The Full Wiki

More info on Good-Bye to All That

Good-Bye to All That: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For the Millennium episode, see "Goodbye to All That" (Millennium)
Good-Bye to All That  
Good-Bye to All That.jpg
Cover with a portrait of Graves
Author Robert Graves
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre(s) Autobiography
Publisher Anchor
Publication date 1929
1958 (2nd Edition)
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 368 pp (paperback ed.)
ISBN 0-385-09330-6
OCLC Number 21298973
Dewey Decimal 821/.912 B 20
LC Classification PR6013.R35 Z5 1990

Good-Bye to All That, an autobiography by Robert Graves, first appeared in print in 1929. The title expresses Graves' disillusionment in the existence of traditional, stable values in European and English society. Graves first wrote the work in his thirties, when he had a long and eventful life ahead of him; the book deals mainly with his childhood, youth and military service. Laura Riding, Graves' lover, is credited with being a "spiritual and intellectual midwife" to the work, which made him famous.[1]

A large part of the book is taken up by his experiences of the First World War, where he gives a detailed description of trench warfare, including the tragic incompetences of the Battle of Loos. Many readers will be interested in his secondhand description of the killing of German prisoners of war by British troops; although he had not witnessed any incidents himself and knew of no large-scale massacres, he knew of a number of incidents where prisoners had been killed individually or in small groups, and he believed that a large proportion of Germans who surrendered never made it to prisoner-of-war camps. Graves was severely traumatized by his war experience. After he was wounded, he endured a five day train journey amid squalor and unchanged bandages. The trench telephone scared him such that he never lived with the technology for the rest of his life. Upon his return home, he describes being haunted by ghosts and nightmares.[2]

Graves heavily revised Good-Bye to All That and re-published it in 1957 with many significant events and figures either excised or added.

Edmund Blunden and Siegfried Sassoon, deeply suspicious of the work, famously savaged a copy (now housed in the Royal Welch Fusiliers archive in Caernarfon).


The primary themes of the novel are coming of age, war and the military, the importance of class in British life, and the individual's quest for meaning in life.


  1. ^ Richard Perceval Graves, ‘Graves, Robert von Ranke (1895–1985)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, Oct 2006.
  2. ^ "The Other: For Good and For Ill" by Prof. Frank Kersnowski in Trickster's Way, Volume 2, Issue 2, 2003


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address