Goodbye to All That: an Autobiography , 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 Although his most popular works, I, Claudius and its sequel, Claudius the God and His Wife Messalina , were produced for television by the BBC in 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 , a poetry professor at Oxford in the s, and a visiting lecturer at universities in England and the U.
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Download PDF. Read online. On this site you will find this and other books available for download in PDF or EPUB format free of charge or read directly on the site. Robert Graves's sources for Count Belisarius include some of the great historical works of classical antiquity: Livy, Thucydides, Herodotus, and certainly Xenophon in the Persian war sections.
The novel is set in the sixth century of our era. Belisarius is perhaps the last loyal general the Roman Empire can still count on. He is deeply Christian Orthodox but with an admirable tolerance for divergent views Arianism, Monophysitism, etc. He is also a military leader of genius. The accounts of his successes in Persia, Carthage, and Italy, are depicted at length. The Seige of Rome by an Ostrogoth army ten times the size of Belisarius's own constitutes a set piece of extraordinary brilliance.
If you like any of the classical histories mentioned, you will like this book. Be advised, however, that it tends to be better written than its models--or, I should say, than the English translations of those models that I have read. I wanted to read it because I liked the lethal palace intrigue so abundant in I, Claudius.
That's here alright but the ramp up is longish. The first bits of intrigue don't begin until p. But then hold on to your hoody because the last pages are wonderful. The book is narrated by Eugenius, the eunuch slave of Antonina, the entertainer and prostitute whom we first meet at a soiree given by the fourteen year old Belisarius's tutor.
The Empress herself, Theodora, also a former prostitute, is an old friend of Antonina. In their youth they clubbed together with other girls and opened a brothel in Adrianople. Emperor Justinian, who met his empress in that house of pain, Graves's depicts as not very smart and easily led by those motivated almost solely by self interest. They ruthlessly smear Belisarius's squeaky-clean reputation and eventually succeed in driving this brilliant man from Justinian's good graces.
I can't begin to hint at the intrigue and casuistry on display here. The sheer cruelty and malice. The incompetence, usually driven by jealousy, of Belisarius's generals. You simply must read it for yourself. Suffice it to say that the last pages are on a par with I, Claudius and somewhat better in my view than Claudius the God.
I think Graves's may have wanted to provide a more in-depth opening since details of the late Roman Empire are less well known than those of the classical period. That's my guess, anyway. Exuberantly recommended despite the slow start, especially for lovers of the historical novel. This beautiful edition was produced by The Folio Society London. Series Omnifix El atentado.
ISBN 13: 9788435017305
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El Conde Belisario