JUNE 1936

Graves continues to correspond with Fuller, clearing up legal procedural details in Antigua, Penny, Puce. He incorporates all of Fuller's corrections, makes a final insertion about oxidisation of stamps, and then gives the manuscript to Riding to read. Graves also rewrites the first page of the novel for the third or fourth time.
He drafts a poem, initially titled "To Disown the Once Written." A later draft is retitled: "To Disown the Records." Graves is also working on "Drama" for Epilogue; he begins researching the Greek dramatists - especially the tragedians - and completes four pages for Riding on Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides. He continues to work on "Poetry and Politics," also for Epilogue, and begins reading back issues of the Left Review as research for another article, "Poetry and Communism." Riding reads to Graves the three sections of A Trojan Ending that she has recently completed, and hands over the Schools project to Graves to continue on his own. This month Graves researches and writes on the Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Jewish and Muslim education systems, as well as women's education in the East, and early medieval education.
This month there is a strong focus on communication with family and colleagues. David and Sam are planning their summer visit to Deyá, and Graves writes them to make travel suggestions. In another letter to David, Graves discourages "Nazi enthusiasm." Jenny writes to see if she can also come to visit. Graves writes back, welcoming her. He also writes to Richards, sending along a US press-cutting on Old Soldier Sahib, which is selling slowly but steadily. He sends John and Lucie a copy of Old Soldier Sahib as well. Alan Hodge confirms he will visit Canelluñ, and Graves writes a general newsletter to the McCormacks.
Finishing touches are being added to the Posada. Gardening is clearly a source of pleasure and satisfaction for Graves and Riding (despite the wet weather, which threatens the health of the apricot and peach trees), as is attending the local bullfights. The water dispute seems to be resolved and this calls for celebration: "Gelat told us news of water settlement: they agreed to his terms & signed a contract. Champagne."
But domestic problems, politics and money concerns taint an otherwise idyllic June. Catalina is chastised "for insolence in not listening to Laura speaking," and by the end of the month the cook is dismissed. There is a 24-hour strike in Palma in protest against the bombing of the trades-union headquarters, in which nine people were injured. Harrison Smith writes with the disturbing news that instead of recovering the $1000 Graves was expecting to get back from income tax, he must refund approximately the same amount in surtax. A few days later Graves signs and sends in his US income tax claim. Money seems tight; certainly the renovations to Canelluñ and the Posada - and to the gardens at both homes - must be a financial drain.
The weather warms by the end of the month, however, and Graves seems lighthearted. He and Riding visit with Schwarz and Strenge in the evenings. For the first time this year, the ocean temperature is mild enough for Graves and Karl to swim out to the point. By the last days of June, one needs only a single sheet to sleep at night.
There are three enclosures this month:
  • Palma bull-fight ticket, 7 June 1936.
  • San Juan Fiesta1 programme for celebrations on 23 and 24 June 1936.
  • "The Naval Officer," a review of Davy Jones by Alan Hillgarth in the Observer, 28 June 1936.

Editorial Notes

1Festival of Saint John eds.

Hands Referenced

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.
  • 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.
  • Palma

    Palma, Majorca, Sp
    Capital and largest centre of Majorca.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • Sam

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

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

    Aldridge, John
    (1905-1983), painter and close friend and collaborator. WG m. to Lucie Brown 1940 eds.
  • Lucie

    Brown, Lucie
    Married artist John Aldridge. eds.
  • Alan

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

    Cook from Palma employed by RG and LR; worked with Margarita, the chambermaid. W.G., eds.
  • 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
  • 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

  • Harrison Smith and Robert Haas

    R.G.'s American publisher for I, Claudius and Claudius the God. 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: To Disown the Once Written [poem; becomes To Disown the Records, then Birthday. Not traced. Apparently not published. D.W.]
    • Author: Graves, Robert
    • Date: 1936-07-15
    • Title: Drama
    • Title: Epilogue III
    • Author: Riding, Laura/ Hodge, Alan/ Graves, Robert
    • Editor: Riding, Laura
    • PubPlace: Deyá & London
    • Publisher: Seizin & Constable
    • BiblScope: 193-226
    • Date: 1937
    • Title: Epilogue III
    • Editor: Riding, Laura/ Graves, Robert
    • PubPlace: Deyá & London
    • Publisher: Seizin & Constable
    • Date: 1937
    • Title: Politics and Poetry [essay]
    • Title: Epilogue III
    • Author: Riding, Laura/ Graves, Robert/ Kemp, Harry/ Hodge, Alan/ Vara, Madeleine
    • Editor: Riding, Laura
    • PubPlace: Deyá & London
    • Publisher: Seizin & Constable
    • BiblScope: 6-53
    • Date: 1937
    • Title: Left Review, The
    • Editor: Writers' International
    • PubPlace: London
    • Publisher: F. Cass
    • Date: 1934-1938
    • Title: Trojan Ending, A [novel]
    • Author: Riding, Laura
    • PubPlace: Deyá & London
    • Publisher: Seizin & Constable
    • Date: 1937
    • Title: Schools [an international survey of education]
    • Author: Graves, Robert; Riding, Laura
    • Editor: Riding, Laura
    • 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: The Naval Officer [Review of A. Hillgarth's Davy Jones]
    • Title: Observer, The
    • Author: Graves, Robert
    • PubPlace: London
    • Idno: C291.7
    • Date: 1936-06-28
    • Title: Observer, the
    • PubPlace: London
    • Date: 1791-