APRIL 1938

In work, April is a productive month. Proofs of Riding's Collected Poems are sent to the publisher, and the T. E. Lawrence proofs are sent to the Trustees. Graves completes drafts of three new poems, "The China Plate," "To the Sovereign Muse (II)" (which later becomes "In Your Name," and then "At First Sight") and "Easter Still" (although before the end of the month, Riding will convince Graves that the latter should be discarded). Riding rewrites the first scene of Graves' dramatic version of A Trojan Ending, and the title given to this project is Greeks and Trojans. Graves also continues work on his book about Riding, devotes more time to The Smuggler, and with Riding does a bit more on The Swiss Ghost.
Riding continues Lives of Wives, and drafts the preamble to the "Protocols" project. Graves and Riding consider various titles for the project; eventually Riding comes up with "Covenant of Literal Morality." The typescript of The World and Ourselves comes back from Watt, and Riding and Graves discuss formats and costs with the printer. Norman Cameron continues to work with Riding on Rimbaud translations. (Cameron's servant girl Mitzi is still ill, and Norman must pay to send her back to Austria.)
Socially the month is subdued, though Mary Lucy visits on her way back to Ireland, and Riding and Graves entertain close friends in the evenings. In Graves' mind, "Easter depression is in the air," dimming his delight in an otherwise pleasant spring. Jenny must work to convince him to join her on a Good Friday walk through Hyde Park. Easter Sunday itself is very quiet: Karl and Marie take the day off, and there is not a single telephone call. Graves retires early to bed. Later in the month there is a visit from Sally Chilver, who has been ill with "some Egyptian germ." Graves continues making necklaces from old beads for the women in his life. This month he gives one to Marie, one to Jenny and one to Catherine, and makes several more.
The papers are beginning to carry accounts of the fate of the Jews of Europe, but without editorial commentary on the situation. Riding writes a letter to the Daily Telegraph about the dangers of anti-Semitism, but the newspaper does not print it. Honor offers to write it up as an article. Graves tries to organize getting Karl out of Europe to Canada; he visits High Commissioner Mike Pearson, who is apparently "disgusted with the general political situation."
A small tragedy hits closer to home: Solace the cat is admitted to a veterinary hospital with a flu. She seems to be recovering, but then unexpectedly dies.
There are three enclosures this month:

Hands Referenced

People Mentioned

  • Laura

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

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

    Miaja, General José
    (1878-1958) General in the Spanish Army eds.
  • Mary Lucy

    Lucy, Mary
    Visited R.G. and L.R. at Ewhurst. An admirer of both Graves and Riding, but her marital problems brought tensions to their household. See diary entry January 2, 1938 (and K.G. note).
  • Jenny

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

    Graves, Sally
    R.G.'s niece. Daughter of his half-brother Philip. KG
  • Catherine

    Nicholson, Catherine
    Catherine Nicholson: (1922- ) third of four children of Robert Graves and Nancy Nicholson. eds.
  • 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).
  • Mike Pearson

    Pearson, Lester
    (1897-1972) Canadian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom; m. to Maryon Pearson (née Moody). Later became Prime Minister of Canada. eds.
  • Clough Williams Ellis

    Williams-Ellis, Clough
    (1883 -1978), architect and landscape designer; married to (Mary) Amabel (Nassau Strachey, b. 1893/4) eds.
  • 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.

Organizations Mentioned

  • T.E. Lawrence Trustees

    T.E. Lawrence Trustees
    Trustees of the T.E. Lawrence estate (Arnie Lawrence was the executor) with whom R.G. had extensive dealings over copyright issues. eds.
  • A.S. Watt & Son, Ltd.

    Watt, A.S.
    RG's literary agent: first mentioned in November, 1935; team includes: Alexander Strahan Watt, and W.P. Watt et al, who may have handled different aspects of Graves' extensive European publishing and distribution. The firm replaced Eric Pinker. K.G. When did Pinker go, and why? KG
  • Editors

    Editors of the Graves Diary Project.


    • Title: Collected Poems [1938]
    • Author: Riding, Laura
    • PubPlace: London, Toronto, Melbourne & Sydney
    • Publisher: Cassell and Co. Ltd
    • Idno: A35
    • Date: 1938
    • Title: T.E. Lawrence to His Biographer
    • Author: Lawrence, T.E.
    • Editor: Graves, Robert
    • PubPlace: New York
    • Publisher: Doubleday, Doran & Co., Inc.
    • Idno: A49
    • Date: 1938
    • Title: China Plate, The [poem]
    • Title: Collected Poems [1938]
    • Author: Graves, Robert
    • PubPlace: London, Toronto, Melbourne & Sudney
    • Publisher: Cassel
    • Idno: A48
    • Date: 1938-04-15
    • Title: To the Sovereign Muse [poem]
    • Title: Collected Poems (1938)
    • Author: Graves, Robert
    • PubPlace: London, Toronto, Melbourne & Sydney
    • Publisher: Cassell
    • Idno: A48
    • Date: 1938-11
    • Title: At First Sight [poem; formerly To the Sovereign Muse (II), then In Your Name. See diary Apr. 24, 25 and May 17,1938. eds. Check titles on drafts in Buffalo. DW]
    • Title: Collected Poems (1938)
    • Author: Graves, Robert
    • PubPlace: London, Toronto, Melbourne & Sydney
    • Publisher: Cassell
    • Idno: A48
    • Date: 1938-11
    • Title: Easter Still [poem? "destroyed." See diary Apr. 25, 1938]
    • Author: Graves, Robert
    • Date: 1938-04-16
    • Title: Trojan Ending, A [novel]
    • Author: Riding, Laura
    • PubPlace: Deyá & London
    • Publisher: Seizin & Constable
    • Date: 1937
    • Title: Smuggler Scenario [projected screenplay for a Korda film RPG]
    • Author: Graves, Robert/ Riding, Laura
    • Date: 1937-08-26
    • Title: The Swiss Ghost [formerly The Kind Ghost] [novel]
    • Author: Graves, Robert/ Riding, Laura
    • Date: 1937-04-22
    • Title: Lives of Wives [prose]
    • Author: Riding, Laura
    • PubPlace: London, Toronto, Melbourne & Sydney
    • Publisher: Cassell and Co. Ltd.
    • Idno: A39
    • Date: 1939
    • Title: Covenant of Literal Morality, The [subtitle Protocol I; privately printed]
    • Author: Aldridge, John, Dorothy Hutchinson, Lucie Brown, Ward Hutchinson, George Buchanan, Alix Kemp, Mary Buchanan, Hary Kemp, Norman Cameron, Len Lye, Gordon Glover, Albert Mills, Robert Graves, Mary Phillips, Sally Graves, Beryl Pritchard, Liddell Hart, David
    • Editor: Riding, Laura
    • PubPlace: Bristol
    • Publisher: Western Printing Services Ltd.
    • Idno: A37
    • Date: 1938
    • 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: Translation [prose: unpublished?]
    • Author: Graves, Robert, Riding Laura
    • Date: 1936-02
    • Title: Daily Telegraph
    • PubPlace: London
    • Date: 1856-1936
    • Title: Spectator
    • PubPlace: London
    • Publisher: F.C. Westley
    • Date: 1828-
    • Title: Sunday Times [Sunday newspaper]
    • PubPlace: London
    • Publisher: Hutchinson; Times Newspapers
    • Title: Count Belisarius [1938]
    • Author: Graves, Robert
    • PubPlace: London
    • Publisher: Cassell
    • Idno: A47
    • Date: 1937-07-21