Graves was born in London into a large family headed by a poet/ballad-writer. Though he had been accepted at Oxford, he went into the trenches of the First World War, serving in the same regiment as Siegfried Sassoon. He published three books of poetry while on active duty. After the war he finished his formal education, and upon recommendation of T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) spent a year as a professor at Cairo's Egyptian University. Graves moved to the ilsand of Majorca in 1929, and except for a period during the Spanish Civil War, he spent the rest of his life there. He has owned a jazz club, appeared in the 1968 movie "Deadfall", and writes prodigiously in a variety of genres, including historical novels like I, Claudius, that have been described as "scholarly and mischievous". Robert Graves died in Majorca in 1985, at the age of ninety.