Robert von Ranke Graves - Biography and Works

Robert von Ranke Graves also known as Robert Graves is a British poet and novelist. Educated at Charterhouse and Oxford, Graves became professor of English at Cairo, and after 1929 he lived mainly in Majorca. His early poetry was written during the First World War, but he is better known for his later work which is individualistic and cannot be associated with any school or movement.

Robert Graves (1895-1985)

His best known novels are I, Claudius and its sequel, Claudius the God (both 1934), which were adopted for television in 1976. He wrote several autobiographical works, notably Goodbye to All That (1929) and Occupation Writer (1950), published critical essays, carried out Greek and Latin translations, and was professor of poetry at Oxford (1961-6). His Collected Poems (1975) runs to over 20 volumes.

His writing reflects his keen interest in classics and mythology. Graves’ poem 'Down, Wanton, Down!' makes a serious point about the blindness of lust:

“Down, wanton, down! Have you no shame
That at the whisper of Love’s name,
Or Beauty’s, presto! Up you raise
Your angry head and stand at gaze?”

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