Robert Graves (also known as Robert Ranke Graves) was born in 1895 in London and served in World War I. Goodbye to All That: an Autobiography (1929), was published at age thirty three, and gave a gritty portrait of his experiences in the trenches. Graves edited out much of the stark reality of the book when he revised it in 1957. Although his most popular works, I, Claudius (1934) and its sequel, Claudius the God and His Wife Messalina (1935), were produced for television by the BBC in 1976 and seen in America on Masterpiece Theater, he was also famous as a poet, producing more than 50 volumes of poetry. Graves was awarded the 1934 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for both I, Claudius and Claudius the God. Also a distinguished academic, Graves was a professor of English in Cairo, Egypt, in 1926, a poetry professor at Oxford in the 1960s, and a visiting lecturer at universities in England and the U.S. He wrote translations of Greek and Latin works, literary criticism, and nonfiction works on many other topics, including mythology and poetry. He lived most of his life in Majorca, Spain, and died after a protracted illness in 1985.
Paul Fussell Jr. was born in Pasadena, California on March 22, 1924. He was drafted into the Army in 1943 while attending Pomona College. During his tour of duty, he won the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts. He returned to college in 1945. He received a bachelor of arts degree from Pomona College in 1947 and a master's degree and a doctorate in English from Harvard University. He taught English at Connecticut College for Women, Rutgers University, and the University of Pennsylvania. During this time he wrote several books on literary topics including The Rhetorical World of Augustan Humanism: Ethics and Imagery from Swift to Burke, Poetic Meter and Poetic Form, and Samuel Johnson and the Life of Writing. In 1975, he published The Great War and Modern Memory, which was a study of World War I and how its horrors fostered a disillusioned modernist sensibility. This book won both the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism and the National Book Award for Arts and Letters. His other works include Abroad: British Literary Traveling Between the Wars, Class: A Guide Through the American Status System, Wartime: Understanding and Behavior in the Second World War, BAD: Or, the Dumbing of America, and Doing Battle: The Making of a Skeptic. He died of natural causes on May 23, 2012 at the age of 88.