Robert Graves

Although Robert Graves primarily thought of himself as a poet, he is best known as the author of the 1934 novel I, Claudius. A chatty faux-memoir, I, Claudius is possibly the most educational potboiler ever written. There are literally hundreds of pages of vicious back-stabbing, ruthless manipulation, and icky sexual relationships. Countless characters are poisoned or strangled. There’s a steady stream of forced marriages, many of them between family members. The female characters are malevolent; the male characters are brutal. It’s just like watching a really excellent telenovela, only all of these people actually existed!

Note: If you prefer watching your telenovelas to reading them, there is an excellent BBC production of I, Claudius. Your local library should have a copy.

There are a bazillion characters in this book, and a staggering number of them have the SAME NAME, slightly re-arranged. I found it damn difficult to remember the relationship between, say, Tiberius Claudius Nero and Tiberius Nero Augustus, particularly since there are a half-dozen other Augustuses and Neroes and Tiberiuses scampering through the story.


Other Recommendations:
The Daughter of Time, by Josephine Tey

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Posted by: Julia


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