1958 (2nd Edition)
|Media type||Print (hardback & paperback)|
|821/.912 B 20|
|LC Class||PR6013.R35 Z5 1990|
Good-Bye to All That is an autobiography by Robert Graves which first appeared in 1929, when the author was 34 years old. "It was my bitter leave-taking of England," he wrote in a prologue to the revised second edition of 1957, "where I had recently broken a good many conventions".The title may also point to the passing of an old order following the cataclysm of the First World War; the supposed inadequacies of patriotism, the interest of some in atheism, feminism, socialism and pacifism, the changes to traditional married life, and not least the emergence of new styles of literary expression, are all treated in the work, bearing as they did directly on Graves' life. The unsentimental and frequently comic treatment of the banalities and intensities of the life of a British army officer in the First World War gave Graves fame, notoriety and financial security, but the book's subject is also his family history, childhood, schooling and, immediately following the war, early married life; all phases bearing witness to the "particular mode of living and thinking" that constitute a poetic sensibility.
Laura Riding, Graves' lover, is credited with being a "spiritual and intellectual midwife" to the work.
Graves undertook climbing, stating "the sport made all others seem trivial." His first climb was Crib y Ddysgl, followed by climbs on Crib Goch and Y Lliwedd. 61–66:
Graves goes on to claim, "In English preparatory and public schools romance is necessarily homosexual. The opposite sex is despised and treated as something obscene. Many boys never recover from this perversion. For every one born homosexual, at least ten permanent pseudo-homosexuals are made by the public school system: nine of these ten as honourably chaste and sentimental as I was." 19:
A large part of the book is taken up by his experience of the First World War, in which Graves served as a lieutenant, then captain in the Royal Welch Fusiliers, with Siegfried Sassoon. Good-Bye to All That provides a detailed description of trench warfare, including the tragic incompetence of the Battle of Loos, including the use of gas, and the bitter fighting in the first phase of the Somme Offensive. At one point Graves agrees with his C.S.M., "Of course, it's murder, you bloody fool, And there's nothing else for it, is there?" 141–168,205–226:
Graves claimed, "At least one in three of my generation at school died; because they all took commissions as soon as they could, most of them in the infantry and Royal Flying Corps. The average life expectancy of an infantry subaltern on the Western Front was, at some stages of the War, only about three months; by which time he had been either wounded or killed." 59:
Regarding trench conditions and Cuinchy-bred rats, Graves stated, "They came up from the canal, fed on the plentiful corpses, and multiplied exceedingly." 138:
In the Somme engagement, Graves was wounded while leading his men through the cemetery at Bazentin-le-petit church on 20 July 1916. The wound initially appeared so severe that military authorities erroneously reported to his family that he had died. While mourning his death, Graves's family received word from him that he was alive, and put an announcement to that effect in the newspapers. Graves later regretted omitting from the book the name of the soldier who had rescued him, Owen Roberts. The two met again fifty years later in a hospital ward to which both had been admitted for surgery, after which Graves signed Roberts' copy of the book, giving Roberts full credit for saving his life.
The book contains a second-hand description of the killing of German prisoners of war by British troops. Although Graves had not witnessed any and knew of no large massacres, he had been told about a number of incidents in which prisoners had been killed individually or in small groups. Consequently, he was led to believe that a proportion of Germans who surrendered never made it to prisoner-of-war camps. "Nearly every instructor in the mess", he wrote, "could quote specific instances of prisoners having been murdered on the way back. The commonest motives were, it seems, revenge for the death of friends or relatives, jealousy of the prisoner's trip to a comfortable prison camp in England, military enthusiasm, fear of being suddenly overpowered by the prisoners or, more simply, impatience with the escorting job." Similarly, "If a German patrol found a wounded man, they were likely as not to cut his throat." 131,183–184:
Graves wrote, "Executions were frequent in France. I had my first direct experience of official lying when I arrived at Le Havre in May 1915, and read the back-files of army Orders at the rest camp. They contained something like twenty reports of men shot for cowardice or desertion..." 240–241:
Graves was severely traumatised by his war experience. After being wounded in the lung by a shell blast, he endured a squalid five-day train journey with unchanged bandages. During initial military training in England, he received an electric shock from a telephone that had been hit by lightning, which caused him for the next twelve years to stammer and sweat badly if he had to use one. Upon his return home, he describes being haunted by ghosts and nightmares.
According to Graves, "My particular disability was neurasthenia." He went on to say, "Shells used to come bursting on my bed at midnight...strangers in daytime would assume the faces of friends who had been killed." Offered a chance to rejoin George Mallory in climbing, Graves declined, "I could never again now deliberately take chances with my life."
Siegfried Sassoon and his friend Edmund Blunden (whose First World War service had been in a different regiment) took umbrage at the contents of the book. Sassoon's complaints mostly related to Graves's depiction of him and his family, whereas Blunden had read the memoirs of J. C. Dunn and found them at odds with Graves in some places.The two men took Blunden's copy of Good-Bye to All That and made marginal notes contradicting some of the text. That copy survives and is held by the New York Public Library. Graves's father, Alfred Perceval Graves, also incensed at some aspects of Graves's book, wrote a riposte to it titled To Return to All That.
Robert von Ranke Graves was a British poet, historical novelist, critic, and classicist. His father was Alfred Perceval Graves, a celebrated Irish poet and figure in the Gaelic revival; they were both Celticists and students of Irish mythology. Graves produced more than 140 works in his lifetime. His poems, his translations and innovative analysis of the Greek myths, his memoir of his early life—including his role in World War I—Good-Bye to All That, and his speculative study of poetic inspiration, The White Goddess, have never been out of print.
Siegfried Loraine Sassoon was an English poet, writer, and soldier. Decorated for bravery on the Western Front, he became one of the leading poets of the First World War. His poetry both described the horrors of the trenches and satirised the patriotic pretensions of those who, in Sassoon's view, were responsible for a jingoism-fuelled war. Sassoon became a focal point for dissent within the armed forces when he made a lone protest against the continuation of the war in his "Soldier's Declaration" of 1917, culminating in his admission to a military psychiatric hospital; this resulted in his forming a friendship with Wilfred Owen, who was greatly influenced by him. Sassoon later won acclaim for his prose work, notably his three-volume fictionalised autobiography, collectively known as the "Sherston trilogy".
Wilfred Edward Salter Owen MC was an English poet and soldier. He was one of the leading poets of the First World War. His war poetry on the horrors of trenches and gas warfare was much influenced by his mentor Siegfried Sassoon and stood in contrast to the public perception of war at the time and to the confidently patriotic verse written by earlier war poets such as Rupert Brooke. Among his best-known works – most of which were published posthumously – are "Dulce et Decorum est", "Insensibility", "Anthem for Doomed Youth", "Futility", "Spring Offensive" and "Strange Meeting".
Edmund Charles Blunden was an English poet, author and critic. Like his friend Siegfried Sassoon, he wrote of his experiences in World War I in both verse and prose. For most of his career, Blunden was also a reviewer for English publications and an academic in Tokyo and later Hong Kong. He ended his career as Professor of Poetry at the University of Oxford. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature six times.
William Halse Rivers Rivers was an English anthropologist, neurologist, ethnologist and psychiatrist, best known for his work treating First World War officers who were suffering from shell shock in order to return them to combat. Rivers' most famous patient was the poet Siegfried Sassoon, with whom he remained close friends until his own sudden death.
Regeneration is a historical and anti-war novel by Pat Barker, first published in 1991. The novel was a Booker Prize nominee and was described by the New York Times Book Review as one of the four best novels of the year in its year of publication. It is the first of three novels in the Regeneration Trilogy of novels on the First World War, the other two being The Eye in the Door and The Ghost Road, which won the Booker Prize in 1995. The novel was adapted into a film by the same name in 1997 by Scottish film director Gillies MacKinnon and starring Jonathan Pryce as Rivers, James Wilby as Sassoon and Jonny Lee Miller as Prior. The film was successful in the UK and Canada, receiving nominations for a number of awards.
Isaac Rosenberg was an English poet and artist. His Poems from the Trenches are recognized as some of the most outstanding poetry written during the First World War.
Sir Rupert Charles Hart-Davis was an English publisher and editor. He founded the publishing company Rupert Hart-Davis Ltd. As a biographer, he is remembered for his Hugh Walpole (1952), as an editor, for his Collected Letters of Oscar Wilde (1962), and, as both editor and part-author, for the Lyttelton/Hart-Davis Letters.
Joe Randolph "J. R." Ackerley was a British writer and editor. Starting with the BBC the year after its founding in 1927, he was promoted to literary editor of The Listener, its weekly magazine, where he served for more than two decades. He published many emerging poets and writers who became influential in Great Britain. He was openly homosexual, a rarity in his time when homosexual activity was forbidden by law and socially ostracized.
Georgian Poetry refers to a series of anthologies showcasing the work of a school of English poetry that established itself during the early years of the reign of King George V of the United Kingdom.
Ivor Bertie Gurney was an English poet and composer, particularly of songs. He was born and raised in Gloucester. He suffered from manic depression through much of his life and spent his last 15 years in psychiatric hospitals. Critical evaluation of Gurney has been complicated by this, and also by the need to assess both his poetry and his music. Gurney himself thought of music as his true vocation: "The brighter visions brought music; the fainter verse".
A war poet is a poet who participates in a war and writes about their experiences, or a non-combatant who writes poems about war. While the term is applied especially to those who served during the First World War, the term can be applied to a poet of any nationality writing about any war, including Homer's Iliad, from around the 8th century BC as well as poetry of the American Civil War, the Spanish Civil War, the Crimean War and other wars.
Alfred Perceval Graves, was an Irish poet, songwriter and folklorist. He was the father of British poet and critic Robert Graves.
Jessie Pope was an English poet, writer, and journalist, who remains best known for her patriotic, motivational poems published during World War I. Wilfred Owen wrote his 1917 poem Dulce et Decorum est to Pope, whose literary reputation has faded into relative obscurity as those of war poets such as Owen and Siegfried Sassoon have grown.
Memoirs of an Infantry Officer is a novel by Siegfried Sassoon, first published in 1930. It is a fictionalised account of Sassoon's own life during and immediately after World War I. Soon after its release, it was heralded as a classic and was even more successful than its predecessor, Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man.
The Muse in Arms is an anthology of British war poetry published in November 1917 during World War I. It consists of 131 poems by 52 contributors, with the poems divided into fourteen thematic sections. The poets were from all three branches of the armed services, land, sea and air, from a range of ranks and from many parts of the UK. Twenty of the poets who contributed to this volume died during the war. The editor was the journalist and author Edward Bolland Osborn (1867–1938), and the book was printed in London by the publishers John Murray. This anthology was one of several collections of war poetry published in the UK during the war. It "achieved large sales", and was reprinted in February 1918. It has been referenced in several analyses of First World War poetry and has been described as "the most celebrated collection of the war years".
David Cuthbert Thomas was a Welsh soldier of the First World War, best known for his association with the poet Siegfried Sassoon, who after his death became the subject of some of the greatest war poems by Sassoon and Robert Graves.
Richard Perceval Graves is an English biographer, poet and lecturer, best known for his three-volume biography of his uncle Robert Graves.
Sergeant Lamb of the Ninth and Proceed, Sergeant Lamb are two historical novels by Robert Graves, published in 1940 and 1941 respectively. They relate the experiences of Roger Lamb as a British soldier in the American Revolutionary War, and are based on the actual Roger Lamb's autobiographical works.
Undertones of War is a 1928 memoir of the First World War, written by English poet Edmund Blunden. As with two other famous war memoirs-—Siegfried Sassoon's Sherston trilogy, and Robert Graves' Good-Bye to All That--Undertones represents Blunden's first prose publication, and was one of the earliest contributors to the flurry of Great War books to come out of England in the late 1920s and early 1930s.