Home icon. The Works of Robert Graves. Exhibition: 1 April to 17 June 2011.

Cabinet 5: Influences

Salt-water Ballads.

John Masefield, Salt-water Ballads. London: Elkin Mathews, 1924.

After demobilization in February 1919, and a false start as a teacher, Graves opted for student life at St John’s College, Oxford. Initially wanting to read Agriculture, he settled on English Language and Literature.

Housing was a problem, especially with a young family. A cottage became available in the garden of John Masefield’s house at Boar’s Hill.

After an interview with Masefield, Graves secured Dingle Cottage for £3 per month. With Masefield, Robert Nichols, Robert Bridges, and Gilbert Murray in the surrounding area, Boar’s Hill was known as ‘Oxford Parnassus’. Graves admired Masefield’s poetry and would have known his famous ‘Sea-fever’.