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MS 925

Reference code

MS 925


Julia Simonne and Robert Graves collection (poems)



Administrative / Biographical history

Simonne, Julia (1949-present) and Graves, Robert (1895–1985)

Robert von Ranke Graves was an English poet, novelist, critic and classicist. He is best known for his poetry and translations, as well as his interpretations of the Greek myths.

Throughout his literary career, Robert Graves held onto the ideal of the ‘poetic muse’, and from 1966, Julia Simonne, then a ballet dancer known as Julia (Juli) Simon, became Graves’s final Muse. Simonne described the role as Graves’s Muse as that of a ‘a woman who both understood and worked along with the creative process’ (Simonne, ‘Be Prepared for Music’: Inspiration and the Last Muse’ Critical Studies)

Further administrative and biographical information for Robert Graves is listed under: MS 542

[Adapted from Richard Perceval Graves ‘Graves, Robert von Ranke’ (Oxford Dictionary of National Biography)]



Extent & medium

1 box containing 13 files
2 series

Content description

These files contain manuscript and typescript drafts of poems written by Robert Graves and given to Julia Simonne between 1963 and 1974. Over 200 separate poems are represented in the collection with a number of the poems existing in multiple drafts. In addition the files contain photocopies of poems which were contained in letters from Graves to Simonne. These photocopies show the poems only and not the contents of the letters.

The folders and individual poems are frequently accompanied by notes written by Julia Simonne, which provide additional information on the poems such as other titles; where the poem was subsequently published; or the date she received it.

Where the typescript are early drafts of poems that were subsequently given a different title, the commonly used title has been noted.


The manuscripts were sent to Julia Simonne, who kept them until their transfer to Eton College Library. The photocopies where created by Simonne to form part of the collection in place of the original letters

Associated material

Eton College holds further archives relating to Robert Graves. These are listed under: MS 542

Finding aids

Kept with the papers is an alphabetical handlist detailing the total number of manuscripts, typescripts and photocopies of poems, which are held as part of the collection. The list was produced by Julia Simonne on 7 July 2016, before the collection was given to Eton College Library.

Existence and location of originals

The original letters, containing drafts of selected poems, have been retained by Julia Simonne.

Publication note

The following articles written by Julia Simonne, discuss her role as Graves’s Muse, and describe some of drafts containing in this collection:

The importance of the muse in Graves life, including the role of Julia Simonne, is discussed fully ‘Robert Graves and the White Goddess, 1940-1985’, Richard Perceval Graves (Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, 1995)
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