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I, Claudius by Robert Graves
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I, Claudius (1934)

by Robert Graves

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Claudius (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,007126789 (4.27)348
  1. 90
    Memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenar (bertilak)
  2. 50
    Julian by Gore Vidal (CurrerBell)
    CurrerBell: Both classical Roman subjects, and they share the style of an "autobiographical novel."
  3. 20
    Quo Vadis by Henryk Sienkiewicz (sirparsifal)
  4. 20
    Augustus: First Emperor of Rome by Adrian Goldsworthy (CurrerBell)
    CurrerBell: I, Claudius can be at times be a bit weird (maybe "overly romanticized" would be a better description). Goldsworthy's biography can be a good corrective, at least for the first half of I, Claudius (the portion dealing with the lifetime of Augustus), and definitely presents a different (and probably much more balanced) image of Livia, the long-time wife of Augustus.… (more)
  5. 20
    Homer's Daughter by Robert Graves (longway)
  6. 10
    The Egyptian by Mika Waltari (mcenroeucsb)
  7. 11
    Salammbô by Gustave Flaubert (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: Historical fiction set in the Classical Mediterranean
  8. 11
    Pride of Carthage: A Novel of Hannibal by David Anthony Durham (mcenroeucsb)
  9. 11
    Tiberius by Allan Massie (celtic)
  10. 11
    An Imperial Possession: Britain in the Roman Empire, 54 BC - AD 409 by David Mattingly (John_Vaughan)
  11. 34
    I, Claudius [1976 TV miniseries] by Herbert Wise (longway)
  12. 12
    Empire by Steven Saylor (JGolomb)
    JGolomb: "I, Claudius" is the standard bearer for Imperial Roman fiction. It's more richly detailed and emotional than Saylor, but comparable it's broad historical scope.
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» See also 348 mentions

English (110)  Spanish (6)  Dutch (2)  Catalan (2)  Italian (2)  Hebrew (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  French (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (126)
Showing 1-5 of 110 (next | show all)
In 1977 (oh my, how time flies), Masterpiece Theater presented a BBC production of I, Claudius. The production included the events of both of Graves Claudius novels and featured a cast that would include some of the best actors of the century, among them Derek Jacobi, an unforgettable Claudius. After watching it, I read Robert Graves novel from which its name was derived, but never got around to the second half of the story, Claudius the God. Fast forward to today, and I am at last revisiting the first novel in anticipation of reading the second.

What an amazing piece of historical fiction this is! I do not think bringing this era to life and making it relatable is easy, but Robert Graves makes it seem so. What an unlikely hero is the stammering, crippled Claudius, but what a clear-sighted and good man he is, despite his times. How can you keep your sanity when there is so much arbitrary killing? Was there ever a more villainous villain than Livia? A more reprehensible madman than Caligula? A less insightful dupe than Augustus? No wonder Rome fell.

At the end of this novel we have just been introduced to the lady, Messalina. I know what awaits me in volume two and I am looking forward to it. Lord preserve us from ourselves.
( )
  phantomswife | Jul 6, 2018 |
The memoirs of the emperor Claudius.

I found Graves's over Anglicising a bit irritating at times, and the book is definitely overshadowed by the very close TV adaptation. But nevertheless it deserves its position as a classic of historical fiction. ( )
  Robertgreaves | Jun 29, 2018 |
I opted for "I, Claudius" to see if I could handle the challenge. I thought it would be a complicated read due to language. The language was not difficult. What was hard was tracking the characters as I listened to the audio.

The narrator was talented and kept me interested. I cannot fault the author or the narrator for my shortcomings. I think I would have appreciated the names and characters more if I had seen the written word. If you are a visual learner like me, I would not suggest the audio version if you intend on retaining what you "read". ( )
  godmotherx5 | Apr 5, 2018 |
This was a re-read, as I first read it many years ago and loved it. I have a predilection for historical fiction and this one is excellent.

It is written in the form of an autobiography of the Roman Emperor Claudius and includes the period between Julius Caesar’s assassination in 44 BC to Caligula’s assassination in 41 AD. It is well written, clever and entertaining. Highly recommended if you enjoy historical fiction. It’s a great one. ( )
  RonTyler | Aug 11, 2017 |
Fantastic piece of historical fiction. Very entertaining and witty. I look forward to reading it's sequel. ( )
  Mitchell_Bergeson_Jr | Aug 6, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 110 (next | show all)
It is not enough for us to form any judgment of his merits as a historian or his qualities as a stylist. It is Graves that gives him a voice, and what a voice it is, garrulous, digressive, spiced with gossip and scandal, at the same time strangely dispassionate and sober. There is a range of tone here that enables Claudius, in his persona as professional historian, to deal with matters widely diverse, to be equally convincing whether talking about the waste and excess of military triumphs, the fate of Varus and his regiments in the forests of Germany, or the endless intriguing for power and influence among the members of the imperial family.
added by SnootyBaronet | editThe Guardian, Barry Unsworth
 
Supuesta "autobiografía" de Claudio, singular emperador romano predestinado a serlo a pesar de que sus deseos fueran por otros caminos. Graves dibuja sin concesiones un espeluznante retrato sobre la depravación, las sangrientas purgas y las intrigas cainitas llevadas hasta el crimen durante los reinados de Augusto y Tiberio. Pero Yo, Claudio es también Calígula y su etapa sádica, Mesalina, Livia y, cómo no, Roma, un decorado único para esta trama argumental apasionante que se llevó a la pequeña pantalla con rotundo éxito.
added by Pakoniet | editLecturalia
 

» Add other authors (37 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Graves, Robertprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cohen, Mark J.Designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Martinez, JohnIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mazía, FlorealTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mitchell, SusanArt directorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Renner, LouisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
. . . A story that was the subject of every variety of misrepresentation, not only by those who then lived but likewise in succeeding times: so true is it that all transactions of pre-eminent importance are wrapt in doubt and obscurity; while some hold for certain facts the most precarious hearsays, others turn facts into falsehood; and both are exaggerated by posterity.

TACITUS
Dedication
First words
I, Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Germanicus This-that-and-the-other (for I shall not trouble you yet with all my titles) who was once, and not so long ago either, known to my friends and relatives and associates as "Claudius the Idiot", or "That Claudius", or "Claudius the Stammerer", or "Clau-Clau-Claudius" or at best as "Poor Uncle Claudius", am now about to write this strange history of my life; starting from my earliest childhood and continuing year by year until I reach the fateful point of change where, some eight years ago, at the age of fifty-one, I suddenly found myself caught in what I may call the "golden predicament" from which I have never since become disentangled.
Quotations
You refuse to see that one can no more reintroduce republican government at this stage than one can reimpose primitive feelings of chastity on modern wives and husbands. It's like trying to turn the shadow back on a sundial: it can't be done.
Tiberius will make him his successor. No question of it. Why? Because Tiberius is like that. He has the same vanity as poor Augustus had: he can't bear the idea of a successor who will be more popular than himself. But at the same time he does all he can to make himself hated and feared. So, when he feels that his time's nearly up, he'll search for someone just a little worse than himself to succeed him. And he'll find Caligula.
Germanicus has told me about you. He says that you are loyal to three things—to your friends, to Rome, and to the truth. I would be very proud if Germanicus thought the same of me.
To recommend a monarchy on account of the prosperity it gives the provinces seems to me like recommending that a man should have liberty to treat his children as slaves, if at the same time he treats his slaves with reasonable consideration.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Haiku summary
Becomes emperor
with death of Caligula.
Where have good times gone?
(leboeuf)

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 067972477X, Paperback)

Having never seen the famous 1970s television series based on Graves' historical novel of ancient Rome and being generally uneducated about matters both ancient and Roman, I wasn't prepared for such an engaging book. But it's a ripping good read, this fictional autobiography set in the Roman Empire's days of glory and decadence. As a history lesson, it's fabulous; as a novel it's also wonderful. Best is Claudius himself, the stutterer who let everyone think he was an idiot (to avoid getting poisoned) but who reveals himself in the narrative to be a wry and likable observer. His story continues in Claudius the God.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:29 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

The emperor Claudius tells of his life during the reigns of Augustus, Tiberius, and Caligula and the events that led to his rise to power in a classic novel reconstructing ancient Rome.

» see all 14 descriptions

Legacy Library: Robert Graves

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141188596, 0143566393

 

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