September begins on a light note, with a letter and photos from Magdalena in Deyá, reporting that everyone is well and in good spirits. Later in the month, Graves is optimistic that the political conflict in Spain will soon be resolved. Riding and Graves decide to stay in England for the time being, despite the income-tax issues; later in the month, after Alix returns from Germany, they discuss the possibility of taking a flat in Hampstead or Regent's Park for the winter. Graves gets a clean bill of health from the doctor; he is smug when told that he has low blood pressure, which likely accounts for his occasional spells of dizziness. He continues to lose weight over the month, walking in the countryside around Ewhurst despite a turn in the weather as the middle of the month brings rain. It does not stay overcast for long, but the days remain cool and the electric heaters are used for the first time in months.
Harry has been moody and silent for the past several weeks. His disposition worsens with Alix in Germany at the beginning of the month, and his frame of mind is a source of speculation for Riding and Graves. Graves has taken to writing his observations about Harry's mood in French, referring to Harry as "M. Hache."
Karl and Marie, the maid, announce they are in love and plan to marry - although a few weeks later Marie declares she doesn't like Riding and Graves well enough to marry Karl. She abruptly gives her notice but, after a long talk with Riding, agrees to stay.
When the weather is fine, Graves practises archery (which Alix refers to as "lechery"). Alan Hodge returns, and Riding and Graves also welcome a visit from David Reeves. Graves is decidedly less welcoming of Ethel Herdman, whom he describes as "the most tiring woman I know." Riding dubs her "Ether Herdman," and Graves refers to her this way in his diary. Later in the month there is another trip to see the McCormacks, who are planning to travel to Yugoslavia.
In work, Graves and Riding continue with The Smuggler. Graves also writes several chapters of Belisarius and drafts two new poems: "No More Ghosts" and "The Grudge."
Despite poor health and low energy, Riding manages to do further work on the "Letter Book": this month she concentrates on the "Recommendations" (in Part V, The World and Ourselves). She also drafts two poems: "So Far Moonlight" (which becomes "Doom in Bloom") and "Seizure of the World." In addition, she begins to dictate the first few chapters of The Smuggler to Karl. She is disappointed by poor Seizin sales, but reads over Graves' poetry ("Red Dog" needs elaboration, she feels) and continues to work with Graves on The Swiss Ghost. She and Graves play with the idea of starting a school in Deyá.
The end of September sees renewed tension between Graves and his brother Charles. Jenny, it seems, has been playing on Charles' pity, and Charles accuses Graves of "starving" her. The end of the month brings sombre news: Alix's father has died in Germany.

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.
  • Hampstead

  • Regent Park

    London, England
  • Ewhurst

    Ewhurst, Surrey, England
    Highcroft, the house RG and LR rented with Harry and Alix Kemp between July and November 1937, was located there. eds.

People Mentioned

  • Magdalena Marroig

    Marroig Más, Magdalena
    Gelat's daughter. Later married Marcos Colom. WG
  • 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).
  • Alix Kemp

    Kemp, Alix
    Married to poet Harry Kemp. The couple shared a house with Graves and Riding in Ewhurst, Surrey (1937). eds (RPG 277); also referred to as Frau Eierman by RG eds. see Diary August 30, 1936
  • Harry Kemp

    Kemp, Harry
    Poet. Met Graves and Riding through James Reeves in August 1936, just after their arrival in England. In their previous correspondence, Riding had been intrigued by his falling-out with Communism. He became associated with their circle, collaborating on various projects. (RPG 248-49)
  • 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.
  • Marie

    Goldschmidt, Marie
    Karl Goldschmidt's first wife. RPG 280-81. The couple met when Marie was employed as domestic help at Ewhurst (summer 1937). eds.
  • 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.
  • Ethel Herdman

    Herdman, Ethel
    James Reeves' sister RPG; Assistant warden of Ashbourne Hall, Manchester University KG; nicknamed "Ether" by RG and LR, Sept 1937 eds.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Jenny

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

  • 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: Smuggler Scenario [projected screenplay for a Korda film RPG]
    • Author: Graves, Robert/ Riding, Laura
    • Date: 1937-08-26
    • Title: Count Belisarius [1938]
    • Author: Graves, Robert
    • PubPlace: London
    • Publisher: Cassell
    • Idno: A47
    • Date: 1937-07-21
    • Title: No More Ghosts [poem]
    • Title: Collected Poems [1938]
    • Author: Graves, Robert
    • PubPlace: London, Toronto, Melbourne & Sydney
    • Publisher: Cassell
    • Idno: A48
    • Date: 1937-09-20
    • Title: The Grudge [poem]
    • Title: Collected poems [1938]
    • Author: Graves, Robert
    • PubPlace: London, Toronto, Melbourne & Sydney
    • Publisher: Cassell
    • Idno: A48
    • Date: 1937-09-25
    • Title: Letter Book [became The World and Ourselves]
    • Editor: Riding, Laura
    • 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: So Far Moonlight [poem; published as Doom in Bloom]
    • Title: Collected Poems [1938]
    • Author: Riding, Laura
    • PubPlace: London, Toronto, Melbourne & Sydney
    • Publisher: Cassell
    • BiblScope: 360
    • Idno: A35
    • Date: 1937-09-06
    • Title: Seizure of the World [poem]
    • Title: Collected Poems [1938]
    • Author: Riding, Laura
    • PubPlace: London, Toronto, Melbourne & Sydney
    • Publisher: Cassell
    • BiblScope: 362
    • Idno: A35
    • Date: 1937-09-29
    • Title: Red Dog [poem] [Not traced. Apparently not published. DW]
    • Author: Graves, Robert
    • Date: 1937-08-22
    • Title: The Swiss Ghost [formerly The Kind Ghost] [novel]
    • Author: Graves, Robert/ Riding, Laura
    • Date: 1937-04-22