Author(s): Robert Graves; Barry Unsworth (Foreword by)
Read in the style of a secret diary, this famous sequel toI, Claudiusgives a wry and human view of the Roman world, bringing to life some of the most scandalous and violent times in history.
Claudius has survived the murderous intrigues of his predecessors to become, reluctantly, Emperor of Rome. He recounts his surprisingly successful rule; how he cultivates loyalty of the army to repair the damage caused by his nephew Caligula; his friendship with the Jewish King Herod Agrippa; and his invasion of Britain. Yet beneath the surface Claudius' good fortune is under threat. With the growing paranoia of absolute power, and his young wife Messalina causing trouble, how long can Claudius survive?
Sir Derek Jacobi narrates; the only true voice of Claudius, having played him in the 1976 BBC series. Jacobi is a beloved stage and screen actor.
Robert Ranke Graves (1895-1985) was a British poet, novelist, and critic. He is best known for the historical novel I, Claudius and the critical study of myth and poetry The White Goddess. He wrote his autobiography, Goodbye to All That, in 1929, and it was soon established as a modern classic. He also translated Apuleius, Lucan and Suetonius for the Penguin Classics, and compiled the first modern dictionary of Greek Mythology, The Greek Myths. His translation of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (with Omar Ali-Shah) is also published in Penguin. Barry Unsworth is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and holds an honorary doctorate from Manchester University. He is the author of 15 novels, among them 'Sacred Hunger', which won the 1992 Booker Prize. 'Pascali's Island' (1980) and 'Morality Play' (1995) were shortlisted for the same prize. His most recent novel 'The Ruby in Her Navel' is due for publication in 2006. He lives in Italy.