Robert Graves: his best known books

Robert Graves: Books

Robert Graves was many things: writer, translator, literary critic, mythographer, poet. He encompassed other branches as well. He was a scholar who loved history and researched myths tirelessly, especially the Greeks. In addition to conceiving an extensive essay work, he also forged a long career in the historical novel..

Among his best-known works are the novel I, Claudio, and the essay The white goddess. He has been decorated with some of the UK's most prestigious awards, such as the The Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry or James Tait Black Award. Here are some of his best known works.

Robert Graves: his best known books

Goodbye to All That (1929)

It is another of his most popular books; but the first thing that stands out is that Graves decided to write an autobiography in his early thirties.. However, his experiences in the First World War, a conflict that left him badly wounded, were a propitious cause for writing this book. Of course, this autobiography would be revised by the author decades later, in 1957. Robert Graves says goodbye to the country where he was born, reviewing his childhood and youth, years after the great war, saying "goodbye to all that". Because later the author would leave and live most of his life in a corner of Mallorca.

I, Claudius (1934)

I, Claudio It is a false autobiography that Graves wanted to make of the character Tiberius Claudius, Roman historian and emperor who lived between the XNUMXst century BC and XNUMXst AD For Robert Graves, the translations he made of the texts of Suetonius would be very useful Lives of the twelve Caesars. And although Graves knew the historical context and the events very well, he extracted from the original texts a somewhat personal and selective appreciation.

This is surely, without a doubt, one of his most important and well-known works. The book was taken to television and had enormous sales success, being considered one of the best novels of the XNUMXth century.. A wonderful portrait of the Roman imperial era with all the betrayals, conspiracies and crimes that fit in at that time.

Claudius, the god, and his wife Messalina (1935)

Novel that is a continuation of I, Claudio. It continues this simulated autobiography of the Emperor Tiberius Claudius, who had to face the chaos of Rome after the assassination of Caligula. Claudius now has to rebuild the empire despite the difficulties and his own doubts and dissatisfactions.. Robert Graves expands on his knowledge of Antiquity and turns Claudius, the god, and his wife Messalina in a second part worthy of the first. It would also be adapted for television along with I, Claudio.

Count Belisarius (1938)

Novel in which Graves takes us back to the XNUMXth century to ancient Constantinople, which was the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire. These are the times of Emperor Justinian. This is another historical novel where the life of General Belisario, the most important military man in Byzantium, is narrated. During this time, the main character will have to deal with the rebellions and conflicts that shake the territory. When the barbarians threaten to disrupt the Byzantine defenses only the honorable and courageous Belisarius has the ability to defend the empire.

The Golden Fleece (1944)

The Golden Fleece is an adventure novel that revolves around this mythological element. A group of sailors including heroes and demigods (Hercules, Orpheus, Atalanta, Castor, Pollux, etc.) embarks in search of the desired object. It is a fascinating story in which the reader, in addition to being amazed, will be able to discover different traditions and customs of Ancient Greece.

King Jesus (1946)

Novel that reflects documentary facts of the life of Jesus from a historical, non-religious point of view. King jesus it is yet another example of fictionalized history in which Graves questions some of the more traditional assertions of history. But the rigorous work of the author who reviews the life of Jesus must be recognized. Graves positions the revolutionary man, who generated multiple discomforts in his time, as a worthy heir to the throne of Israel.

The White Goddess (1948)

The white goddess is a work of non-fiction that represents the greatest scholarly work of Robert Graves. Surely his best work. this essay speculates on a matriarchal system prior to the patriarchy imposed by monotheistic religions. More specifically, it talks about primitive ceremonies in which tribute was paid to goddesses from different mythologies. Graves theorizes with a time when the authority figure was a woman and men did not hold the power they really had. It is an eloquent text, insightful, but above all mystical and amazing.

Homer's Daughter (1955)

Homer's daughter born in a strange way. Graves stumbles upon a wild hypothesis that claims that the Odisea It was not entirely written by Homer, but the great classic work would have been composed by a Sicilian woman, Princess Nausicaa, who is at the same time a character in the same work. So the author, captivated by this fanciful theory, composed Homer's daughter, a construction closer to the ordinary or domestic, but without losing its heroism.

Gods and Heroes of Ancient Greece (1960)

This is a book that illustrates the stories of Greek gods and heroes with different mythological narrations.. It is about learning in an attractive way the myths of Western culture starring Zeus, Poseidon, Heracles, Perseus, Pegasus or Andromeda, to name a few. Graves demonstrates a deep understanding of mythology and history through entertaining and educational stories.

About the Author

Robert Graves was born in Wimbledon, London, in 1895.. He studied at Oxford (King's College and St. John's College) and was also a university professor there. He served in World War I in the British Army, where he rose to the rank of Captain.

In addition to his historical and mythological work, his poetic work also gave him great satisfaction as a writer.. By participating in the first world conflict, his inspiration came precisely from this period of his life, which he would capture in his poetry. Seriously injured he would soon return home to England. He was a teacher in Egypt and lived in other different countries of the world. Nevertheless, he would settle in a Majorcan municipality, Deyá (Spain), where he would die in 1985.

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