MAY 1936

In work, Karl has finished typing Antigua, Penny, Puce , and tells Graves he likes it very much. Graves begins his final review of the book, and incorporates Fuller's "excellently prepared revision" of the trial chapter. He also drafts a tentative foreword.
Reviews of Old Soldier Sahib continue to be favourable. Graves calls the T. E. Lawrence Trustees' terms (outlined in a letter from Liddell-Hart) "impossible & insulting." He receives an American contract for the T. E. Lawrence project,1 however; which he signs and sends off.
Graves and Riding finish going over the proofs of Almost Forgotten Germany and send them to the printer, and continue working on the Epilogue proofs. Throughout May, Graves complains of eye strain, likely brought on by the volume of fine-detail work he completes this month.
Riding continues to work through A Trojan Ending . Graves re-works recently drafted poetry - " Christmas " and " Advice to Storytellers ." He also drafts a new poem, " It Has Happened Well ." He goes over Riding's Convalescent Conversations and finishes " Historical Particulars ."
As time goes on, Graves seems increasingly skeptical of Korda's plans to "do the Claudius film in August in magnificent style."
Gelat's appointment as mayor calls for celebration - there are informal speeches and a luncheon at Costa D'Or, where open reference is made to Riding's intention to become a Spanish citizen.
The friends also say good-bye to Schwarz and Strenge, who are going to Switzerland for 10 days. They return bearing gifts of chocolate and a scarf for Graves, as well as an agate paper knife (which breaks in Graves' pocket).
Elfriede's death on 6 May receives passing mention in the diary. Graves is more forthcoming about a "very nice letter from Jenny," who is apparently "learning tap-dancing from a negro and doing a lot of understudying." He sends her 15 for an evening dress.
May's warmer weather encourages more home projects and renovations to the Posada - Karl and Graves both work on finishing touches and on supervising the building of a bench. Work also begins on the paths and gardens at Canellu. There are picnics by the seaside and bullfights, despite Graves' continuing stomach troubles (he has suffered on-again, off-again stomach pain for several months). The new maid, Francisca, "looks strong" and is a "good worker," though everyone is getting "fed up" with Catalina the cook.
The end of the month brings a heavy, soaking rain, and May ends in the garden, with Graves busy "planting the remainder of the plants, till moonlight."

Editorial Notes

Hands Referenced

    • Annotation: ink correction of BG tss
    • Character: schooled
    • Ink: red

Places Mentioned

  • Hotel Costa d'Or

    Llucalcari, Majorca, Sp
    In Llucalcari. Went there for drinks and occasionally meals. It was the best hotel, the Fonda being rather basic. The Turismo was closed. WG
  • Posada, La

    Deyá, Majorca, Sp
    House on the Puig next to Deyá church. Originally part of the Es Molí property. It had been rented by the church for Sunday school. RG and LR bought it in February, 1935, to use as a guest house for their visitors. WG, eds.
  • Canellun

    Deyá, Majorca, Sp
    Laura Riding and Robert Graves' house. Also Canellun (private) road. WG, KG

People Mentioned

  • Karl/Carl

    Goldschmidt, Karl
    Karl Goldschmidt, later Kenneth Gay: Graphic artist, friend and secretary of Robert Graves and Laura Riding since 1934. R. G. spells both as Carl and Karl.
  • Robert

    Graves, Robert
    [1st person]. (1895-1985). Poet, novelist, essayist, critic, and author of his diary. eds.
  • Bill Fuller

    Fuller, William
    lawyer and researcher for Antigua Penny Puce KG; m. to Mary Fuller eds.
  • T.E.

    Lawrence, T. E.
    'Lawrence of Arabia.' Met Robert in Oxford in the early twenties. Made Robert his biographer and had him write "Lawrence and the Arabs." WG
  • Liddell Hart

    Liddell Hart, Capt. Basil
    War-fare expert and friend of T.E. Lawrence. Collaborated with RG on a book of T.E.L'.s letters, published in 1938. See RPG p.231. WG & Eds.
  • Laura

    Riding,Laura
    (1901-91) American poet. Laura Riding (née Reichenthal; then Laura Gottschalk).
  • Korda

    Korda, Alexander
    Director of the film version of I Claudius.
  • Gelat

    Más, Juan Marroig
    Juan Marroig Mas, called Gelat: Landowner on Deyá and friend of Robert Graves and Laura Riding (L.R. & R.G.'s factotum. W.G.)
  • Swartz

    Schwarz, Georg
    German Jew. Deyá neighbour. Antique dealer. Lived with Frau Emmy Strenge, his house keeper, in Can Caballo some hundred yards from Canellun. RG and LR translated his "Almost Forgotten Germany." WG
  • Strenge

    Strenge, Frau Emmi
    Schwarz's house keeper and ? mistress. WG
  • Elfriede

    Cameron, Elfriede
    Norman Cameron's first wife; a German woman: whom he first encountered in Deyá K.G.
  • Jenny

    Nicholson, Jenny
    Jenny Nicholson: oldest daughter of Robert by Nancy Nicholson.
  • Francisca

    Francisca
    maid at Canelluñ hired May 25, 1936 eds.
  • Catalina

    Catalina
    Cook from Palma employed by RG and LR; worked with Margarita, the chambermaid. W.G., eds.
  • Goldschmidt, Karl
    Karl Goldschmidt, d.1995, who later changed his name to Kenneth Gay, was Robert Graves' and Laura Riding's personal secretary during the period when the diary was written. He later annotated another printout of the diary produced from the B.A. Graves transcript, which is at the Graves Trust Archives in St. John's Oxford. Notes by Karl Goldschmidt are denoted as KG.
  • Graves, William
    Son of Robert and Beryl Graves. Helped to identify names, places and titles in Deya (1935-1936) and with translations and other references in three ways. He left an annotated printout of the first six months of the diary in the Graves Trust Room at St. John's College, Oxford. He also sent Chris Petter an Excel file with a list identifying names and places, principally in the Majorcan sections of the diary, and a glossary of Spanish terms. Finally he has sent the editors answers in response to reference questions. Notes by William Graves are identified with the initials WG.

Organizations Mentioned

  • Editors

    Editors of the Graves Diary Project.

Bibliography

    • Title: Antigua Penny Puce
    • Author: Graves, Robert
    • PubPlace: Deyá & London
    • Publisher: Seizin & Constable
    • Idno: A46
    • Date: 1936
    • Title: Old Soldier Sahib
    • Author: Richards, Frank
    • Editor: Graves, Robert
    • PubPlace: London, New York
    • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Harrison Smith & Robert Haas
    • Idno: A44
    • Date: 1936
    • Title: T.E. Lawrence to His Biographer
    • Author: Lawrence, T.E.
    • Editor: Graves, Robert
    • PubPlace: New York
    • Publisher: Doubleday, Doran & Co., Inc.
    • Idno: A49
    • Date: 1938
    • Title: Almost Forgotten Germany [Almost Forgotten Times]
    • Author: Schwarz, Georg
    • Editor: Trans. Graves, Robert/ Riding, Laura
    • PubPlace: Deyá & London
    • Publisher: Seizin & Constable
    • Idno: A45
    • Date: 1936
    • Title: Epilogue II
    • Editor: Riding, Laura & Graves, Robert
    • PubPlace: Deyá & London
    • Publisher: Seizin & Constable
    • Idno: B24
    • Date: 1936
    • Title: Trojan Ending, A [novel]
    • Author: Riding, Laura
    • PubPlace: Deyá & London
    • Publisher: Seizin & Constable
    • Date: 1937
    • Title: Christmas [poem; called "Robert: Christmas"]
    • Title: Focus IV
    • Author: Graves, Robert
    • Publisher: [private]
    • BiblScope: 18-19
    • Idno: C291.3
    • Date: 1935-11-22
    • Title: Advice to Storytellers [a.k.a. Devil's Advice to Storytellers]
    • Title: Collected Poems [1938]
    • Author: Graves, Robert
    • PubPlace: London
    • Publisher: Cassell
    • Idno: A48
    • Date: 1938
    • Title: It Has Happenend Well [became End of Play]
    • Title: Collected Poems
    • Author: Graves, Robert
    • Editor: Riding, Laura
    • PubPlace: London, Toronto, Melbourne & Sudney
    • Publisher: Cassell
    • Idno: A48
    • Date: 1938
    • Title: Convalescent Conversations [fiction]
    • Author: Madeleine Vara [Laura Riding]
    • PubPlace: Deyá & London
    • Publisher: Seizin & Constable
    • Date: 1936
    • Title: Historical Particulars [poem: formerly What Then?]
    • Title: Robert Graves: Complete Poems Vol. III
    • Author: Graves, Robert
    • Editor: Beryl Graves and Dunstan Ward
    • PubPlace: Manchester
    • Publisher: Carcanet Press
    • BiblScope: pp. 404-05, 555 (note)
    • Date: 1995-1999
    • Title: Claudius [the film: based on I, Claudius, directed by Alexander Korda, starring Charles Laughton. It was never completed.]