Goodbye to All That

Goodbye to All That In Robert Graves went to live abroad permanently vowing never to make England my home again This is his superb account of his life up until that bitter leave taking from his childhood and desper

  • Title: Goodbye to All That
  • Author: Robert Graves
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 467
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • In 1929 Robert Graves went to live abroad permanently, vowing never to make England my home again This is his superb account of his life up until that bitter leave taking from his childhood and desperately unhappy school days at Charterhouse, to his time serving as a young officer in the First World War that was to haunt him throughout his life It also contains memoIn 1929 Robert Graves went to live abroad permanently, vowing never to make England my home again This is his superb account of his life up until that bitter leave taking from his childhood and desperately unhappy school days at Charterhouse, to his time serving as a young officer in the First World War that was to haunt him throughout his life It also contains memorable encounters with fellow writers and poets, including Siegfried Sassoon and Thomas Hardy, and covers his increasingly unhappy marriage to Nancy Nicholson Goodbye to All That, with its vivid, harrowing descriptions of the Western Front, is a classic war document, and also has immense value as one of the most candid self portraits of an artist ever written.Includes illustrations and explanatory footnotes.

    One thought on “Goodbye to All That”

    1. Robert Graves was one of those well-educated British officers who reacted to the First World War with a kind of wise, Oxford-Book-of-Verse horror and had to expunge the experience as best he could through his writing – like Edmund Blunden, or Siegfried Sassoon. The three of them indeed fought near each other in France and knew each other well. It's a powerful and affecting vision, but it probably needs to be set against the rather different worldview of the private soldiers, as captured in Man [...]

    2. Another book in the series I am reading about WW1. It was interesting reading this in conjunction with A Time of Gifts by Patrick Leigh Fermor; I found Graves much less likeable than Fermor. However this is a very powerful description of the war and life in the trenches; it also covers Graves’s life before the war and until 1929.Graves was half German and half Irish and had a German middle name. This meant he had a very difficult time at public school (Charterhouse) as war with Germany gradual [...]

    3. The opposite of a love letter to Edwardian England, a literary explanation in the form of a memoir of why the author abandoned he land of his birth in favour of Majorca, despite the experiences of George Sand and Frederic Chopin in the Balearic Islands.The book has a striking description of Robert von Rancke Graves' (view spoiler)[ a grand-nephew of Leopold von Rancke on his mother's side (hide spoiler)] formal schooling as perversion, a form of espalier that prevented him from growing freely, i [...]

    4. In 1929 Robert Graves (aged 33) went abroad, "resolved never to make England my home again;" which explains the title. However this autobiography does little to illuminate that decision: in an epilogue he says that "a conditioning in the Protestant morality of the English governing classes, though qualified by mixed blood, a rebellious nature, and an overriding poetic obsession, is not easily outgrown." Nor is it easily escaped when writing about your own life: one thing that does not feature is [...]

    5. A Poet at War19 December 2017 As I was wandering through Newtown in Sydney I came across a crate of books dumped at the side of the road. Considering that the law states that if somebody throws something away then it ceases to by anybody's property which basically means that anybody can then make a claim to possess that object, and also due to the fact that they appeared to have begun to be worn down by the elements, I concluded that the owner of these books no longer wanted them. So, I decided [...]

    6. The human mind invariably seeks patterns. And so, reading WWI histories always has been frustrating because of the war's Brownian motion; the inability to discern any strategy at all. So the great value of Graves's anti-war memoir is that, as a Captain in a Welch regiment, he had no clue about, and thus does not write about, the larger strategy of the war. He confines his pen to tactics, and the tactics he observed are damning. Lesson one, btw, is that the surest way to lose public support for w [...]

    7. This is a good year to read about World War I and there's no shortage of new material out there for anyone interested in the subject. However, this is a work that has been around for a very long time: since 1929, in fact. Published when Graves was just thirty-four, he wrote in the prologue to the revised edition published in 1957 that the work was his "bitter leave-taking of England" where he had recently "broken a good many conventions". It signalled Graves' departure for Spain, where he lived [...]

    8. The back cover blurb describes the contents of this volume as “candid”. That puzzled me until well into the text I realised that this was perhaps Robert Graves’ personal survival stratagem. My grandfather’s was quite the reverse; only once, and when I was ill, did he talk to me of his military service in the Great War. Are there events where it is literally healthier for our psyche that we remember and learn from simple and candid fact, rather than spend excessive time in introspection a [...]

    9. Herbert Marcuse describes in One-dimensional Man a world where clashing ideas are held together in a way that makes them impossible to evaluate. We see this with the current PBS ads which, in service to some obscene aesthetic, combine classical opera with film of a napalm attack on Vietnam. A kindred juxtaposition makes the technique of Goodbye to All That recognizably modern. Graves relates his life in a succession of caricatures that shift between the comic and the horrific. Young Graves faces [...]

    10. It is as a document of World War One that this book really shines. Robert Graves includes a wealth of little details that bring the day-to-day life of him, and his regiment, to life: the gallows humour, the values of the soldiers, the disillusionment with the war and the staff (and yet the loyalty to their officers), the lice, the food, the other privations. It's all there in this excellent memoir. Robert Graves also captures the tragedy and waste of the conflict - friends and fellow soldiers dy [...]

    11. It's 2014 - and the centenary of World War One. I heard a discussion about it the other day and one thing struck me. The idea being suggested was that it would have been BETTER FOR EVERYONE if Germany had WON the First World War. How about that! I never thought of it before, but the logic was compelling. Germany's victory would have stifled Hitler's political career before it got going. There would have been no Versailles treaty, no reparations, no financial catastrophe No Nazis.No Holocaust.No [...]

    12. I read this book for several reasons. Recently I have been interested in learning more about the transition from Edwardian England to the years following WW I, about the changes in society and in the attitudes of the people of England as they faced the alterations in their domestic and imperial situation and aspirations. I also am interested in knowing more about the English “War Poets,” both those who survived the conflict and those who did not. Finally, I enjoyed reading Graves’ novel I, [...]

    13. This is Robert Graves's autobiography which he finished in 1929 at the age of 32 or 33. Fortunately, his life didn't end there but as he said himself, many years later, his life after that wasn't worth writing about (again). In his memoirs, he mostly talks about his experiences during the Great War, as an officer in the British Army ( the Royal Welch; yes Welch with a c). This work is a honest, no nonsense piece of art/literature. It was a pleasant and accessible read. I highly recommend this wo [...]

    14. This book was written in 1929 as a memoir of his service in World War One. The book covers his early life, his time at Charterhouse School where he was mercilessly bullied, the war and the post war period up to writing the book in 1929.Like many young men Graves enlisted within days of the outbreak of the Great War with no understanding of what war was like. He enlisted as an officer in the Royal Welch Fusiliers. He fought in France—the Somme, Souchez, Bethune, Loos, Cambria and Cuinchy—and [...]

    15. The lines that have stayed with me after finishing this book are those Graves wrote about his time in Oxford after the war, when he was experiencing vivid "daydreams" of trench warfare. It's obvious now that those 'dreams' were flashbacks -- I'm guessing the term hadn't been invented yet -- and Graves says they were always of his first four months in the trenches, that his "feeling-apparatus" (Graves' words) had shut down after that time.As a schoolboy, Graves suffered under the herd mentality a [...]

    16. Robert Graves, an English poet, writer, and proponent of the White Goddess mythology of muses - all done with considerable talent - penned his autobiography in 1927, while still in his early thirties; even at such a relatively young age, he burned with the need to set to paper the traumatic and disillusioning experiences that seared him during his military service in World War One. Graves, a product of the British class system, forthrightly details his formative years amongst the upper echelon a [...]

    17. The strength of Robert Graves' autobiography is that it provides sharp and illuminating observations on: the culture of the British school system and students in the early twentieth century; the behavior and attitudes of British regular military officers (as opposed to both enlistees and reservists) near the frontline during World War I; and, especially, trench warfare. The book is an excellent resource for understanding what life in the trenches--during attacks and between attacks--was like. Tr [...]

    18. Un monito contro la guerraRobert Graves, poeta e romanziere, scrisse questa autobiografia a 34 anni, quando decise di dire addio alla sua patria, l'Inghilterra, alla sua famiglia e alla carriera. Perché questo addio?La sua vita fino a quel momento era stata punteggiata da violenza psicologica e fisica. In Inghilterra la vita famigliare dei ragazzi terminava a otto anni, visto che a quell'età entravano a scuola e non tornavano più se non per le vacanze. L'educazione scolastica molto rigida gli [...]

    19. This book is a tale of three periods of Robert Graves's life, which spans his childhood, his involvement in WWI and the post-war years between 1918-1929. At this point the autobiography ends when Graves is 33. Graves added an epilogue later in which he comments that re-reading Goodbye to All That is much akin to reading ancient history.Graves takes us through his childhood years at a series of public schools, most notably Charthouse and then the main focus of WWI takes centre stage. I found Grav [...]

    20. This is an extraordinary book. It's as fresh to read as broadsheet journalism. Robert Graves is confiding, honest, provocative - not at all like a stiff upper-lipped English gentleman, (Perhaps this is because he was part-Irish, part German?)Most of my knowledge of the First World War comes from reading the poetry of Wilfred Owen, a couple of biographies of Owen, and Pat Barker's 'Regeneration' trilogy. Graves's account of life in the trenches adds greatly to that picture. I was able to understa [...]

    21. What follows is my favorite passage from Goodbye to All That. It begins with Graves's delivery of absurdity in deadpan style: "Many of the patients at Osborne were neurasthenic and should have been in a special neurasthenic hospital. A.A. Milne was there, as a subaltern in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, and in his least humorous vein. One Vernon Bartlett, of the Hampshire Regiment, decided with me that something new must be started. So we founded the 'Royal Albert Society', its pretended aim b [...]

    22. I probably would have liked this better if I'd been able to read it in print. Alas, most libraries don't have it these days, so I was lucky enough to get the abridged audio edition from my library. It's only four disks, and the fourth disk is far and away the most interesting. The earlier disks are filled with the repetitive miseries of World War I from the soldier's perspective, and also his strange upbringing as an English schoolboy. The fourth disk provides a lot more variety. He discusses th [...]

    23. Smoothly written and often darkly humorous memoir about the complications of upper crust British boyhood and young adulthood. The memoir focuses on Graves’s time in the trenches during WWI, and it’s a stirring personal report on the devastation and stress of war (with some moments of wit and humor to lift the mood, such as his account of how he was declared officially dead while he was convalescing). Particularly interesting: his long friendship with Siegfried Sassoon, his (swiftly disintegr [...]

    24. I wasn't really sure about this one beforehand - decided to read it purely because it was top of the pile of random books tht seems to have accumulated next to my bed. Turned out to be an inspired piece of untidiness.I really cannot recommend this highly enough - moving, heartfelt, and you constantly get the impression that Graves is playing his own achievements and contributions down in order to talk up his friends. This modesty does leave you feeling curiously as though you've not been told th [...]

    25. I really did love this book, though it is a strange word to use for an autobiography, and especially one that deals with often unpleasant subjects. But Graves is a marvellous writer, and so I was half way through before I knew I had started. As a historical record this is invaluable: not just for the details of the war from the point of view of an officer in the trenches, but as a record of the class system at the time, the shifting sexual and gender mores, and behind the scenes look into the in [...]

    26. Graves, Robert. GOODBYE TO ALL THAT: An Autobiography. (1929; revised 2nd ed. 1957). ****. From the back cover: “Robert Graves left his native England for Majorca shortly after World War I and, except for infrequent visits, has never returned since. But in this autobiography written at the age of thirty-three – youth, the war, and Oxford behind him – Graves says goodbye to more than simply England and his English family and friends. For the war ended a way of life. It ended the 19th centur [...]

    27. Graves' detached, matter-of-fact recounting of his time in the British Army during the First World War only grows more poignant and pointed with each successive re-read. He bares himself here, unafraid to confess to the defects of his class, his upbringing, his education, his nation and even of his own character. The incidents and anecdotes are rendered with a sort of descriptive alacrity--whether it is the Tommy who pulled the boot off of a frostbitten foot in order to shoot himself with his En [...]

    28. Una autobio más, en esta ocasión de un inglés a quien le tocó pelear durante la Primera Guerra Mundial. Dura, interesante, muchas veces inspiradora, pero leeenta. El libro tiene ya casi 90 años y se nota.Tal vez si hubiera sido más del lugar o de la época, me habría parecido menos tedioso. Hay un montón de referencias a lugares, culturas, tradiciones y personas que no me ha tocado ver ni en pelea ni perros, y así hubo partes en las que no solo me perdí, sino en que directamente me abu [...]

    29. This is the autobiography by poet, novelist, essayist, you name it Robert Graves, author of I, CLAUDIUS and CLAUDIUS THE GOD, THE WHITE GODDESS, translations of the Greek myths and legends (which I found *very* educational and read before Bulfinch and Edith Hamilton), and large numbers of other things I cannot detail. It begins with his childhood, his ancestry--assorted illustrious writers and ministers on the British side and minor German nobility--and his school history, up until the outbreak [...]

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