I, Claudius From the Autobiography of Tiberius Claudius Born 10 B.C. Murdered and Deified A.D. 54 by Robert Graves
(Vintage International)

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Synopsis

Once a rather bookish young man with a limp and a stammer, a man who spent most of his time trying to stay away from the danger and risk of the line of ascension, Claudius seemed an unlikely candidate for Emperor. Yet, on the death of Caligula, Claudius finds himself next in line for the throne, and must stay alive as well as keep control.

Drawing on the histories of Plutarch, Suetonius, and Gaius Cornelius Tacitus, noted historian and classicist Robert Graves tells the story of the much-maligned Emperor Claudius with both skill and compassion. Weaving important themes throughout about the nature of freedom and safety possible in a safety and a monarchy, Graves’ Claudius is both more effective and more tragic than history typically remembers him. A best-selling novel and one of Graves’ most successful, I, Claudius has been adapted to television, film, theatre, and audio.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Robert Graves (1895-1985) was an English novelist, poet, and translator of Classical Greek and Roman literature, and one of the most prominent English writers of the 20th century. He was an extremely prolific writer, who published more than 140 novels and collections of poetry. In addition to novels and poetry, he published groundbreaking analysis of Greek mythology, as well as 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 in 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, entitled Goodbye to All That. In 1934, Robert Graves was awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for his historical novels dealing with the Roman Emperor Claudius.

 

About Robert Graves

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Robert Graves was born in 1895 in London and served in World War I. Goodbye to All That: an Autobiography (1929), was published at age thirty three, and gave a gritty portrait of his experiences in the trenches. Graves edited out much of the stark reality of the book when he revised it in 1957. Although his most popular works, I, Claudius (1934) and its sequel, Claudius the God and His Wife Messalina (1935), were produced for television by the BBC in 1976 and seen in America on Masterpiece Theater, he was also famous as a poet, producing more than 50 volumes of poetry. Also a distinguished academic, Graves was a professor of English in Cairo, Egypt, in 1926, a poetry professor at Oxford in the 1960s, and a visiting lecturer at universities in England and the U.S. He wrote translations of Greek and Latin works, literary criticism, and nonfiction works on many other topics, including mythology and poetry. He lived most of his life in Majorca, Spain, and died after a protracted illness in 1985.
 
Published March 6, 2014 by RosettaBooks. 472 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Biographies & Memoirs, War, Cooking, Sports & Outdoors. Fiction

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Though produced on video in 1976, the BBC’s 13-hour adaptation of Robert Graves’ novel remains an astonishing achievement.

Mar 28 2012 | Read Full Review of I, Claudius From the Autobiog...

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