JULY 1936

What begins as an idyllic summer becomes increasingly violent as the civil war in Spain erupts and Palma becomes a battlefield. There are the usual anxieties about money, and mild gardening frustrations as the almond trees continue to die, but Graves enjoys swimming with Karl and Alan Hodge (who arrives for an extended stay on the 2 July), and expresses his satisfaction with the new cook Francisca, "the best yet," who makes almond ice cream and " cooks the joint beautifully." Relations with Schwarz and Strenge are a bit strained, as Schwarz has refused to sign the libel clause in his Almost Forgotten Germany contract, but the group still enjoys punch parties and afternoons together. An article in the Daily Chronicle makes mention of Graves and Riding, making going to a café or bar in Palma "impossible," although the tone of the diary hints that Graves might be flattered by the attention, nuisance or not.
But the political situation begins to break down before mid-month. The radio announces insurrection at Melilla and Seville, and reports violence in several provinces. Writes Graves, "Troops came through at night in camions 1 with cannons, shouting 'viva el Fascismo.'" There are postal disruptions and radio reception is intermittent. There are sugar and coffee shortages, and Graves predicts flour and petrol shortages are not far off. Citizens begin to flee Palma for outlying villages as the city is bombed: "The bombs are 'cannisters' like the sort the Germans used at Fricourt filled with scrap metal; great moral2 effect, kill many, do little harm to property." Graves' birthday on 24 July is marked by a warship visible off the coast. Restrictions are placed on social gatherings: no one is allowed to meet in groups of three or more in public, or to listen to neighbours' radios, or to circulate unfavourable comments about the military. Fascists eat and drink in town at the shopkeepers' expense, at gunpoint. Foreigners begin to leave Majorca, but Graves and Riding indicate to family and friends their intention to stay at Canelluñ "for the present at least."
Despite political upheavals, the month is a productive one. Graves continues to work on Schools , now researching the medieval school system, but towards the end of the month he loses his initiative: he writes that he "could not bring myself to work on Schools " and confesses a "revulsion against education." He is also working feverishly on Antigua, Penny, Puce , incorporating Riding's suggestions and Harold Cooke's comments about stamps. Constable sends a telegram indicating they would be "very glad to publish Antigua."
Graves goes over Honor's novel The Heathen with Riding, as well as Alan Hodge's " Drama " for Epilogue . Riding also charges Hodge with the task of completing Poets , and begins going over his homily on courage.3 Graves goes over " Fame " and " Book Advertising " for Epilogue III . The printed Epilogue II arrives.
Riding is writing the final sections of A Trojan Ending , including the death of Hector, and will finish the draft before the end of the month. Graves begins a read-through. He also drafts a new poem - " The Half-Penny " - and re-tools several others. Riding makes a few editorial suggestions for " It Has Happened Well ," which is eventually retitled " End of Play ." Graves also reworks " To Disown the Records ," which is now " Birthday ."
There are two enclosures this month:
  • News clipping. Almudaina , Saturday, 25 July 1936: " Noticias dadas por radio ayer," 4 beside which Graves has written, "Typical news!"
  • News clipping. " La agresión de ayer manana." 5

Editorial Notes

1buses eds.
2Graves probably means "morale," as in 'a bad affect on the troop's morale'? eds.
3" Courage " eds.
4(trans.)
5(trans.)

Hands Referenced

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

Places Mentioned

  • Palma

    Palma, Majorca, Sp
    Capital and largest centre of Majorca.
  • Melilla

    Melilla, Northern Africa, Spain
    Spanish city on the eastern coast of Morocco eds.
  • Seville

    Seville, Andalusia, Spain
    Inland city in southwest of Spain eds.
  • Fricourt

    the Somme, France
    RG's battalion passed through Fricourt during the battle of the Somme in July 1916, a short time before he was wounded by a bursting shell in High Wood. (MS 52) eds.
  • Majorca/ Mallorca

    Majorca, Sp
    Largest of the Balearic Islands, located in the Mediterranean Sea off the eastern coast of Spain. R.G. and L.R. lived there, in Deyá, from 1929-1936. eds
  • Canellun

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

People Mentioned

  • Robert

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

    Hodge, Alan
    Oxford history graduate. Became close friends with LR & RG. First husband of Beryl Graves. CP & WG
  • Francisca

    Francisca
    RG's cook from Pollensa, started work July 6 eds. see Diary July 3, 1936
  • 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
  • Cooke

    Cooke, Harold
    stamp collector and resource for Antigua, Penny, Puce; author (Oxford database) Harold Percy Cooke? eds.
  • Honor

    Wyatt, Honor
    Journalist. Arrived in Deyá fortuitously. Married to Gordon Glover...Son Julian. W.G. First acquainted with R.G. and L.R. early in 1934; returned to visit in 1935; continued friendship in England. eds (RPG 211).
  • 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

  • Constable & Co., Ltd.

    Constable
    Constable Publishers. Arranged with them to print and distribute Seizin Press Epilogue and books. WG
  • Editors

    Editors of the Graves Diary Project.

Bibliography

    • 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: Daily Chronicle/ Dia
    • PubPlace: Palma, Majorca
    • Date: 1935-1936
    • Title: Schools [an international survey of education]
    • Author: Graves, Robert; Riding, Laura
    • Editor: Riding, Laura
    • Title: Antigua Penny Puce
    • Author: Graves, Robert
    • PubPlace: Deyá & London
    • Publisher: Seizin & Constable
    • Idno: A46
    • Date: 1936
    • Title: The Heathen
    • Author: Wyatt, Honor
    • Editor: Riding, Laura
    • PubPlace: New York
    • Publisher: Random House
    • Date: 1937
    • Title: Drama
    • Title: Epilogue III
    • Author: Riding, Laura/ Hodge, Alan/ Graves, Robert
    • Editor: Riding, Laura
    • PubPlace: Deyá & London
    • Publisher: Seizin & Constable
    • BiblScope: 193-226
    • Date: 1937
    • Title: Epilogue III
    • Editor: Riding, Laura/ Graves, Robert
    • PubPlace: Deyá & London
    • Publisher: Seizin & Constable
    • Date: 1937
    • Title: Poets [prose]
    • Author: Graves, Robert/ Riding Laura
    • Editor: Riding, Laura
    • Title: Courage [a Homelitic Study]
    • Title: Epilogue III
    • Author: Hodge, Alan
    • Editor: Riding, Laura
    • PubPlace: London & Deyá
    • Publisher: Constable & Seizin
    • Idno: A33
    • Date: 1937
    • Title: The Theme of Fame
    • Title: Epilogue III
    • Author: Vara, Madeleine
    • Editor: Riding, Laura/ Graves, Robert
    • PubPlace: Deyá & London
    • Publisher: Seizin & Constable
    • Date: 1937
    • Title: Book Advertising
    • Title: Epilogue III
    • Author: Robert Graves
    • Editor: Laura Riding
    • PubPlace: Deyá & London
    • Publisher: Seizin & Constable
    • BiblScope: 239 - 246
    • Idno: B25
    • Date: 1937
    • 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: The Halfpenny [poem]
    • Title: Epilogue III [also in Collected Poems (1938)]
    • Author: Graves, Robert
    • PubPlace: Deyá & London
    • Publisher: Seizin & Constable
    • Date: 1937
    • 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: End of Play [poem; former title: It Has Happened Well]
    • Title: Epilogue III [also in Collected Poems (1938)]
    • Author: Graves, Robert
    • PubPlace: Deyá & London
    • Publisher: Seizin & Constable
    • Date: 1937
    • Title: To Disown the Once Written [poem; becomes To Disown the Records, then Birthday. Not traced. Apparently not published. D.W.]
    • Author: Graves, Robert
    • Date: 1936-07-15
    • Title: Almudaina [Palma newspaper]
    • PubPlace: Palma de Majorca
    • Date: 1936