FEBRUARY 1938

The routine of work is punctuated by visits with family and friends, set against a backdrop of growing political uneasiness as Hitler's power waxes, and Austria surrenders to Germany (although Graves writes that there is also "official hopefulness" that Italy might leave Spain).
Graves drafts a new poem, "The Unrevealed," and continues to work on the dramatic version of A Trojan Ending , completing a draft of the first act before the end of the month. The last proofs of Belisarius are finally sent off to the publisher, after much back and forth with Cribb about corrections to the maps, but Random House declares that it will be postponing publication of the book. There are more night walks, and more "talk late at night about NOTHING."
Riding is having trouble with the " Letter Book " ( The World and Ourselves ) and continues to work into the early hours of the morning, sleeping late into the day. At one point, the work is too much for Karl: "...overcome, Karl had to go to the Heroes of the Alma for a gin-and-lime." This month Riding also begins the preface to Lives of Wives .
Riding and Graves receive another disturbing letter from John Lucy. Honor Wyatt gets a letter from a "J. Coghlan" of Dublin in suspiciously similar handwriting. Riding and Graves enjoy a visit with the poet Winifred Holmes, and spend time with Alan Hodge, David Reeves and Norman Cameron, with whom Graves discusses Rimbaud and Cameron's poem "Sensitive the First." Graves also has a photo session with Ward Hutchinson, who photographs the writer in various period costumes. Karl's birthday is this month as well; Graves and Riding give him "a manuscript case and a tea-party with crackers." This is the first time that Marie comes to tea.
As usual, Graves delights in buying little gifts and trinkets; much time is spent poking around the Caledonian Market, either alone or with friends and family. But he is discouraged on one such outing with Jenny when he is pickpocketed of £5. Later this month sees an extended visit from Sam; together he and Jenny take in Walt Disney's Snow White.
At home, various household repairs disrupt the rhythm of daily life. Graves wakes up one morning to the smell of a dead rat in the wainscoting. Finding the source of the smell and repairing the damage - as well as repairing a leak in the kitchen, an old pipe in the lavatory and faulty telephone lines - are hampered by wet weather. Solace the cat is also ill with worms; concerned, Graves and Riding take her to a vet.
There is one enclosure this month: a clipping from the Times with the headline "Civil War in Baleares."

Hands Referenced

Places Mentioned

  • Caledonian Market

    London, England
  • Baleares

    Balearic Islands, Spain
    Region of Spain that includes the Balearic Islands. Majorca is one of those Islands. eds.

People Mentioned

  • Robert

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

    Cribb, Richard
    map-maker KG; worked with RG [for Count Belisarius?] eds.
  • Laura

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

    Lucy, John
    Estranged husband of Mary Lucy; RG and LR are drawn into their marital problems. 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).
  • Winifred Holmes

    Holmes, Winifred
    poet KG; husband Jack Holmes eds.
  • Alan

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

    Reeves, David
    Brother of James Reeves [and Ethel Herdman] RPG 292.
  • 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.
  • Marie

    Goldschmidt, Marie
    Karl Goldschmidt's first wife. RPG 280-81. The couple met when Marie was employed as domestic help at Ewhurst (summer 1937). eds.
  • Jenny

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

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

  • Random House

    American publishers (New York) eds.
  • Editors

    Editors of the Graves Diary Project.

Bibliography

    • Title: Trojan Ending [dramatised version based on Laura Riding's book; later called Greeks and Trojans]
    • Author: Graves, Robert
    • Date: 1938-01
    • Title: Count Belisarius [1938]
    • Author: Graves, Robert
    • PubPlace: London
    • Publisher: Cassell
    • Idno: A47
    • Date: 1937-07-21
    • Title: Letter Book [became The World and Ourselves]
    • Editor: Riding, Laura
    • Title: The World and Ourselves [former title: Letter Book]
    • Author: Riding, Laura [contributor; with Sally Graves, Sir Edward Marsh et al]
    • Editor: Riding, Laura
    • PubPlace: London
    • Publisher: Chatto & Windus
    • Date: 1938-11
    • Title: Lives of Wives [prose]
    • Author: Riding, Laura
    • PubPlace: London, Toronto, Melbourne & Sydney
    • Publisher: Cassell and Co. Ltd.
    • Idno: A39
    • Date: 1939
    • Title: Translation [prose: unpublished?]
    • Author: Graves, Robert, Riding Laura
    • Date: 1936-02
    • Title: Times [newspaper]
    • PubPlace: London
    • Publisher: Times Newspapers