APRIL 1936

Early in April Old Soldier Sahib is published in England and the United States. The reviews are generally positive - Graves writes of the "excellent press" that Richards' novel continues to generate throughout the month. Tom Matthews gives the book a very good review in Time.
Graves' primary project this month is Antigua, Penny, Puce. He incorporates attorney Bill Fuller's comments into the first trial chapter, works out inconsistencies and sends the chapter back to Fuller for his review. Riding begins to work actively on A Trojan Ending again, and Graves goes over his "Stealing" homily. Graves and Riding realise they have enough Epilogue material to fill half of the next issue. This month, too, Harrison Smith expresses interest in acting as the distributor for Seizin Press books.
Riding receives a letter from Yeats, "asking for Laura's poems: perhaps she will refuse as her 'husband'1 had already done." Riding replies "firmly," presumably in the negative.
Graves begins to complain of eye strain, attributing his discomfort to long work hours under poor lighting.
Domestically, Graves and Riding continue to experience trouble with the hired help. Riding hires a woman to replace Isabel, on the understanding that the position is on a trial basis, but the woman does not show up for the first day of work - not a good sign. Riding is also ill this month; Graves writes, "she is bad with throat still but continues to smoke and won't see a Doctor."
Graves continues to buy furnishings for the home and gifts for Riding. Sam and David write to say they will visit in the summer. Alan and Marjorie thank Graves and Riding for their invitation to come back the next summer, but express doubts: they plan to have children in the near future, and suggest they may not be able to afford the trip.
This month Graves and Riding spend a night in a hotel in Palma, where Graves "sleeps badly owing to a French couple honeymooning actively between 1 and 2.15. No word spoken, only activity and eructations." While in Palma, Graves sees a fortune teller, and is amused by the prophecy that he will receive a small inheritance. He is even more amused when the prophecy is fulfilled: "I had never had an inheritance before & today it came: 1/70th residuary legatee of my paternal grandfather's trust fund for my Aunt Lily (born 1810 - died 1899) - 18.7s 0." In the evening Graves sees "the worst film ever filmed": Vanessa, an adaptation of a story by Hugh Walpole. He also sees Chaplin's Modern Times with Schwarz and Strenge and pronounces it "painful."
The water dispute is still not resolved, and the hearing is rescheduled for June. Gelat is in a good position to be appointed mayor. He goes to Madrid for an audience with the governor, although the trip is initially postponed due to bad weather and a general labour strike.

Editorial Notes

1i.e., Graves: Yeats mislabels him in his letter. eds.

Hands Referenced

Places Mentioned

  • Palma

    Palma, Majorca, Sp
    Capital and largest centre of Majorca.

People Mentioned

  • Robert

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

    Richards, Frank
    Author of Old Soldiers Never Die and Old Soldier Sahib which R.G. rewrote for him. Was in The Royal Welch Fusiliers, R.G.'s regiment. eds.; Birth name is Francis Phillip Woodruff eds. see Diary September 27, 1936
  • Tom

    Matthews, T.S.(Tom)
    American journalist. Took sabbatical from TIME and arrived in Deyá in 1930. Involved from then on with L.R. and R.G. WG
  • Bill Fuller

    Fuller, William
    lawyer and researcher for Antigua Penny Puce KG; m. to Mary Fuller eds.
  • Laura

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

    Yeats, William Butler
    (1865-1939) Major Irish poet. eds. Was on the island of Majorca December 1935. WG
  • Isabella

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

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

    Official at Ministry of Agriculture; friend of James Reeves R.G.
  • Marjorie

    Launder, Marjorie
    Schoolmistress; friend of James Reeves R.G.
  • Swartz

    Schwarz, Georg
    German Jew. Deyá neighbour. Antique dealer. Lived with Frau Emmy Strenge, his house keeper, in Can Caballo some hundred yards from Canellun. RG and LR translated his "Almost Forgotten Germany." WG
  • Strenge

    Strenge, Frau Emmi
    Schwarz's house keeper and ? mistress. WG
  • 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.)
  • Graves, Robert
    Author of the diary.
  • 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

  • Harrison Smith and Robert Haas

    R.G.'s American publisher for I, Claudius and Claudius the God. eds.
  • Seizin Press

    Founded when Robert Graves and Laura Riding began their partnership in London. R.G. and L.R. continued to operate their own press in Deyá, but stopped printing in 1935. Seizin Press published a number of literary works in conjunction with Constable in London, including the Epilogue series, and other works by Laura Riding and their literary associates. eds
  • Editors

    Editors of the Graves Diary Project.


    • Title: Old Soldier Sahib
    • Author: Richards, Frank
    • Editor: Graves, Robert
    • PubPlace: London, New York
    • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Harrison Smith & Robert Haas
    • Idno: A44
    • Date: 1936
    • Title: Time [Magazine]
    • PubPlace: New York
    • Title: Antigua Penny Puce
    • Author: Graves, Robert
    • PubPlace: Deyá & London
    • Publisher: Seizin & Constable
    • Idno: A46
    • Date: 1936
    • Title: Stealing [a homiletic study: later titled Theft]
    • Title: Epilogue II, 1936
    • Author: Graves, Robert
    • Editor: Riding, Laura
    • PubPlace: Deyá and London
    • Publisher: Seizin and Constable
    • Idno: B24
    • Date: 1936
    • Title: Epilogue II
    • Editor: Riding, Laura & Graves, Robert
    • PubPlace: Deyá & London
    • Publisher: Seizin & Constable
    • Idno: B24
    • Date: 1936