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

Cabinet 6: Advances in Poetry

My Head! My Head!

Robert Graves, My Head! My Head! Being the History of Elisha and the Shunamite Woman. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1925.

In a letter to Siegfried Sassoon about 1924, Graves wrote that he was making

‘my peace with Moses whom I used to loathe’.

The end-result was My Head! My Head!, a 30,000 word biblical romance about Moses and Elisha’s resurrection of the Shunamite’s dead son.

Not only was this work a forerunner to I Claudius and The White Goddess, but it contained the essence of his thought that society was matriarchal, when

‘woman was held to be of the gods and sacred’.

This notion had certainly crystalized through his friendship with the Cambridge anthropologist W. H. R. Rivers.

This is the first American edition of 500 copies only.