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Antigua, Penny, Puce [Paperback]

Robert Graves
2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Oct 1968
The Antigua, Penny, Puce is the rarest and most beautiful stamp in the world. That was how the auctioneer announced it, and from that moment the feud began in earnest, for as children they had agreed to share Oliver's schoolboy stamp collection, and Jane now wanted her rightful share.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New impression edition (Oct 1968)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140006052
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140006056
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 13 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 195,879 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robert Graves was born in 1895 in Wimbledon, the son of Irish writer Perceval Graves and Amalia Von Ranke. He went from school to the First World War, where he became a captain in the Royal Welch Fusiliers. After this, apart from a year as Professor of English Literature at Cairo University in 1926, he earned his living by writing, mostly historical novels, including: I, Claudius; Claudius the God; Count Belisarius; Wife of Mr Milton; Sergeant Lamb of the Ninth; Proceed, Sergeant Lamb; The Golden Fleece; They Hanged My Saintly Billy; and The Isles of Unwisdom. He wrote his autobiography, Goodbye to All That, in 1929, and it was soon established as a modern classic. The Times Literary Supplement acclaimed it as 'one of the most candid self portraits of a poet, warts and all, ever painted', as well as being of exceptional value as a war document. Two of his most discussed non-fiction works are The White Goddess, which presents a new view of the poetic impulse, and The Nazarine Gospel Restored (with Joshua Podro), a re-examination of primitive Christianity. He also translated Apuleius, Lucan and Suetonius for the Penguin Classics, and compiled the first modern dictionary of Greek Mythology, The Greek Myths. His translation of The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám (with Omar Ali-Shah) is also published in Penguin. He was elected Professor of Poetry at Oxford in 1961 and made an Honorary Fellow of St John's College, Oxford, in 1971.

Robert Graves died on 7 December 1985 in Majorca, his home since 1929. On his death The Times wrote of him, 'He will be remembered for his achievements as a prose stylist, historical novelist and memorist, but above all as the great paradigm of the dedicated poet, "the greatest love poet in English since Donne".'

(Image courtesy of The William Graves Collection.)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Some things are best left as memories 12 Jun 2013
By Kentish Woman VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had vague memories of reading this many years ago and loving it. Either my memory is faulty or my tastes have changed dramatically. I gave up after about one chapter - it was all too tiresome
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This book charts a multi-layered battle of the sexes in a satirical, “near future” Britain of the late 1930s. In many ways its themes are timeless and the skirmishes it relates are all too familiar. In others, it has dated considerably and the pre-occupations of the characters seem ludicrous or even incomprehensible. This gives the reader an interesting perspective on the effects of now outdated convention on a writer who was known in his time for his unconventional attitudes. Fans of Graves’ historical novels may find the book’s scope disappointingly limited, but it is still worth some attention. It may likewise appeal to fans of Kingsley Amis or Anthony Burgess.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars too clever by half 16 July 2011
By gille liath TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Whilst really a variation on his favourite theme - that women are much more interesting than men, himself presumably excepted - this is very different in tone from Graves' best-known books. A frothy, cynical comedy, it's more like something you might expect Huxley or Waugh to have produced. A brother and sister, tehbleh middle clahss, fall out over a valuable postage stamp and resort to increasingly radical stratagems to get hold of it. Graham Greene compared it to the Marx Brothers. That was apt (allowing for the fact that it's a middlebrow English `society' novel), and it would probably work very well as a film - better, in fact, than it works as a book.

Although it is witty, inventive and well-observed, with Graves taking the reader into his confidence in a very post-modern manner, ultimately it is wearing - as Marx Brothers routines can be wearing - because the situations are improbable and the characters repellent. Graves anticipates this criticism and sneers at it in advance: `it will not "live", it is not wholesome, it does not depict decent characters, and yet it ran away with the whole Spring season!' But sadly, that doesn't make the criticism any less valid.

At one point he even has the cheek to allege that Three Men in a Boat works only because the `jokes' are alternated with `sickening sentiment' (you can feel his resentment at the fact that England's acknowledged comic masterpiece was produced by someone who had been a `dashed low' railway clerk). But no, Bob, not exactly. Three Men works because it makes us feel we know the protagonists, that their flaws are characteristic and likeable; and because it draws out the ridiculousness of familiar situations we can all identify with. Laughter is, after all, a sort of sublimated sympathy. To find comedy really funny, you actually have to care what happens.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Antigua, Penny, Puce 4 May 2009
I was amazed at how fast I received the book and the excellent condition in which it was even though it was a 'used' book.
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