Bringing to life the subterfuge and double-dealing of Roman nobility, Robert Graves's I, Claudius brings the ancient world to life with startling clarity and meticulous realism. This Penguin Modern Classics edition is a includes an introduction by Barry Unsworth.
Despised for his weakness and regarded by his family as little more than a stammering fool, the nobleman Claudius quietly survives the intrigues, bloody purges and mounting cruelty of the imperial Roman dynasties. In I, Claudius he watches from the sidelines to record the reigns of its emperors: from the wise Augustus and his villainous wife Livia to the sadistic Tiberius and the insane excesses of Caligula. Written in the form of Claudius' autobiography, this is the first part of Robert Graves's brilliant account of the madness and debauchery of ancient Rome, and stands as one of the most celebrated, gripping historical novels ever written.
If you enjoyed I, Claudius, you might like Graves's sequel Claudius the God, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.
'An imaginative and hugely readable account of the early decades of the Roman Empire ... racy, inventive, often comic'
'Still an acknowledged masterpiece and a model for historical fiction ... sympathetic and intensely involving: a great feat of imagination'
Hilary Mantel, author of Wolf Hall
I, CLAUDIUS and CLAUDIUS THE GOD are an imaginative and hugely readable account of the early decades of the Roman Empire ... racy, inventive, often comic Daily Telegraph
Robert Graves was born in 1895 in Wimbledon. He went from school to the First World War, where he became a captain in the Royal Welch Fusiliers and was seriously wounded at the Battle of the Somme. He wrote his autobiography, Goodbye to All That, in 1929, and it was soon established as a modern classic. He died on 7 December 1985 in Majorca, his home since 1929.