Robert Graves

Majorca observed, drawings by Paul Hogarth

Éd. José Juan de Olañeta

Palma de Mallorca, 1997
bibliothèque insulaire
Majorca observed / Robert Graves ; drawings by Paul Hogarth. - Palma de Mallorca : Olañeta, 1997. - 149 p. : ill. ; 21 cm. - (La Forada, 2).
ISBN 84-7651-688-6

NOTE DE L'ÉDITEUR : In 1929, Robert Graves — poet, novelist, critic, translator, mythologist — decided to leave an overpopulated and mechanised England in search of a place « where the town was still the town, and the country the country ». He chose Majorca because of its climate, good wine and honest, friendly people, and built a stone house in the mountain village of Deià where he brought up a family and wrote incessantly for over 50 years, and where he died in 1985 at the age of ninety.

Although his affection for Majorca over the years had inspired and pervaded much of his writing, it was not until his neighbour, the artist Paul Hogarth, made a series of drawings of the island in 1965 that Graves's superbly witty and perceptive drawings and essays on the island society and its history were complemented by equally magnificent illustrations. This widely sought-after book has been out of print for thirty years and is now, finally, available to the English reader again.


I chose Majorca as my home, a quarter of a century ago, because its climate had the reputation of being better than any other in Europe. And because I was assured that I should be able to live there on much less money than in England. Then from all Majorca I chose Deià, a small fishing and olive-producing village on the north-west coast of the island where I found everything I wanted as a writer: sun, sea, mountains, spring-water, shady trees, no politics, and a few civilised luxuries such as electric light and a bus service to Palma, the capital.

I had already decided against living permanently in England. I wanted to go where town was still town; and country, country. There were other conditions, naturally, such as good wine, good neighbours, and not a great distance from London.

The first person who recommended Majorca to me was Gertrude Stein. I went to see Gertrude in France, and she assured me that the Majorcans were cheerful, clean and friendly people. She added that there would be no disadvantage at all; if I liked Paradise, Majorca was Paradise.

  • « Majorca observed », London : Cassell, 1965
  • Lucia Graves, « Une femme inconnue », Monaco : Éd. du Rocher (Anatolia), 2002
  • William Graves, « Wild olives : life in Majorca with Robert Graves », London : Hutchinson, 1995 ; trad. espagnole : « Bajo la sombra del olivo : la Mallorca de Robert Graves », Palma de Mallorca : Olañeta, 2001

mise-à-jour : 9 avril 2021