Are you between 5 and 25? If so, enter the Wicked Young Writer Awards NOW - click here for details...

make the most of Lovereading book price comparison debuts of the month
Search our site
A Country Escape by Katie Fforde Read the opening extract of the brand new Katie Fforde book before its publication on 22/02/2018

The White Goddess: An Encounter by Simon Gough

The White Goddess: An Encounter

Literary Fiction   Biography / Autobiography   
Download an extract Discuss on Facebook Discuss this book on our Literary Contemporary Facebook group Share this book

Lovereading view...

This novel is quite simply sublime. The author narrates an ‘auto-bi-fantasy’, detailing his life as he grows up in the orbit of his ‘Grand’-uncle, Robert Graves in Majorca. If you’ve had the pleasure of reading the work of Graves, you will be aware of his ability to transport the reader to any place of his choosing, Gough also has this skill. The island of Majorca is brought wondrously to life, you are dared not to fall in love with the colour, the heat, the noise, the people, the life of the place. Ten year old Simon on his first visit, absorbs the magic of his ‘Grand’-Uncle, the draw, the utter fascination of the man and vows to return. Gough describes comedic moments to make you laugh out loud, coming of age love to make your heart ache and divided loyalties enough to make your head spin. A wonderfully compelling novel highlighting the world of a poet, his muse and those who alternately suffer or bask in their glory. ~ Liz Robinson


The White Goddess: An Encounter by Simon Gough

When 10-year-old Simon Gough went to Majorca in 1953 he thought he had landed in paradise. Far from the misery of his English boarding school and his parents' divorce, he fell in love - with the tiny village of Deya, with his wild cousin Juan and most of all with his beloved 'Grand-Uncle' Robert. When he returned in 1960, paradise had been overrun by beatniks and marijuana - and Simon liked it all the more. But soon he fell for the enchanting Margot Callas, Robert Graves' muse. He found himself entangled in a web of lies and deceit and playing a game whose rules he didn't understand. The repercussions would haunt him for the rest of his life.


Extraordinary... a dangerous,mythic tale of love and worship - Libby Purves, BBC Radio 4

An unsparing account of a golden summer and a world torn apart - The Guardian

Impassioned, with all the intensive drama a youthful affair entails. A tender, Observant record - The Observer

A book that reads at a gallop, with real joy in the descriptions... Gough makes the case for poets as necessary lightning rods for our passions - The Independent

Gorgeous, preposterous and captivating... Gough is Thomas Mann-like in his ability to pull you in - The TLS

About the Author

The only child of the actor Michael Gough and actress-cum-journalist Diana Graves, Simon Gough was born in 1942. He was brought up in France, Italy and Spain by a number of surrogate parents, as well as his own, and spent much of his childhood in brutal boarding establishments until he was finally expelled from his last school for trying to blow it up. He has revelled in freedom ever since - and in changes of career, from washing up to writing for the BBC, to acting, to selling the finest antiquarian books in London and Norfolk,(at which he excelled by accepting a modest loss on every volume sold). The White Goddess: An Encounter is the first of two books concerning the extraordinary events surrounding his relationship with his great-uncle Robert Graves; the second is nearing completion.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading similar books...
Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

12th June 2014


Simon Gough

More books by Simon Gough
Author 'Like for Like'

Author's Website


Galley Beggar Press


628 pages


Literary Fiction
Biography / Autobiography

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



Lovereading helps me decide what real people read.

Kerry Bridges

Lovereading - a community of people passionate about reading and sharing their views. An incomparable website for book lovers.

Helen Clark

I love 'try before you buy' extracts. I love the wide range of authors & genres. I love the author info. I love books!

Judi Davies

It has enriched my leisure time by introducing me to a world of books which I would not have previously considered.

Val Rowe

At Lovereading there are fabulous books available in every genre, with great reviews to help you pick the right book for you.

Teresa O'Halloran

Because of Lovereading I have broadened my reading horizons with some really great books that I probably would never have chosen myself.

Susan Walsh

Its jam packed with fantastic titles, informative descriptions & fantastic reviews and has a vast array of great features & competitions.

Linda Rollins

Their sending me my first book to review 18 months ago re-awakened my fondness for reading, since then I have purchased some real gems.

Barry Griffiths