RETURN TO DEIÀ (1946-1954)

1946 - 1954

Return to Deià

In May 1946 Robert took his new family to Majorca. Robert found the house just as he had left it ten...

...years earlier. Juan Marroig, (who had been imprisoned for a time during the Spanish Civil War) was there to greet him, with other village friends. Karl Goldschmidt, who had been Laura and Robert’s secretary,  joined him the following year and resumed his work as Robert’s assistant. He moved into Can Torrent, the house next door, which also belonged to Robert.

Robert settled into his routine. He rose early, breakfasted on coffee and bread-and-oil with tomato, and took Beryl her breakfast in bed. By 8:30 he was at his desk. Shortly afterwards, Karl delivered typed up versions of the previous day’s drafts. Robert wrote everything with pen and ink, and inked out any correction with a brush. After handing Karl a new batch of work for typing, he worked undisturbed until he was called for lunch. He liked helping with the salads. After lunch he took a twenty-minute sleep (he learned the trick under bombardment in the trenches). After a little more work he would stride off down to the cove 550 ft. below. There he would negotiate an overhang along a cliff as he had been taught by Mallory, then dive into the sea, have a quick swim, and stride back up the hill to his desk. He would then answer his letters. There was no telephone: the only means of fast communication was by telegram..

In the late 1940s, with the children in the village school or kindergarten and with few visitors, Robert got plenty of work done. He received the proofs of The White Goddess, which he corrected and added to. He edited a book of his essays on poetry, and another of his short stories, essays and poems. He wrote a utopian novel based on Goddess worship, and another about the wife of a Spanish admiral, who took command of the fleet in the South Seas when he husband died. And he turned his hand to translating The Golden Ass by Lucius Apuleius. He had both Karl and Beryl typing at once.