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Dearest Julie and Tom
1933 has been a rotten year in almost every way: hardly remember a worse, but we are still alive at the end of it and 1934 ought to be something good. In September I strained my eyes and have had to economize so much in their use that I don't write letters except necessary ones or read papers, or books except where work is concerned and even then I usually get someone to read them for me. And I dictate most of my work to Mary. But of course I must write to you after so long and send you what news there is
I have at last got revised proofs of I, Claudius off, and John has done a lovely wrapper, and everyone seems pleased with the story especially Arthur Barker, and Harrison Smith. You shall of course get the most advanced copy available perhaps in three weeks or so (H. Smith brings it out in the late spring). The story only goes as far as Claudius's accession, and I am now writing the sequel Claudius the God which is going very well. St Peter and St James will come into it, besides Messalina, Nero, and Herod Agrippa whom I find to be one of the nicest characters in ancient History — the perfect counterpart to Claudius and a prototype of 14A Joho. I have done 33,000 words since starting in November and that is about a quarter: I, Claudius runs to about 170,000 words too. Other work I have not done, except proof-reading for 14A and my 'Likes' for Of Others, and housework. I do all the cooking now and am getting quite good at it. It seems funny that you don't know Mary and George and Jacob and Eirlys who are so much part of our story here. They are all very, very nice in their own ways and extremely different but each is a large subject in her or himself and so I won't say more than that they don't infringe in any way on the region of my heart occupied by you KWO.
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Laura is looking very tired but her appendix seems to be quieter lately. Not many foreigners about. Nobody has come to rent J (Norman's house) Ca'n Torrent so Jacob and Eirlys are still living there (rent free) which is nice for us because there is a lot of work going on in collaboration and exchange of meals and so on.
Best love to you both and the 3 boys
Text Copyright © of Robert Graves Copyright Trust