Great World Writers: Twentieth Century - Vol. 4

By Patrick M. O'Neil | Go to book overview


Robert Graves

BORN: July 24, 1895, Wimbledon, England

DIED: December 7, 1985, Ca N'Alluny, Mallorca

IDENTIFICATION: Late-modernist English poet, novelist, critic, and historian.

SIGNIFICANCE: Robert Graves might well be remembered as one of the World War I poets but for his longevity and the breadth of his interests, which resulted in a vast canon of work. In 1929 Good-Bye to All That, his World War I memoir, became a best-seller. Five years later, the novels I, Claudius and Claudius the God also met with popular favor. Graves's tireless productivity and occasional commercial successes earned him independence as a poet, novelist, critic, historian, biographer, and all-around scholar. He was drawn to history, mythology, religion, and their convergences, and his poetry increasingly focused on romantic love. Graves's life was haunted by the White Goddess (also the title of one of his books), a divinity assembled out of his research into ancient religions.

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