APRIL 1935

April sees some money from I, Claudius, as well as award money from the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. Graves delights in shopping in markets and down quiet side streets, buying little gifts for friends and family.
Despite suffering a serious infection from an insect bite earlier in the month, Gelat continues to oversee work on the sea road, and money is a focus of the month: how much there is, how much is needed. Gelat hatches various questionable investment plans designed to make Graves and Riding more capital. Any money that comes in is spent quickly on renovations, décor and little luxuries.
Not surprising, then, that the one poem Graves drafts this month is "about money." He continues work on Antigua, Penny, Puce - feeling now that he is finally at the point he was the previous November. He also begins writing a condensed version of I, Claudius (the "Claudius Film Version") for Korda. Graves and Riding are putting together the first draft of Epilogue, though they have yet to determine the publisher (Constable declines, and before the end of the month, Graves and Riding decide to publish it themselves). The second issue of Focus comes back from the printer and goes out to friends and subscribers (Graves lists the recipients in the diary).
On the domestic front, problems continue with the parish priest, who still refuses to move out of the Posada, even though Graves and Riding bought it in February. Eventually he is ordered by the vicar to leave, and Graves and Riding hope he will have moved out before Honor and Gordon visit in May so the guests can stay in the Posada. Improvements are in full swing at Canelluñ, both inside and in the gardens, despite small upsets: "The pomegranate has died: the third one planted in that spot. I said to Gelat: 'Let's try something else next year a cherry or a plum.' 'No,' he said angrily, 'let's see who tires first, the pomegranate or me.'"
This month Graves and Riding draw up their wills, but both writers experience improved health in April. Writes Graves, "Laura says I am looking much better since I have taken daily walks with Solomon; Karl says I look young again: before, I looked an old man. I am certainly in good condition. Have done no real work for 3 weeks."
The friends celebrate Easter with an elaborate festive meal, planned and orchestrated by Graves. Also this month, Graves re-establishes letter contact with Jenny; he counsels her against becoming too close with his brother Charles and tells her he has mentioned her to Korda.
Throughout April, the international political situation in Europe is a concern to Graves and Riding and their friends: Germany figures prominently in the diary, and Graves' anti-Fascist sentiments are clear.

Hands Referenced

Places Mentioned

  • Posada, La

    Deyá, Majorca, Sp
    House on the Puig next to Deyá church. Originally part of the Es Molí property. It had been rented by the church for Sunday school. RG and LR bought it in February, 1935, to use as a guest house for their visitors. WG, eds.
  • Canellun

    Deyá, Majorca, Sp
    Laura Riding and Robert Graves' house. Also Canellun (private) road. WG, KG

People Mentioned

  • Robert

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

    Más, Juan Marroig
    Juan Marroig Mas, called Gelat: Landowner on Deyá and friend of Robert Graves and Laura Riding (L.R. & R.G.'s factotum. W.G.)
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Jenny

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

    Graves, Charles Patrick Ranke
    RG's brother with whom he did not get on. WG Estranged from RG in 1937 over Jenny Nicholson's crisis. See RPG p.281 CP
  • 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.
  • Petter, Chris G.
    Project manager of text encoding and annotation.

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.
  • Constable & Co., Ltd.

    Constable Publishers. Arranged with them to print and distribute Seizin Press Epilogue and books. WG
  • Editors

    Editors of the Graves Diary Project.


    • 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: Claudius Film Version [The Fool of Rome] [a condensed novel based on I, Claudius]
    • Author: Graves, Robert
    • Title: Epilogue I: A Critical Summary
    • Editor: Riding. Laura/ Graves, Robert
    • PubPlace: Deyá & London
    • Publisher: Seizin & Constable
    • Idno: B22
    • Date: 1935
    • Title: Focus I, II, III, IV [newsletter]
    • Editor: Riding, Laura
    • PubPlace: Deyá
    • Publisher: Seizin
    • Date: 1935