Graves, Robert Ranke

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Graves, Robert Ranke

Robert Ranke Graves, 1895–1985, English poet, novelist, and critic; son of Alfred Percival Graves. He established his reputation with Good-bye to All That (1929), an outspoken book on his war experiences. A versatile and highly prolific writer, Graves considered himself primarily a poet; his poems were characterized by gracefulness and lucidity. However, Graves was best known for his unorthodox novels of Roman history, I, Claudius (1934) and Claudius the God (1934), as well as fictionalized reappraisals of history and legend such as King Jesus (1946) and Homer's Daughter (1955). Graves was also known for studies of the mythological and psychological sources of poetry, such as The White Goddess (1947), Greek Myths (2 vol., 1955), and Hebrew Myths (1963). Other works of criticism include The Common Asphodel (1949), Poetic Craft and Principle (1967), On Poetry: Collected Talks and Essays (1969), and translations of The Golden Ass of Apuleius and the Iliad. From 1961 until 1966 he was professor of poetry at Oxford.

Bibliography

See his Collected Poems (1965), Collected Short Stories (1965), Poems, 1968–1970 (1970), and Poems 1970–1972 (1973), and a collection of essays, Difficult Questions, Easy Answers (1974). See also biographies by M. S. Smith (1983), R. P. Graves (1987), and M. Seymour (1995); studies by M. Kirkham (1969) and P. J. Keane (1980); bibliography by W. P. Williams and F. H. Higginson (2d ed. 1987).

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