SEPTEMBER 1938

September at the castle: "Autumn beginning: apples dominate landscape." The well is beginning to run dry with end-of-summer heat. When not working, the friends spend their days picking mushrooms and horse chestnuts. Walnuts are beginning to ripen on the tree outside the kitchen. Anita sends a parcel of specialty foods from Deyá (which produces a wave of nostalgia in Graves, who "nearly cries from homesickness"). Léonie, who replaces the fired cook Modeste, is an immediate success.
But the last warmth of summer and the bounty of an autumn harvest are overshadowed by a growing international unrest. The Nuremberg congress has all Europe talking of war. Writes Graves, "The news of the Anglo-French surrender becomes more & more depressing and shameful. For the last week all the letters have been about fear of war. We are glad to be away from London." Another entry states, "There is panic in England: even Len Lye writes that H [Hitler] is like the American madman who balanced 14 hrs. on a window ledge - and then had to jump so as not to disappoint his audience." But though they are dismayed by the growing tension, Riding and Graves still maintain that there will be no war. Other stories from abroad are more amusing: " J [Juan] del Moli who had talked of whipping Castañer for his political views was in the same cell - & became great friends."
News from friends is also disconcerting. Norman's wedding day is 3 September: "God help him!" Honor writes from the hospital (she had a miscarriage in August). John Lucy writes as well - to let Riding and Graves know that "The psychologists say he isn't mad, but madly jealous - and the cure would be for Mary to sleep with him again."
In work, Graves finishes going over the proofs of his Collected Poems (back from the publisher), and adds a new poem - " The Fallen Sign Post ," drafted the previous month. He also continues on the Dictionary with Riding and Hodge, and tackles Greeks and Trojans again.
Riding's Collected Poems is published this month. She completes her review of the proofs of The World and Ourselves with the help of Graves and Hodge, and Graves helps write a blurb for the book. She continues work on "Aristotle" for Lives of Wives , and takes up The Swiss Ghost once more. She also drafts a new poem, "To the Casuists of Fame." She finishes a section of David Reeves' Furniture with the intention of showing it to literary agent Watt.
There are four enclosures this month:
  • 1. "Rules for the game Cambelpuk," handwritten by Graves
  • 2. Letter to Riding from Margaret Russell
  • 3. Postcard to Riding and Graves, written by Honor Wyatt, as dictated by her son Julian
  • 4. " Rappel Immediat ": French call-up announcement

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.
  • Nuremberg

    N㉎berg, Germany

People Mentioned

  • Anita

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

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

    Léonie
    servant at La Chevrie eds.
  • Modeste

    Dreuxlin, Modeste
    cook and house maid at La Chevrie, France eds.
  • 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.
  • Laura

    Riding,Laura
    (1901-91) American poet. Laura Riding (née Reichenthal; then Laura Gottschalk).
  • Juan of Molí

    Mayol, Juan
    Owner of the Es Molí farmhouse. Involved in a local water rights controversy with the Señor of Sa Pedrissa, the Médico and others. R.G. records the on-going confict in his diary over a span of several months in 1935. KG & eds.
  • Castañer

    Castañer
    ? Owner of a large house in the Clot. Worked in Palma? WG
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • John Lucy

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

    Russell, Margaret
    House-keeper L.R. & R.G. had had in London. WG
  • Julian

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

  • A.S. Watt & Son, Ltd.

    Watt, A.S.
    RG's literary agent: first mentioned in November, 1935; team includes: Alexander Strahan Watt, and W.P. Watt et al, who may have handled different aspects of Graves' extensive European publishing and distribution. The firm replaced Eric Pinker. K.G. When did Pinker go, and why? KG
  • Editors

    Editors of the Graves Diary Project.

Bibliography

    • Title: Collected Poems [1938]
    • Author: Graves, Robert
    • PubPlace: London, Toronto, Melbourne & Sydney
    • Publisher: Cassell and Co. Ltd
    • Idno: A48
    • Date: 1938
    • Title: Fallen Signpost, The [poem]
    • Title: Collected Poems [1938]
    • Author: Graves, Robert
    • PubPlace: London, Toronto, Melbourne & Sydney
    • Publisher: Cassell
    • Idno: A48
    • Date: 1938-08-19
    • Title: Dictionary [projected project; unfinished]
    • Author: Riding, Laura
    • Date: 1935
    • 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: Riding, Laura
    • PubPlace: London, Toronto, Melbourne & Sydney
    • Publisher: Cassell and Co. Ltd
    • Idno: A35
    • Date: 1938
    • 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: The Swiss Ghost [formerly The Kind Ghost] [novel]
    • Author: Graves, Robert/ Riding, Laura
    • Date: 1937-04-22
    • Title: Furniture: An Explanatory History
    • Author: Reeves, David
    • Editor: [Riding, Laura]
    • PubPlace: London
    • Publisher: Faber
    • Date: 1947