Robert Graves

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Robert Ranke Graves (24 July 1895 – 7 December 1985)[1] was an English poet, translator and novelist. During his long life he produced more than 140 works. Graves' poems — together with his translations and innovative interpretations of the Greek Myths, his memoir of his early life, including his role in the First World War, Good-bye to All That, and his historical study of poetic inspiration, The White Goddess — have never been out of print.[2]

He earned his living from writing, particularly popular historical novels such as I, Claudius; King Jesus; The Golden Fleece; and Count Belisarius. He also was a prominent translator of Classical Latin and Ancient Greek texts; his versions of The Twelve Caesars and The Golden Ass remain popular today for their clarity and entertaining style. Graves was awarded the 1934 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for both I, Claudius and Claudius the God.[3]



Early life

Graves was born into a middle-class family in Wimbledon in south London. He was the third of five children born to Alfred Perceval Graves (1846–1931), a school inspector, Gaelic scholar, and the author of the popular song 'Father O'Flynn'; and his second wife, Amalie von Ranke (1857–1951). Graves's mother was from a recently-ennobled German family, the eldest daughter of Heinrich Ranke, professor of medicine at the University of Munich, and his wife, Luise. She was also a great-niece of the German historian Leopold von Ranke.[4] Robert Graves' eldest half-brother was Philip Perceval Graves, who achieved note as a journalist.[5] A younger brother was the writer and journalist Charles Patrick Graves.

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