GRAVES, Miss Ida Florence

1902 - 1999

Born at Coonoor, Madras, India on 29 March and baptised on 3 May 1902, daughter of Col. Douglas Henry McDounal Graves, surgeon to HM Forces in India, and his wife Mabel Alice née Petley. Ida was a collateral descendant of the Bishop of Limerick, from whom the poet and writer Robert Graves was descended. At the age of six was sent to school in England and at nineteen studied English literature at University College, London, at the same time completing an evening course in sculpture at Chelsea Art School. She joined the circle of Virginia and Leonard Woolf whose Hogarth Press published her 'The China Cupboard and Other Poems' in 1929. She married in 1922, Herbert Marks, with whom she had two children, but the marriage failed and in 1930, began an affair with the wood engraver Blair Hughes-Stanton (1902-1981) [q.v.] with whom, in 1933, she set up the Gemini Press in Essex, which published her poem 'Epithalamion' (1934) being illustrated by Blair Hughes-Stanton and in 1939 they were living at Lower Street, Stratford Mary, Ipswich when Ida is recorded as a writer and Hughes-Stanton, an arist. Well known for her embroidered woollen ships and sea pictures and during the Second World War she painted scenery and sewed costumes for the Covent Garden National Ballet. Ida published the poem 'Mother and Child' in 1946 and, as Affleck Graves, published three children's books and two biographical novels, 'Willa, You're Wanted' 1952 and 'Elarna Cane' 1994. She married at Ipswich in 1995, the jazz pianist Donald Nevard. She died at her home at Stratford St Mary, Ipswich, Suffolk in 1999.