The incident between Elvira and Charles Graves (see  https://elvirabarney.wordpress.com/2011/10/13/charles-graves/ ) actually happened earlier than I thought.

In the Robert Graves collection at St.John’s College,Oxford, there are two draft letters (with annotations by the poet) to Sir John Mullens concerning the end of Charles’ engagement to Elvira. One is from Charles Graves (dated 26th September 1924) and the other from  their mother, Amy Graves, dated the 27th September.

Although I have yet to see the letters, a number of points arise from this information alone. Firstly, the engagement, ” unofficial” and the result of a “brief flirtation” according to Charles Graves in his autobiography, was obviously a more serious and public affair than he suggested, with both families heavily involved in clearing up the mess.Were they covering up a potential scandal or was there more to it than that? Why are the letters with Robert when he was not particularly close to his brother ?

Secondly, it confirms that Elvira’s emotional state and her fears of rejection were always a matter of concern to those around her and not everything can be blamed on the worthless Mr.Barney, or on her later predilection for drink and drugs.

Finally, it suggests that Elvira was training for the stage for a rather longer period than usually implied. This would partly explain the number of actors and actresses in her circle of friends and acquaintances.

Hopefully, the letters might clear up the question of the gun and whether Charles or Viva King’s account of the episode is closer to the truth.

 

 

 

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