The leftist views she had embraced at Oxford stayed with her all her life although she kept her views to herself. Life became difficult for her when the house became a place of pilgrimage for all kinds of visitors -poets, politicians, journalists, film stars and beatniks- but thanks to her pragmatism and sharp wit she managed to keep things in hand. When all her children were grown up or at school, she found time to indulge in one of her passions: Russian literature. She studied Russian and visited the USSR several times, where she made close friends with Graves' translators and other intellectuals, including Ivy Litvinoff. Beryl Graves kept abreast of the times in current affairs, literature and science -especially astronomy- but her main passions were her garden and her animals. As a child an uncle had brought her a pair of alligators, Bacon and Eggs, who lived in the bathtub. In the 1960s she brought a pair of Abyssinian cats to Deya and their genes are still evident in the local feline population. She also kept a slow loris at home until its mating smell obliged her to give it to the Barcelona Zoo. After the death of her husband in 1985, she spent eight years revising and annotating his complete poetic work, with the help of Dunstan Ward, which saw the light in the late 1990s as a threevolume set published by Carcanet. A few months before her death, she was proud to see this work published by Penguin Classics as Robert Graves: the Complete Poems. On the night of October 7, she went out into the garden to look at the Moon, which was almost full, close to Mars which was at its brightest since she was a child. Coming in through the kitchen door, she broke her hip. The frailty of her 88 years couldn't deal with the complications arising from the operation and after two weeks constantly attended by her family she died peacefully yesterday morning, in the company of her daughter Lucia.
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