Books: Legacy of a Cranky Colossus

The death of Robert Graves ends several eras

Within days of his 21st birthday, the Times of London printed a notice of his death. Fortunately, the whole thing was a mistake. The eight wounds that Robert Graves suffered in July 1916 during the Battle of the Somme in France were serious but not fatal. When the time finally came, last week, for obituaries in earnest, Graves had lived for an additional 69 years. The man who might have been remembered, along with Rupert Brooke and Wilfred Owen, as a bright young British poet snuffed out by war instead hammered himself into a cranky colossus of 20th century literature. His...

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