy 'I, Claudius'. Marvel at how little human nature has changed in 2000 years...:(

I haven't read 'The White Goddess' yet. Next for me is 'Wife to Mr. Milton' which, if Graves's introduction is anything to go by, will be fascinating. He seemed to have a real knack for finding parallels between the times about which he was writing and the present day in which he wrote.


New Member
I have only got a little way in Goodbye to all That. So far I am enjoying it, but I like those war memories type books.

Even so Robert Graves is very famous. "Robert Who" is a bit embarrassing. No wonder you don't go to that bookshop too often.. Maybe you have to be of a certain age to know of him? Somehow though I don't think that argument is valid.

the lady

New Member
I can't believe you had that response in a book shop! try play.com you can get most books you want on there and way cheaper too, they have I Claudius as I am going to order it soon, it is on my list of must read books. I am a Robert Graves fan since reading Goodbye to all that.


New Member
The White Goddess is not the kind of book you sit down and read front to back. Its more like a jigsaw puzzle, you work around the edges, along certain lines, fill in all the pieces with red on them, and eventually it all fits together. I really loved it.

He wrote a book on Greek Mythology, "The Greek Myths, which was one of the best books on that subject I have ever read.

I am in the middle of reading King Jesus. It is, as can be expected with Graves, very dense and slow going, but it rewards effort. Half of me hopes I never finish it I am having so much fun.