1927 - 1929

St. Peter's Square

Robert s Lawrence and the Arabs was an immediate success and his Poems 1914-26 was also very well received. In May 1927 he and Laura took a house...

...in St. Peter s Square, Hammersmith and bought a barge for Nancy and the children, moored a short walk away on the river Thames. They also bought a printing press and began publishing small editions of hand-printed books, mostly poetry, under the name The Seizin Press.
Robert s friends started distancing themselves from Laura and Robert s circle: Laura s need for power and control over others and his total dedication to her, soon created tensions. Then Laura fell in love with Geoffrey Phibbs, an Irish poet with whom she was collaborating on a book, and The Trinity became a four-life . Phibbs, however, did not return her favours, and instead fell in love with Nancy. In April, 1929, in a fit of jealousy, and in the presence of Robert, Geoffrey and Nancy, Laura said Good-bye chaps! and jumped out of a fourth-storey window: Robert jumped after her, from the second storey. Astonishingly, she survived the fall, despite a broken pelvis, four broken vertebrae and a serious eye-wound. The accident caused a police investigation, since attempted suicide was then a crime; however, through Edward Marsh s influence, the case was dropped. In May, Robert and Nancy separated formally.
Out of this crisis Graves found the strength and courage to write his profound autobiography Good-bye To All That, which has become a classic. The book was more than a story of his early life; it was a rejection of many of the social and moral values to which he once adhered and a confrontation with the reality of his war experiences. He called it my bitter leave-taking of England . As soon as Laura was well enough to travel, she and Graves left England to look for a new home elsewhere.

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