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Complete Short Stories


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About the Author

Robert Graves was born in 1895 in Wimbledon. He went from school to the First World War, where he became a captain in the Royal Welch Fusiliers and was seriously wounded at the Battle of the Somme. He wrote his autobiography, Goodbye to All That, in 1929, and it was soon established as a modern classic. He died on 7 December 1985 in Majorca, his home since 1929.


British writer Graves (1895-1985) is perhaps best known for his acclaimed autobiographical narrative, Goodbye to All That (1929), and for his historical novels, I, Claudius (1934) and Claudius the God (1934). He was also an accomplished poet and short story writer. This collection, edited by his daughter, presents in a single volume all of Graves's short fiction. Graves is a master storyteller, and these stories are both masterly and charming. Especially noteworthy are the sweetly humorous tales about school days in Edwardian England and the breezy, gently witty stories about everyday life in Majorca, Graves's adopted home. The stories in this collection are drawn from a number of published sources, including Collected Short Stories (1964). Recommended for all libraries.‘Patrick Sullivan, Manchester Community Technical Coll., Canterbury, Ct.

There is already a Collected Stories, as brought together by the author himself, available in Penguin at less than a third the price of this volume (which is presumably aimed at the academic market). His daughter Lucia, who includes here a number of stories Graves omitted from his 1964 collection, presumes he left them out for lack of space. If so, it was an odd choice; for, as she points out, at least a couple of them, "Esta en su Casa" and "Bins K to T," are among his better efforts, the first a Majorcan tale of rivalry and revenge, the second an extended Edwardian anecdote about a wine-lover's will. On the whole, however, the story is not an area where Graves shines. He once confessed that "pure fiction is beyond my imaginative range," and most of the examples here are accounts, only slightly fictionalized, of things that either happened to him or to his friends and acquaintances. A rather pawky British humor is often in evidence, and the most cherishable tales are generally anecdotes that reflect his affection for Majorca and its people: "A Bicycle in Majorca" and "God Grant Your Honor Many Years" are good examples. But most of the stories are old-fashioned in the worst sense, and this collection will likely be of interest only to devoted Graves admirers. (Dec.)

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