Robert Graves: Death of the Old World and Birth of the New
Robert Graves was born July 24, 1895, in Wimbledon, England. Graves was the eighth of his father’s 10 children. His father, Alfred Graves, married twice and was a scholar and poet. His mother was German, and his birth name, Robert von Ranke Graves, caused problems in the years before, during and after World War I.
As a child, Graves nearly died of pneumonia. He began writing as a school boy and also took up boxing.
“Since the age of 15 poetry has been my ruling passion and I have never intentionally undertaken any task or formed any relationship that seemed inconsistent with poetic principles; which has sometimes won me the reputation of an eccentric,” Graves said.
World War I
When the war began, Graves volunteered. He was wounded in 1916 and wasn’t expected to recover. In 1918, he contracted Spanish Flu.
During the conflict, Graves wrote war-themed poetry and was friends with Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen.
Two collections of war poetry were published, Over the Brazier and Fairies and Fusiliers, although later in life he would distance himself from these works. His autobiography, Goodbye to All That, is said to be in reference to the death of the old world and the new way of life brought about by the war.
Graves’s best known war poems include “When I’m Killed,” “A Dead Boche” and “To Lucasta on Going to the War – for the Fourth Time.”
Graves died December 7, 1985.
Where to Purchase the WWI Trilogy
This post is a companion piece to Melina Druga’s WWI Trilogy: Angel of Mercy, Those Left Behind and Adjustment Year. The trilogy focuses on Hettie and her family as they navigate the challenges and heartbreak World War I brings.
Angel of Mercy: A nurse reluctantly sacrifices her career for marriage. An impending war will change her, and her husband’s, life forever. Available in eBook, paperback and hardcover. Click here for a full list of retailers.
Those Left Behind: The brewing winds of war will soon rip the family apart. Available in eBook, paperback and hardcover. Click here for a full list of retailers.
Adjustment Year: A war nurse returns home. Society expects her to carry on as if the Great War never happened. But how can she? Available in eBook, paperback and hardcover. Click here for a full list of retailers.