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Robert Graves a plagiarist?

Yesterday's Independent had an article about a forthcoming book by Mark Jacobs, which will claim that Robert Graves plagiarised the ideas in his book "The White Goddess" from Laura Riding, with whom he lived between the wars. We will have to wait for the book to see how far this claim stands up, but my initial reaction is that it is very difficult to know who influenced whom. Riding seems to have been very bitter about Graves after their parting and I don't know how much trust we should place in what she said subsequently.

Incidentally, I was surprised to see that the Independent describes Graves as a war poet. Although he did write poems about the war these are not comparable to those of Wilfrid Owen or Siegfried Sassoon. His prose autobiography "Goodbye To All That" is of course a different matter. The poems for which Graves is best known were written in the years after the war.


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