Riding's Lives of Wives is sent off to Cassell's on 1 February, and Graves and Riding check the last scenes of Greeks and Trojans before sending it off to Watt a few days later. Hodge and Graves continue with the Dictionary, and Hodge and Riding work on Year of Damage. Riding is also going over Hodge's Journeys. Riding and Graves resurrect The Swiss Ghost, and Graves reads over the Left Heresy proofs.
This month Graves drafts several new poems: "A Love Story" (about moon and frost), another about cats, "A Portrait of Little Jacob" (based on a dream) and "Meum and Tuum,"1 which becomes "The Thieves." Riding drafts several poems as well: "A Lesson Starting with Stars," "Rubber" and a longer one, provisionally "Gods." McIntyre of Little, Brown sends a cable in response to the Dictionary letter, and all outstanding concerns about the project are resolved. Riding and Graves also write a joint letter to the Sunday Times; it is published later in the month.
Joyce Reeves arrives for an extended visit, which proves trying for everyone. Writes Graves, "Joyce is making god-awful aggressive remarks: trying Riding's hostess spirit," and "Joyce is such a bore: coughing all over everything & making crude remarks." Later Joyce loses her voice, but "nobody minds." And finally, "Joyce went: thank God." But she leaves behind her flu, and everyone catches it.
Honor also writes to suggest a visit, her long silence explained by a letter gone astray and her new pregnancy (the baby is due in July).
Generally the evenings are quiet. Graves and company play Russian billiards and make plans to travel to America in the spring. As always, late-night walks are favoured: "A walk ... through the mist - full moon somewhere - with all of us at midnight to the station ... home to tea and anchovy-toast."
The friends also celebrate Beryl's birthday, and have "lunch at Chez Metayer (guinea fowl & salad) in honour of the demise of Yeats."
There are six enclosures this month:
  • 1. Clipping from Time and Tide: a review of Graves' Collected Poems and Riding's Collected Poems
  • 2. Graves' response to the Time and Tide review of Riding's Collected Poems (2 pages)
  • 3. Letter from Graves to Time and Tide
  • 4. Letter from Graves to the Daily Mail: "Robert Graves's Poems"
  • 5. Note written by Graves
  • 6. Clipping from the Sunday Times of a Letter by Graves and Riding: "Our 'Modern' Poetry" (2 pages)

Editorial Notes

1"Mine and Yours" eds

Hands Referenced

Places Mentioned

  • Chez Metayer

    Rennes, Brittany, France
    restaurant eds.

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.
  • Alan

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

    McIntyre, Alfred R.
    president of Little, Brown & Co. (publishers) eds.
  • Joyce Reeves

    Reeves, Joyce
    Sister of James Reeves. AMG 287.
  • 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).
  • Beryl

    Pritchard, Beryl
    daughter of Harry and Amy Pritchard, R.G.'s second wife. Formerly married to Alan Hodge. Robert and Beryl had four children: William, Lucia, Juan and Tomas. eds
  • Yeats

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

  • Cassell and Company Ltd.

    Publishers of Robert Graves' Collected Poems [1938], and the novel Count Belisarius [1938].
  • 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
  • Little, Brown & Co.

    Little, Brown & Co.
    Publisher in Boston who agreed to take on LR's Dictionary of Related Meanings in 1938 eds.
  • Editors

    Editors of the Graves Diary Project.


    • Title: Lives of Wives [prose]
    • Author: Riding, Laura
    • PubPlace: London, Toronto, Melbourne & Sydney
    • Publisher: Cassell and Co. Ltd.
    • Idno: A39
    • Date: 1939
    • Title: Trojan Ending [dramatised version based on Laura Riding's book; later called Greeks and Trojans]
    • Author: Graves, Robert
    • Date: 1938-01
    • Title: Dictionary [projected project; unfinished]
    • Author: Riding, Laura
    • Date: 1935
    • Title: Year of Damage [novel]
    • Author: Hodge, Alan
    • Date: 1936-12
    • Title: The Swiss Ghost [formerly The Kind Ghost] [novel]
    • Author: Graves, Robert/ Riding, Laura
    • Date: 1937-04-22
    • Title: The Left Heresy in Literature and Life [the essay "Politics and Poetry" comprises the closing section of this book.(RPG 278) eds.]
    • Author: Kemp, Harry/ Riding, Laura/ others
    • Editor: Riding, Laura
    • PubPlace: London
    • Publisher: Methuen
    • Idno: B29
    • Date: 1939
    • Title: A Love Story [poem]
    • Title: No More Ghosts [1940]
    • Author: Graves, Robert
    • PubPlace: London
    • Publisher: Faber & Faber
    • Idno: A50
    • Date: 1939-02-04
    • Title: Portrait of Little Jacob, A [poem: became "Dream of a Climber". See Complete Poems, Vol. II, pp. 133-34, 323-24 (note). DW]
    • Author: Graves, Robert
    • Date: 1939-02-15
    • Title: Thieves, The [poem]
    • Title: No More Ghosts [1940]
    • Author: Graves, Robert
    • PubPlace: London
    • Publisher: Faber & Faber
    • Idno: A50
    • Date: 1939-02-19
    • Title: Sunday Times [Sunday newspaper]
    • PubPlace: London
    • Publisher: Hutchinson; Times Newspapers
    • Title: Time & Tide [political magazine (1920-1977) founded by Lady Margaret Rhondda. eds.]
    • PubPlace: London
    • Title: Collected Poems [1938]
    • Author: Graves, Robert
    • PubPlace: London, Toronto, Melbourne & Sydney
    • Publisher: Cassell and Co. Ltd
    • Idno: A48
    • Date: 1938
    • Title: Collected Poems [1938]
    • Author: Riding, Laura
    • PubPlace: London, Toronto, Melbourne & Sydney
    • Publisher: Cassell and Co. Ltd
    • Idno: A35
    • Date: 1938
    • Title: Daily Mail [Newspaper]
    • PubPlace: London, England
    • Date: 1896