Claudius has survived the murderous intrigues of his predecessors to become, reluctantly, Emperor of Rome. Here he recounts his surprisingly successful reign: how he cultivates the loyalty of the army and the common people to repair the damage caused by Caligula; his relations with the Jewish King Herod Agrippa; and his invasion of Britain. But the growing paranoia of absolute power and the infidelity of his promiscuous young wife Messalina mean that his good fortune will not last forever. In this second part of Robert Graves's fictionalized autobiography, Claudius - wry, rueful, always inquisitive - brings to life some of the most scandalous and violent times in history.
Includes an introduction by Barry Unsworth, as well as explanatory footnotes.
About the Author
Robert Ranke Graves (1895-1985) was a British poet, novelist, and critic. He is best known for the historical novel I, Claudius and the critical study of myth and poetry The White Goddess. He wrote his autobiography, Goodbye to All That, in 1929, and it was soon established as a modern classic. 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.
Barry Unsworth is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and holds an honorary doctorate from Manchester University. He is the author of 15 novels, among them 'Sacred Hunger', which won the 1992 Booker Prize. 'Pascali's Island' (1980) and 'Morality Play' (1995) were shortlisted for the same prize. His most recent novel 'The Ruby in Her Navel' is due for publication in 2006. He lives in Italy.