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

Hercules, My Shipmate

An inventive reimagining of the story of Jason and the Argonauts, this novel by renowned poet and classicist Robert Graves brings heroic figures of Hellenistic myth to life. Graves’ Jason is belligerent, energetic, and full of life, and the society Graves builds for him is outlandish and deeply invested in ancient cults.


Against this primitive, religious backdrop, the charismatic Jason assembles a crew and sets out to retrieve the sacred gold-trimmed fleece that is sacred to Zeus, and that has been stolen by worshippers of the Triple Goddess. Accompanying him is Hercules, a brave warrior known more for his brawn, and his astonishingly good luck, than his brains. Robert Graves builds a compelling world that sets Hellenistic magic and mystery in a surprisingly gritty, realistic setting, a fascinating read for fans of Greek mythology.

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They Hanged My Saintly Billy

A self-confessed forger, cheat, thief, and petty criminal, William Palmer was also a surgeon and a racehorse owner during the Victorian era who doped horses, fixed races, philandered unapologetically, and generally behaved as an all-around rogue. But the crime for which he was condemned was altogether more serious: poisoning numerous members of his family as well as a close friend. Based on the historic trial of a man characterized as a sociopath and a serial killer, Robert Graves tells the story from the defendant’s point of view, the story of a man who was deeply flawed but ultimately not beyond redemption.


Based on a historical trial held in 1856, Robert Graves’ novel is brimming with humor, emotion, and social commentary. Told through the eyes of both friends and enemies, Palmer comes to life as a not-unsympathetic antihero.

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Wife to Mr. Milton

The famous poet John Milton, author of Paradise Lost, had a wife, and their story is both strange and tumultuous. Consummate historical novelist and poet Robert Graves tells the story from the perspective of the wife, Marie Powell, a young woman who married the poet to escape a debt.


From the start, the couple proves mismatched; Milton is a domineering and insensitive husband set on punishing Marie for not providing the promised dowry. John Milton and his young wife are both religiously and temperamentally incompatible, and this portrait of their relationship is spellbinding, if not distinctly unflattering to Milton. It also provides fascinating accounts of the political upheavals of the time, including the execution of Charles I. This book is an excellent read for fans of historical fiction.

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Robert Graves