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Goodbye to All That (Penguin Essentials) [Paperback]

Robert Graves
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

7 April 2011 Penguin Essentials

'There has been a lot of fighting hereabouts. The trenches have made themselves rather than been made, and run inconsequently in and out of the big thirty-foot high stacks of bricks; it is most confusing. The parapet of a trench which we don't occupy is built up with ammunition boxes and corpses . . .'

In one of the most honest and candid self-portraits ever committed to paper, Robert Graves tells the extraordinary story of his experiences as a young officer in the First World War. He describes life in the trenches in vivid, raw detail, how the dehumanizing horrors he witnessed left him shell-shocked. They were to haunt him for the rest of his life.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; Re-issue edition (7 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0241951410
  • ISBN-13: 978-0241951415
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 18.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 205,971 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.)

Product Description

Review

One of the classic accounts of the Western Front (The Times)

Wonderful (Jeremy Paxman Daily Mail)

From the moment of its first appearance an established classic (Observer)

One of the most candid self-portraits of a poet, warts and all, ever painted (The Times Literary Supplement)

About the Author

Robert Graves was born in Wimbledon in 1895. 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. He also translated widely and compiled the first modern dictionary of Greek Mythology, The Greek Myths. 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 in 1985.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THE ESSENTIAL AUTOBIOGRAPHY FOR BIOGRAPHERS 29 Aug 2012
Format:Paperback
Robert Graves' autobiographical masterpiece of a relatively privileged late Victorian-Edwardian life that like everyone's comes to be dominated by an immense human disaster is second to none because its content is the forerunner of the modern auto- and biography that follow.
We are used to to the near cliche view that the First World War caused a 'lost generation' of the cream of society, but it is Graves who is the first to express this idea with concise realism and conviction of one who experienced it and survived. In his clear, unambiguous style he depicts the calamity that befell the elite of Britain and Europe circa 1914-18. The catastophe of Trench Warfare is a first-hand account that sets the bar for the more learned Military-War Histories that now dominate the shelves.
As if that were not enough it is Graves' unflinching account of his own personal experiences pre, during and for a short while post-WW1 that brings a fresh, invigorating approach to writing an autobiography: The difficult relations with parents, spous and off-spring as well as the glimpses of the scholastic/social mores of life in Public School and University are given a compassionate but clear-eyed treatment. Not for Graves the rattling off of the great and good, though he knew a fair number, but at the really sharp end of muck, bayonet, bullet, blood and utter confusion that is the best laid plans of Rulers and Generals who saw men as pawns in their power-game.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
5.0 out of 5 stars ALREADY WRITTEN REVIEW BUT HERE'S A HINT... SUPERB 22 Aug 2013
By RAY RIDGE - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I suggest someone at Amazon get's their act together and checks because I submitted a comprehensive and very favourable review of Graves' classic autobiography of the early 20th Century over a year ago. If you haven't read it and are a fan of British socio-political-military thought based on wide ranging experience then Robert Graves' tome about his early life, WW1 and into the 1920s is a MUST READ.
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