Milestones: Dec. 16, 1985

DIED. Robert Graves, 90, idiosyncratic, prolific British man of letters who considered himself foremost a poet but who was also a biographer, critic, translator and editor and is probably best known as a historical novelist, most memorably for I, Claudius (1934), a rich reconstruction of Roman life that became a hit mini-series in 1976; in Deia, Majorca, Spain. Graves began publishing his precise, sensuous lyrics while an officer in World War I, during which he was seriously wounded; he recounted that part of his life in the popular autobiography Goodbye to All That (1929). Among his most controversial works was The...

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