British writer Robert Graves came terribly close to joining the 9.7 million other soldiers who died in World War I when his body was tossed among mounds of corpses after it was evacuated from the battlefield and he was listed as officially dead, with notices sent to British newspapers and his family. A shell fragment had shot through his lungs at the Battle of the Somme in France. It was 1916, and he was 21 years old.
Graves went on to live another 69 years after almost literally coming back from the dead, and along the way he established himself as one of the leading figures in 20th century literature, with a prodigious output spanning the worlds of poetry, fiction, short stories and memoir.
He quit writing in his final dozen years only because Alzheimer’s disease descended upon him, robbing him, finally, of all memory.
He had been a deeply learned man, steeped in mythology, father of eight children from ...Read More