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Robert Graves

The poet and author Robert Graves (1895-1985), now best known for his historical novels I, Claudius and Claudius the God, thanks to the legendary BBC TV adaptation, was recognised as one of the better Edwardian and First World War poets, although for a time his work was somewhat sidelined by the Modernists. Graves's writings and life belong to a period where the values and beliefs of the past were rejected or no longer felt sustainable: his unconventional life, bizarre domination by a series of strong-willed women and search for poetic rejuvenation through a series of muses can be seen as a rejection of Victorian values, caused by his childhood experiences and his service in the First World War, where he was seriously wounded on the Somme. His autobiography Good-Bye to All That, published in 1929, is one of the landmark memoirs of the war in the trenches on the Western Front. By the time of his death, Graves was internationally famous, seen as one of the 20th century's best poets, and whose prose works were sold all over the world. This first single-volume biography over a decade will shed new light on this intriguing and unparalleled life.

Bruce King is a writer and editor who lives in Paris. He knew Graves in the 1960s and 1970s in Mallorca. His previous works include Three Indian Poets: Ezekiel, Ramanujan and Moraes (2005), The Internationalization of English Literature 1948-2000 (2004), and a biography of V S Naipaul.

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