Thursday, 29 May 2008

Robert Graves: "I hope you haven't been taking the casualty lists seriously again!"

At the outbreak of World War I in August 1914, Robert Graves enlisted almost immediately, taking a commission in the Royal Welch Fusiliers (RWF). At the Battle of the Somme he was so badly wounded he was expected to die, and indeed was officially reported as died of wounds. In this letter to his close friend and fellow poet Siegfried Sassoon, Graves talks in jest of the reports of his death, writing that he died on his 21st birthday so he "can never grow up now". This is one of a number of letters and poetry manuscripts digitised by the project from the Robert Graves archive in the Berg Collection, New York Public Library.

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