During the spring and summer of 2005, after an approach from a Publisher Cecil Woolf, I worked up one of my most successful lectures into a thin volume.
Richard Perceval Graves is the author of more than seventeen published works, ranging from history to computer programming; but his principal work has been as a biographer, with highly acclaimed biographies of A.E. Housman, Richard Hughes and Robert Graves to his credit. He has also written about the Powys brothers and T.E.Lawrence.
Changing Perceptions: The Poets of the Great War
Robert Graves and the White Goddess (1940-1985)
Still in print in the UK and available in the USA.
Good-bye to All That by Robert Graves
It was in 1957 that a middle-aged Robert Graves totally revised the text of his classic autobiography, robbing it of the painfully raw edge that had helped to make it an international bestseller. By cutting out all references to Riding, by deleting passages which revealed the mental strains under which he had laboured, and by meticulously editing the entire text. Graves not only destroyed most of what had made it so powerful, but also removed it from the only context in which it could be fully understood.
Here, with a biographical essay, is an annotated edition of Robert Graves's original work. Still in print in the USA and the UK.
Richard Hughes (1900-1976) combined in one lifetime the roles of dashing adventurer, famous popular author, reclusive sage, and even for a time that of a single cog in a vast bureaucratic machine.
His first play appeared on the London stage while he was still an undergraduate at Oxford , where he was befriended by such men as John Masefield, Robert Graves, T.E.Lawrence and A.E.Coppard. In his twenties he was variously poet, playwright (he wrote the first radio play), reviewer and actor-manager before he turned novelist and wrote his classic account of childhood, A High Wind in Jamaica(1929). By then he had sought adventure in Canada, Morocco, on the high seas, and in the Balkans (where he made speeches on behalf of the Croat nationalists); and his private life had been complicated by a terrifyingly possessive mother, a predilection for pre-pubescent girls, and a failed love-affair which had led in 1926 to a severe nervous breakdown. Later came marriage to the eccentric Frances Bazley, family life at Laugharne Castle (and the friendship of Dylan Thomas), wartime servce in the Admiralty, work on the Ealing comedies, and his best-selling novel The Fox in the Attic (1961), in part a chilling account of the rise of Nazi Germany.
Autographed copies of this book are available for £30 including post and packing.
Robert Graves: the Years with Laura (1926-1940)
In print as a Weidenfeld & Nicolson paperback until recently, but I am told it's no longer available.
How To get Published
Robert Graves: The Assault Heroic (1895-1926)
I embarked upon an epic task of nineteenth-century proportions - a three-volume life of my late uncle Robert Graves. First to appear was The Assault Heroic
A.E.Housman: The Scholar-Poet
Some, notably Philip Larkin, gave The Brothers Powys a warm welcome; others thought it was a waste of time writing about the Powyses - indeed, the reviewer in The Times headed his piece 'A Bunch of Nutters', which drew a stern rebuke some days later from the Powysian scholar Wilson Knight.
Charles Powys's eleven children form one of the most remarkable literary families of modern times. Three of the family have won enduring fame: John Cowper Powys, author of A Glastonbury Romance; Theodore Francis Powys, author of Mr. Weston's Good Wine; and Llewelyn Powys, author of Dorset Essays. There are memorable descriptions of the melancholic and reclusive Theodore in his Dorset retreat; of the tubercular but irrepressible Llewleyn, with his advocacy of sexual freedom and his marriage complicated by a succession of mistresses; and of John, who survived an unhappy marriage and long periods of near-madness to find contentment at last with his chosen companion in a remote village in North Wales.
Lawrence of Arabia and his World
In October 1917 Great Britain had been at war with Germany for three years; as part of that war she had encouraged and supported an Arab Revolt against Germany's ally Turkey.
A young Englishman, Thomas Edward Lawrence, was blowing up Turkish trains on the Damascus-Medina railway line, and rumours of his success were spreading rapidly through the scattered Arabian tribes. 'Send us a lurens', wrote the Beni Atiyeh tribe to the Emir Feisal, one of the leaders of the Revolt, 'and we will blow up trains with it.' 'Lurens' became a legend not only in Arabia, but in the west, and the story of his life has fascinated readers and writers ever since.