London: Arthur Barker, 1934. [Roman Historical Fiction] FIRST EDITION. Octavo, pp.494. With a folding family tree of the Julio-Claudian dynasty to rear. Publisher's black cloth with gilt titles to spine, lower edge of text block untrimmed. With the pictorial dust-jacket designed by John Aldridge, priced at 8s. Usual spotting to edges, otherwise crisp and clean internally. A few marks to cloth. Jacket toned to spine, with light wear and chipping to edges, with some extra creasing to spine head. Very good indeed. Arguably the defining piece of Roman historical fiction from the twentieth century, Graves' classic fanciful autobiography of Rome's fourth Emperor builds a tangled web of family feuds and internecine murder from hints provided by Tacitus and Suetonius. The story was dramatised by the BBC in 1976, staring Derek Jacobi, and has since gone on to inspire the tone of the acclaimed series 'Rome' (2005-07). Graves was a gifted classicist at Charterhouse and later Oxford, but decided to pursue literature and poetry after he completed his degree. As well as contributing a translation of Apuleius' 'The Golden Ass' to the Penguin Classics collection, he also published a controversial encyclopaedia of Greek Myths containing some of his own original theories, generally rejected by the academic community. Item #63179
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