Robert Graves

Robert Graves (1895–1985) was an English novelist, poet, and translator of classical Greek and Roman literature, and one of the most celebrated English writers of the 20th century. Graves published more than 140 novels and collections of poetry, groundbreaking analyses of Greek mythology, and a memoir. Graves is best known for his historical novels, which include I, Claudius, Claudius, the God, The Golden Fleece, King Jesus, and Count Belisarius.


Robert Graves served in combat during World War I and was gravely wounded at the Battle of the Somme. Following his recovery, he wrote several works of war poetry as well as a memoir of his time in combat, Goodbye to All That. In 1934, Robert Graves was awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for his historical novels that explain the life of the Roman Emperor Claudius. Among his books for young readers are Greek Gods and Heroes and The Siege and Fall of Troy. He dedicated Ann at Highwood Hall to two of his grandchildren, Georgina and David Graves.

Featured Books By Author

The Reader Over Your Shoulder

In late October 1939, Robert Graves wrote to Alan Hodge: "I have begun a new book, about English." Graves and Hodge had recently completed a social history of the between-wars period called The Long Week-End. Now they embarked on this new project, "a handbook for writers of English Prose," to be called The Reader Over Your Shoulder.

The world was in total upheaval. Graves had already fled Majorca three years earlier at the start of the Spanish Civil War. As they labored over their new writing project, Graves and Hodge witnessed the fall of France and the evacuation of Allied forces at Dunkirk. In early September 1940 began the bombing of London by the German Luftwaffe, a concentrated effort to destroy the resolve of the English people. Graves’s and Hodge’s idea was simple enough: at a time when their whole world was falling apart, the survival of English prose sentences, of writing that was clear, concise, intelligible, had become paramount if hope were going to survive the onslaught. They came up with forty-one principles for writing, the majority devoted to clarity, the remainder to grace of expression. They studied the prose of a wide range of noted authors and leaders, finding much room for improvement. Quoting grammarian and bestselling author Patricia T. O’Conner from her new introduction, "With a new war to be won, the kingdom couldn’t afford careless, sloppy English. Good communication was critical."

The book they would write would turn out to be one of the most erudite, and at the same time one of the most spontaneous and inspired, ever to take on the challenge of writing well. O’Conner in her introduction describes The Reader Over Your Shoulder as nothing less than "the best book on writing ever published." The present edition restores, for the first time in three-quarters of a century, the original, 1943, text, which in subsequent printings and editions had been shortened by over 150 pages, including much of the heart of the book.

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Hebrew Myths

This is a comprehensive look at the stories that make up the Old Testament and the Jewish religion, including the folk tales, apocryphal texts, midrashes, and other little-known documents that the Old Testament and the Torah do not include. In this exhaustive study, Robert graves provides a fascinating account of pre-Biblical texts that have been censored, suppressed, and hidden for centuries, and which now emerge to give us a clearer view of Hebrew myth and religion than ever.


Venerable classicist and historian Robert Graves recounts the ancient Hebrew stories, both obscure and familiar, with a rich sense of storytelling, culture, and spirituality. This book is sure to be riveting to students of Jewish or Judeo-Christian history, culture, and religion.

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King Jesus

In Graves’ unique retelling of his life, Jesus is very much a mortal, and the grandson of King Herod the Great. When his father runs afoul of the King’s temper and is executed, Jesus is raised in the house of Joseph the Carpenter. The kingdom he is heir to, in this version of the story, is very much a terrestrial one: the Kingdom of Judea. Graves tells of Jesus’ rise as a philosopher, scriptural scholar, and charismatic speaker in sharp detail, as well as his arrest and downfall as a victim of pitiless Roman politics.


Bringing together his unparalleled narrative skill and in-depth expertise in historical scholarship, renowned classicist and historical novelist Robert Graves brings the story of Jesus Christ to life in a strikingly unorthodox way, making this one of the most hotly contested novels Graves ever wrote, and possibly one of the most controversial ever written. It provides a fascinating new twist to a well-known story, one that fans of this historical period are sure to love.

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Robert Graves