The White Goddess: A Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth

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Carcanet, 1997 - Literary Criticism - 520 pages
79 Reviews
"The White Goddess" is perhaps the finest of Robert Graves's works on the psychological and mythological sources of poetry. In this tapestry of poetic and religious scholarship, Graves explores the stories behind the earliest of European deities-- the White Goddess of Birth, Love, and Death-- who was worshipped under countless titles. He also uncovers the obscure and mysterious power of "pure poetry" and its peculiar and mythic language.

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A marvelous piece of scholarship. - Goodreads
An overview of archaic Welsh bardic poetry. - Goodreads
This is a very good reference on Welsh mythology. - Goodreads
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I propose a commiseration society for those who cannot not read this book. I am on my more than 10th reading and, delusionally I suppose, I think it is both important and impossible. I'm not kidding, really. it's a fools task I suppose. The Nazarene Gospel was cake, compared to this. 

Review: The White Goddess: A Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth

User Review  - Jennifer - Goodreads

There were a few moments, reading this, that I really wanted to dig Graves out of his, well, grave--and punch him in the nose. At the same time, it's a really unique way of looking at poetry ... Read full review

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In Dedication
Poets and Gleemen
The Battle of the Trees

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About the author (1997)

Robert Graves (also known as Robert Ranke Graves) was born in 1895 in London and served in World War I. Goodbye to All That: an Autobiography (1929), 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 1957. Although his most popular works, I, Claudius (1934) and its sequel, Claudius the God and His Wife Messalina (1935), were produced for television by the BBC in 1976 and seen in America on Masterpiece Theater, he was also famous as a poet, producing more than 50 volumes of poetry. Graves was awarded the 1934 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for both I, Claudius and Claudius the God. Also a distinguished academic, Graves was a professor of English in Cairo, Egypt, in 1926, a poetry professor at Oxford in the 1960s, and a visiting lecturer at universities in England and the U.S. He wrote translations of Greek and Latin works, literary criticism, and nonfiction works on many other topics, including mythology and poetry. He lived most of his life in Majorca, Spain, and died after a protracted illness in 1985.

Lindop is a poet, critic and biographer. Formerly Professor of English at Manchester University.

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