SEPTEMBER 1936

Graves and Riding continue to go over the draft of A Trojan Ending , spending many long days and late nights on the project. Over lunch with Korda, Graves discusses film possibilities for the book; Korda decides they should talk again after he sends Graves the I, Claudius scenario. Fuller suggests a few changes to Antigua, Penny, Puce , which Graves implements before sending the proofs on to Kyllman, who also expresses enthusiasm about the dictionary project that Graves and Riding have proposed.
Graves learns that Almost Forgotten Germany is to be translated into Danish, and The Moon's No Fool is to be translated into Dutch.
Graves drafts " Parent to Children " on a train back from Chichester, where they had visited James and Mary Reeves in their home. He also drafts a poem about writing a poem, but discards it. Riding goes over Norman's poems, and Ward Hutchinson's reconstituted poetry. They also check Harry Kemp's "Philosophy" for Epilogue .1
Riding and Graves take in London shows and the ballet with various friends, including James and Mary Reeves. Over supper with Norman Cameron, Graves and Riding hear for the first time details about the death of Norman's wife Elfriede. Over another dinner with Cameron, Graves and Riding learn that Dylan Thomas threw a "drunken party" in Norman's studio and did not clean up afterwards (Thomas later apologises). They also visit with Kitty West and the McCormacks. Honor stops by as well, and drops off the last few chapters of The Heathen ; later she brings baby Julian. Graves and Riding also have dinner with Liddell-Hart, but the evening ends on an unpleasant note as Riding and Liddell-Hart get into an argument.
Graves speaks with his daughter Catherine for the first time in seven years, and makes plans for her to visit. He presents Jenny with a garnet brooch (she and David had earlier given Riding a ring), and gives a Meccano set to Sam and a hairbrush to David. When Catherine arrives for an extended visit, he gives her an amethyst necklace. He also discusses with Jenny her financial situation and helps her get settled in Curzon House. He and Riding spend an evening at the Dorchester watching Jenny dance; Graves seems pleased.
Jenny tells Graves and Riding that Sarah Churchill (daughter of Winston Churchill and a close friend of Jenny's) has eloped with a fellow performer. The Churchills are angry at Jenny for spilling the story to a reporter. Graves helps her write a letter to them to smooth things over. At this point, Jenny also asks to borrow money. Graves "had almost a row with her. Shortage due to letting her broke boyfriend off paying for night-club on the Thursday." But soon afterwards, the Daily Sketch offers Jenny £100 for her "life story." Graves and Riding help her to write the article.
Though Graves receives a "reassuring letter from Deya," he still writes of his increasing anxiety about Spain. Riding sees a doctor about her health; he reassures her about her heart, her tonsils and her appendix, but suggests she stop smoking.
There is one enclosure this month:
  • 1. Letter from Catherine dated 2 September 1936.

Editorial Notes

1Is this one of the poems Harry Kemp submitted? eds.

Hands Referenced

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

Places Mentioned

  • Chichester

    Sussex, England
  • Curzon House

    Mayfair, London, England
    Jenny Graves' lodgings starting September, 1936 eds.
  • Dorchester Hotel

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

    Deyá, Majorca, Sp
    Town located on the northwest coast of Majorca, on the hillside between the Teix Mountains and the sea: this was RG's home with Laura Riding from 1929 to 1936. He returned there with his family after WW II. 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).
  • Korda

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

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

    Kyllmann, O.K.
    of Constable's RG; also referred to as O.K. eds
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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)
  • Elfriede

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

    Thomas, Dylan
    poet, friend of Norman Cameron eds. see Diary September 22, 1936
  • 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.
  • McCormacks

    McCormack, Walter & Violet
    Tenants of Ca'n Torrent. Had two daughters: Jennifer, a dancer, & Betty. Continued their friendship with Robert and Laura in England. eds.
  • Julian

    Glover, Julian
    Honor & Gordon's baby. 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.
  • Catherine

    Nicholson, Catherine
    Catherine Nicholson: (1922- ) third of four children of Robert Graves and Nancy Nicholson. eds.
  • Jenny

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

    Churchill, Sarah
    Daughter of Winston Churchill. Became friends with R.G.'s daughter Jenny when they danced together in Cochran's revue. There was a scandal when she eloped with another performer, and Jenny leaked the story to the press. (RPG 252) eds.
  • Churchill

    Churchill, Winston (Sir)
    On the island [of Majorca] December 1935. W.G. In 1936 R.G. had an interview with him in London , and expressed his concerns about the Spanish Civil War. (Diary: November 1936) 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: Trojan Ending, A [novel]
    • Author: Riding, Laura
    • PubPlace: Deyá & London
    • Publisher: Seizin & Constable
    • Date: 1937
    • Title: I, Claudius [novel]
    • Author: Graves, Robert
    • PubPlace: London
    • Publisher: Arthur Barker
    • Idno: A42
    • Date: 1934
    • Title: Antigua Penny Puce
    • Author: Graves, Robert
    • PubPlace: Deyá & London
    • Publisher: Seizin & Constable
    • Idno: A46
    • Date: 1936
    • 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: Moon's No Fool, The
    • Author: Matthews, Tom
    • Editor: Riding, Laura
    • PubPlace: Deyá & London
    • Publisher: Seizin & Constable
    • Date: 1936-02-13
    • Title: Parent to Children [poem]
    • Title: Collected Poems
    • Author: Graves, Robert
    • PubPlace: London, Toronto, Melbourne & Sydney
    • Publisher: Cassell
    • Idno: A48
    • Date: 1938
    • Title: Epilogue III
    • Editor: Riding, Laura/ Graves, Robert
    • PubPlace: Deyá & London
    • Publisher: Seizin & Constable
    • Date: 1937
    • Title: The Heathen
    • Author: Wyatt, Honor
    • Editor: Riding, Laura
    • PubPlace: New York
    • Publisher: Random House
    • Date: 1937
    • Title: Daily Sketch [newspaper]
    • Date: 1909-1946