Enclosure – Letter to RG from Sam Graves

St. Christopher
July 2 nd , 1937
Dear Robert,
Thank you so much for your coins, they were very interesting indeed. I am so sorry for not writing to you before, but circumstances keep occurring which hindered me, and I am going to make this letter as long as possible, especially when you are in bed.
Your letter was very welcoming and I have still got it in my locker
I think.
I am in bed too, for the second time, but I am afraid that you are much worse off than I am.
There is an examination for me at the end of this term and I hope I will go through it.
Nancy, Geoffrey, David, Catherine and I are going to camp in the holidays for a fortnight immediately after school.
[figure - figure: drawing of a horse]
There is some work to do even in bed, because I want to get them done before next week.
It is very sad about your throat operation and I hope you will get better soon and I should very much like to stay with you at Ewhurst, especially with Jenny, David and Catherine.
I have only a bad cough and I was going to play in the 2 nd eleven tomorrow in an away match.
Once I had to retire as a batsman in a game of cricket
and once I made the most runs in another.
My two faults at my lessons are that I cannot catch up finishing my essays easily and that I giggle with my friend Merril Hart.
Anyway, I am said to be the only perfect pupil at French Grammar in my group of 11, and some are some years older than I am!
However, I have to keep looking up the vocabulary when I
read a French book, as I don't know all the words yet.
I like geometry very much but I am not good at sums, well, I mean that I am quite ignorant of some and forget their methods of calculating. Catherine could have helped me simply. The mathematics teacher told one of her pupils to teach me a sum about interest and %, but I could not understand him because he just dashed away muttering the numbers,
and practically never told me how and why and what to do and so on.
Geography [sic: Geograph] is all very well but the group learned last term something which I did not know about Australasia [sic: Australiasia] and the table at which I sit is usually [sic: usaully] far away from the teacher (we just bag our tables, by putting our books on them and also on those for our friends).
At craft I am quite keen on it but I was very bad at my toast rack and delayed myself on making it until it
got lost. Then yesterday I began again with fresh hope and zeal and I got much further in time, about some minutes compared with some days.
I am hoping to make a kite, but there is no one who is keen enough (a boy, I want) to help and share in it.
Just now another letter came in from you by Merril1 and I was ever so pleased when I recognised your writing on the envelope.
It must have been awful not to have
eaten all that week but I am glad that you have passed it.
It is certainly good news about your friend Gelat being free from prison again.
I wonder what its like in a prison. I expect that everything would be boring, and little of nature, horrid food, and hard-working. Still, he's out, and that's what matters.
I am helping to build a pavillion for the sportsground. We are making the framework for the
We are going to have a cinema for our school (perhaps because of the school film-education method campaign) and also a swimming bath, (perhaps you have already heard of it).
I hope you will all be very happy in your new "home" (is your Majorcan home a permanent one?) which you call Ewhurst (nice name, I think).
Robert and Laura and Karl, if possible, do come and see me, as I really feel rather
lonely and I am longing to show you around this really big school and so on.
If you will come, please come on a Saturday, because I find Sundays rather dull and very little people about but tell me first won't you? – because I may be away at camp or things like that.
Nancy cannot come because she is too busy.
I wish I could have seen the Royal Air Display at Hendon, as I am so very keen on aero-
planes, you know.
I want to be an air pilot and get some money for Nancy so that she can cover our family costs and so on.
I want to fly all kinds of air-craft, right from a small biplane to the "Ensign" monoplanes, if ever I do get a chance.
My handicap is my deafness, so I could not hear very well through wireless.
If I want to be trained I must be-
[figure - figure: two planes sketched in top margin]
gin my training at about over 15 or at 17 years of age.
All the same, I'll write some books, I hope, after your profession [sic: proffesion].
I am good at chemistry, I find, and enjoy myself very much writing about the interesting experiments as much as seeing them.
Please give my love to Laura and Karl and be happy and cheerful!!!! [figure - figure: wiggly exclamation point]
I shall see you again, with much love from XXX SAM XXX

Editorial Notes

1Sam's friend Merril Hart? See page 4 of this letter. eds

Hands Referenced

Places Mentioned

  • 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

  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Nancy

    Nicholson, Nancy
    (1899-1977) First wife of Robert Graves; married 1918, separated 1927, divorced 1949. eds.
  • Geoffrey Phibbs

    Taylor (formerly Phibbs), Geoffrey
    Came from Ireland to join the Graves/Riding circle in London (1929): became involved in a relationship foursome with R.G., L.R .and N.N. which resulted in a crisis and LR's dramatic suicide attempt. Lived with Nancy Nicholson and RG's children for several years. RG and LR also referred to him as the Devil. RPG
  • Catherine

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

Organizations Mentioned

  • Editors

    Editors of the Graves Diary Project.