I, Claudius

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I, Claudius is a historical novel by English writer Robert Graves, published in 1934. Written in the form of an autobiography of the Roman Emperor Claudius, it tells the history of the Julio-Claudian dynasty and the early years of the Roman Empire, from Julius Caesar’s assassination in 44 BC to Caligula’s assassination in AD 41. Though the narrative is largely fictionalized, most of the events depicted are drawn from historical accounts of the same time period by the Roman historians Suetonius and Tacitus.
The “autobiography” continues in a sequel, Claudius the God (1935), which covers the period from Claudius’ accession to his death in AD 54. The sequel also includes a section written as a biography of Herod Agrippa, a contemporary of Claudius and a King of the Jews. The two books were adapted by the BBC into the award-winning television serial I, Claudius in 1976.
Graves stated in an interview with Malcolm Muggeridge in 1965, that he wrote I, Claudius mainly because he needed the money to pay off a debt, having been let down in a land deal. He needed to raise £4000, but with the success of the books he brought in £8000 in six months, thus extricating himself from his precarious financial position. In 1998, the Modern Library ranked I, Claudius fourteenth on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. In 2005, the novel was chosen by Time as one of the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to present.

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