MARCH 1935

March sees Graves sketch out the trial scene for Antigua, Penny, Puce, and send written acceptance of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. He reworks "The Devil's Advice to Storytellers" and drafts several new poems: "The Mirror" (which he eventually discards) and "And Should I Fail?" (later called "What Then?" and then "Historical Particulars"). He also goes over several recent poems with Riding, who "passed them all with only two emendations." Initial copies of Focus and Riding's "Second Leaf" are sent off to friends (the journal lists the recipients). Riding is working on her Troy project (eventually titled A Trojan Ending), and Korda promises that the film scenario for I, Claudius will be completed by the end of May, with filming set to begin in the summer. Graves rejects a request from the Times to write a T. E. Lawrence obituary for the newspaper's files.
March is also a month of various petty ailments: toothache, colds, nerves and nightmares. Riding and Isabella both come down with the flu. Graves, too, is battling illness by mid-month. Money issues become more pressing as home improvements and the reconstruction of the sea road continue, and much energy is spent on plans to get royalties out of Germany, but no options are promising.
Graves takes frequent long walks with Solomon the bulldog, who comes to stay mid-March. Also mid-month Graves and Riding hear disturbing news: Norman Cameron's wife Elfriede is dying of tuberculosis. A few days later Honor Wyatt writes to announce the birth of her son, Julian.

Hands Referenced

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.
  • 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
  • Isabella

    Live-in maid from Murcia. Her mother (Carmen) then came over with Josefa who also came to work later. 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.
  • Elfriede

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

  • James Tait Black Memorial Prize

    James Tait Black Memorial Prize
    A major literary award, granted to R.G. for "I, Claudius" in 1935. The cash prize was in the amount of £116.4.5 (RPG 224; diary, Mar. and April 1935). eds.
  • Editors

    Editors of the Graves Diary Project.


    • Title: Antigua Penny Puce
    • Author: Graves, Robert
    • PubPlace: Deyá & London
    • Publisher: Seizin & Constable
    • Idno: A46
    • Date: 1936
    • Title: Advice to Storytellers [a.k.a. Devil's Advice to Storytellers]
    • Title: Collected Poems [1938]
    • Author: Graves, Robert
    • PubPlace: London
    • Publisher: Cassell
    • Idno: A48
    • Date: 1938
    • Title: The Mirror [poem] ["destroyed" 21 Mar. 1935: diary, eds.]
    • Author: Robert Graves
    • Date: 1935
    • Title: And Should I Fail? [poem: became "What Then?"]
    • Author: Graves, Robert
    • Title: What Then? [poem: became Historical Particulars. June 25, 1935 R.G.]
    • Author: Graves, Robert
    • Title: Historical Particulars [poem: formerly What Then?]
    • Title: Robert Graves: Complete Poems Vol. III
    • Author: Graves, Robert
    • Editor: Beryl Graves and Dunstan Ward
    • PubPlace: Manchester
    • Publisher: Carcanet Press
    • BiblScope: pp. 404-05, 555 (note)
    • Date: 1995-1999
    • Title: Focus I, II, III, IV [newsletter]
    • Editor: Riding, Laura
    • PubPlace: Deyá
    • Publisher: Seizin
    • Date: 1935
    • Title: Second Leaf [poem]
    • Author: Riding, Laura
    • PubPlace: Deyá
    • Publisher: Seizin
    • Date: 1935
    • 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: Times [newspaper]
    • PubPlace: London
    • Publisher: Times Newspapers