AUGUST 1936

Time and Fortune arrive, the first mail Graves and Riding have received since mid-July. In the garden, the first grapes are ripe. But these small symbols of normalcy are overshadowed by political upheaval. Graves writes that cheering Fascist patrols walk the streets every night. Majorca continues to evacuate foreigners, and on 2 August, Graves and Riding finally decide to leave. They take one suitcase each, pack hurriedly, and hand the keys over to Gelat, who promises to see to the house and take care of Solomon.1
They board the Grenville and pick up other refugees along the way to Valencia, where they board the hospital ship Maine. Karl is allowed to stay with Graves and Riding, despite his German citizenship. This decision relieves everyone, as a return to Germany "would have meant concentration camp for Karl." The ship is crowded; the men must sleep on the deck, with two blankets each. Graves spends an uncomfortable night: "Had to get a petty officer to strip Germans of extra blankets to get my two. Rain through rotten awning."
The Maine sails to Marseilles, and in Paris Riding obtains a visa (her passport has expired). The group travels across the channel to England, where, in London, they stay at the home of Kitty West, who is away in Ireland. She wires them to say she is "delighted" for the group to stay as long as they need to.
The first several weeks in London are a whirl of social activity, and prove to be a bit of a culture shock: "Everything rather blank. Impression: sherry, hot baths, telling our story over & over to different people." Graves sees his mother, and he and Riding have supper with Ward and Dorothy Hutchinson. They visit with Honor, James and Mary Reeves, Alan Hodge and Harry Kemp. They also see Norman Cameron for the first time since 1932.
Jenny stops by, and mid-month writes to tell Graves that Korda has given her a job. She also has a three-month dancing engagement at the Dorchester. David and Sam visit, and Graves is "astonished" by Sam's beauty and poise: "He talked much better than I hoped2 and in very literary English."
Graves and Riding move into a flat owned by John Aldridge's mother, Mrs. Lloyd, for four weeks. A letter from Gelat assures Graves that Solomon is doing well.
Between social engagements, Graves and Riding read over A Trojan Ending , and begin going through the Antigua, Penny, Puce proofs, which arrive while they are in London. Graves spends a day with Liddell-Hart, discussing particulars of the T. E. Lawrence project, and a day at the Denham studios with Korda, who promises money and a role for Jenny.
There are two enclosures this month:
  • 1. A letter from Sam dated 11 August 1936.
  • 2. News clipping of invasion of Mallorca.

Editorial Notes

1Graves' dog eds.
2an apprehension due to concern about the effects of Sam's hearing impairment. eds.

Hands Referenced

Places Mentioned

  • 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
  • Valencia

    Valencia, Valencia, Spain
    City on East coast of Spain eds.
  • Marseilles

    Marseilles, France
  • Dorchester Hotel

    London, England
    Hotel where Jenny Graves performed eds.
  • Denham

    England
    usually associated with Denham Studios and Alexander Korda eds.

People Mentioned

  • Robert

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

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

    West, Katherine
    wife of English journalist, [Douglas West eds.]; lived in Regent Park [at 32 York Terrace eds.] where RG and LR stayed on exile from Mallorca (1936) R.P.G.; dedicatee of LR's A Trojan Ending eds.
  • A.G. (A.E.S.G)

    Graves, Amy
    Amy Graves, RG's Mother. WG
  • Ward

    Hutchinson, Ward
    Photographer. Contibuted to"Epilogue." W.G. R.G. often refers to "the Hutchinsons" (Ward & Dorothy) as a couple especially when they were staying on the island. eds.
  • Dorothy

    Hutchinson, Dorothy
    Ward Hutchinson's wife. WG
  • 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).
  • James

    Reeves, James
    Schoolmaster, writer and Poet. Friend of Jacob Bronowski. W.G./ K.G.; m. to Mary Phillips; daughter Stella born June 14, 1938 eds.
  • Mary

    Reeves, Mary
    wife of James Reeves; daughter Stella born 14 June, 1938 eds.
  • Alan

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

    Kemp, Harry
    Poet. Met Graves and Riding through James Reeves in August 1936, just after their arrival in England. In their previous correspondence, Riding had been intrigued by his falling-out with Communism. He became associated with their circle, collaborating on various projects. (RPG 248-49)
  • Norman Cameron

    Cameron, Norman
    Poet. Built Can Torrent in 1932-1933. W.G.; m. to Elfriede, then to Catherine Vandervelde; friend and contributor to LR and RG's work eds.
  • Jenny

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

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

    Graves, David
    R.G.'s second child [by Nancy Nicholson]. W.G. In RAF; killed in the war. The only one of Graves' children who might have become a poet had he lived. K.G., eds.
  • Sam

    Graves, Samuel
    R.G.'s youngest child by Nancy Nicholson. C.P.& WG
  • Aldridge

    Aldridge, John
    (1905-1983), painter and close friend and collaborator. WG m. to Lucie Brown 1940 eds.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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

  • HMS Grenville

    HMS Grenville
    British destroyer upon which LR, RG, KG, and AH escaped Majorca eds. see Diary August 3, 1936
  • Editors

    Editors of the Graves Diary Project.

Bibliography

    • Title: Time [Magazine]
    • PubPlace: New York
    • Title: Fortune [Magazine]
    • PubPlace: New York
    • Publisher: Time [Magazine]
    • Date: 1930
    • Title: Trojan Ending, A [novel]
    • Author: Riding, Laura
    • PubPlace: Deyá & London
    • Publisher: Seizin & Constable
    • Date: 1937
    • Title: Antigua Penny Puce
    • Author: Graves, Robert
    • PubPlace: Deyá & London
    • Publisher: Seizin & Constable
    • Idno: A46
    • Date: 1936