JUNE 1938

June is dominated by an air of flurried activity as Graves and Riding finish last-minute details of various writing projects before they leave for France at the end of the month. The diary entries also indicate the two hope to travel to Deyá after spending time in Rennes. When they are not packing, Graves and Riding work long hours on the protocols project (finishing the proofs only hours before they leave for France), and on Len's pamphlet , which is finally sent off to the printer. The T. E. Lawrence proofs are also completed, but not before Liddell-Hart and Graves meet personally with the Lawrence Trustees to go over each editorial point, " rescuing all the important excisions" (that the Trustees had suggested previously). Graves also works with Riding on Greeks and Trojans , and on his Collected Poems . Harry Kemp's Left Heresy is finished, and Graves reads over this as well. Riding works with Cameron on Rimbaud . Both Graves and Riding devote considerable energy to The Smuggler .
When the two writers are not working, their days are consumed with packing, sorting, mending and organizing. Graves and Riding decide not to take any furniture, silver or china to France. They give away various extras to Harry and Alix, and Honor and Gordon. Graves remarks drily that they are "restoring the flat to its original barbarity." At the beginning of June, Karl still does not have a job, and the situation becomes more desperate when he is refused entry to Canada. Graves spends a considerable amount of time on the telephone looking for a suitable post. Before the end of the month, antiquarian bookseller Harold Edwards and his wife Olive Wallis offer Karl a position.
As the two poets get ready to leave England, there are frequent visits from family and friends. Sam arrives unannounced and stays the night. Catherine also visits. A phone call from Jenny is chiefly about money, but she and David and Graves' mother lunch with Graves later in the month.
Mary Lucy writes to say that all is well and that her husband is "behaving." There is a visit from Ethel Herdman, and Graves continues to make bead necklaces as gifts. Mid-month, Alan Hodge visits Rennes briefly and phones to say he likes it. When he returns, he brings peaches and chevrie 1 from Anita Vives (Gelat's daughter). A week or so before Riding and Graves are to leave London, Maisie picks them up in the car for a day in Arkesden, but "Maisie's withdrawal from protocol makes relationship unreal & spoilt the day."
In the midst of all the busy-ness, Stella Reeves2 is born. And throughout the month, Graves' stomach continues to trouble him. Concerned that the pain might be due to a bowel obstruction, Graves' doctor orders x-rays, but these come back normal. Graves resorts once again to self-medication with brandy. There is an advantage to stomach ailments, however: Graves is pleased to discover that he has dropped weight.
On 29 June, Graves, Riding and Alan and Beryl dine in Southampton with the McCormacks and then board the S. S. Dinard to St. Malo. The four friends arrive in St. Malo the next day, where they are met by Juan Vives, who takes them to Rennes, where Anita welcomes them with tears and open arms. Both couples have rented flats in the town before the end of the day.
There are two enclosures this month:

Editorial Notes

1venison eds.
2daughter to James and Mary Reeves eds.

Hands Referenced

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

Places Mentioned

  • 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.
  • Rennes

    Rennes, France
    where Gelat's daughter, Anita, and son-in-law, Juan Vives live; visited by RG and LR et al in 1938 eds.
  • Arkesden

    Essex, England
  • St. Malo

    St. Malo, France
    port on the north-west coast of France. 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).
  • Len

    Lye, Len
    New Zealand painter, sculptor, and filmmaker whom LR & RG had met in London. He helped with the Seizin Press publications. WG; married to Jane Lye, son Bix. 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.
  • 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.
  • Alix Kemp

    Kemp, Alix
    Married to poet Harry Kemp. The couple shared a house with Graves and Riding in Ewhurst, Surrey (1937). eds (RPG 277); also referred to as Frau Eierman by RG eds. see Diary August 30, 1936
  • 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).
  • Gordon

    Glover, Gordon
    Married to Honor Wyatt. WG
  • 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.
  • Harold Edwards

    Edwards, Harold
    Antiquarian bookseller & British Buddhist; bookshop at 4, Cecil Court off Charing X Rd. K.G.; wife Olive née Wallis and baby girl Sally. Karl Goldschmidt's employer in 1938. eds.
  • Olive

    Edwards, Olive
    married to Harold Edwards KG
  • Sam

    Graves, Samuel
    R.G.'s youngest child by Nancy Nicholson. C.P.& WG
  • 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.
  • A.G. (A.E.S.G)

    Graves, Amy
    Amy Graves, RG's Mother. WG
  • Mary Lucy

    Lucy, Mary
    Visited R.G. and L.R. at Ewhurst. An admirer of both Graves and Riding, but her marital problems brought tensions to their household. See diary entry January 2, 1938 (and K.G. note).
  • Ethel Herdman

    Herdman, Ethel
    James Reeves' sister RPG; Assistant warden of Ashbourne Hall, Manchester University KG; nicknamed "Ether" by RG and LR, Sept 1937 eds.
  • Alan

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

    Ana, Anita
    Marroig. Gelat's daughter, married to Juan Vives the Doctor's brother. Live in Rennes, France. WG
  • Maisie

    Sommerville, Maisie
    Head of BBC Education broadcasting department. Friend of R.G. and L.R. Arranged accomodation for them when they returned to London as exiles. W.G., 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.
  • Beryl

    Pritchard, Beryl
    daughter of Harry and Amy Pritchard, R.G.'s second wife. Formerly married to Alan Hodge. Robert and Beryl had four children: William, Lucia, Juan and Tomas. 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.
  • Juan

    Vives, Juan
    The Doctor's brother. Married to Gelat's daughter. Lived in Rennes, France. WG
  • Richard Church

    Church, Richard
    Sir Richard Thomas Church, (1893-1972), British poet and writer 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

  • T.E. Lawrence Trustees

    T.E. Lawrence Trustees
    Trustees of the T.E. Lawrence estate (Arnie Lawrence was the executor) with whom R.G. had extensive dealings over copyright issues. eds.
  • Editors

    Editors of the Graves Diary Project.

Bibliography

    • Title: Covenant of Literal Morality, The [subtitle Protocol I; privately printed]
    • Author: Aldridge, John, Dorothy Hutchinson, Lucie Brown, Ward Hutchinson, George Buchanan, Alix Kemp, Mary Buchanan, Hary Kemp, Norman Cameron, Len Lye, Gordon Glover, Albert Mills, Robert Graves, Mary Phillips, Sally Graves, Beryl Pritchard, Liddell Hart, David
    • Editor: Riding, Laura
    • PubPlace: Bristol
    • Publisher: Western Printing Services Ltd.
    • Idno: A37
    • Date: 1938
    • Title: Len Lye and the Problem of Popular Films [pamphlet; see Wexler xi]
    • Author: Riding, Laura
    • PubPlace: Seizin Press
    • Publisher: London
    • Idno: N/A
    • Date: 1938
    • 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: Trojan Ending [dramatised version based on Laura Riding's book; later called Greeks and Trojans]
    • Author: Graves, Robert
    • Date: 1938-01
    • Title: Collected Poems [1938]
    • Author: Graves, Robert
    • PubPlace: London, Toronto, Melbourne & Sydney
    • Publisher: Cassell and Co. Ltd
    • Idno: A48
    • Date: 1938
    • Title: The Left Heresy in Literature and Life [the essay "Politics and Poetry" comprises the closing section of this book.(RPG 278) eds.]
    • Author: Kemp, Harry/ Riding, Laura/ others
    • Editor: Riding, Laura
    • PubPlace: London
    • Publisher: Methuen
    • Idno: B29
    • Date: 1939
    • Title: Translation [prose: unpublished?]
    • Author: Graves, Robert, Riding Laura
    • Date: 1936-02
    • Title: Smuggler Scenario [projected screenplay for a Korda film RPG]
    • Author: Graves, Robert/ Riding, Laura
    • Date: 1937-08-26