Robert Graves: From Great War Poet to Good-bye to All That (1895-1929), by Jean Moorcroft Wilson
The writer and poet Robert Graves suppressed virtually all the poems he had published during and just after the First World War.
Until his son, William Graves, reprinted almost all the Poems About War in 1988, Graves's status as a ‘war poet’ seems to have depended mainly on his prose memoir Goodbye to All That. None of the previous biographies written on Graves attempt to deal with this paradox in any depth. The suppressed poems themselves have been largely neglected - until now.
Jean Moorcroft Wilson relates Graves' fascinating life during the period from his birth up until the early 1930s: his experiences in the war, his being left for dead at the Battle of the Somme, his move to Spain, and his final ‘goodbye’ to Sassoon in 1933. She traces how Graves' compelling life informed the development of his poetry during the First World War, his thinking about the conflict and his shifting attitude towards it.
Robert Graves: From Great War Poet to Goodbye to All That casts new light on the life, prose and poetry of Graves, without which the story of Great War Poetry is incomplete.
“Wilson unveils the poet behind the man struggling to make, not write, poetry [and] clarifies our understanding of what Graves was about” - Literary Review
“A sensitive rendering of the poet's formative years ... finely nuanced” - Kirkus Reviews