WPI Department Head Quinn Edits Two New Volumes in Definitive "Robert Graves Programme"

Contact: WPI Media Relations, 508-831-5616

WORCESTER, Mass. - June 9, 2003 - Patrick J. M. Quinn, chairman of the Department of Humanities and Arts at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) is continuing his work into the literature of Robert Graves by overseeing the release of two new editions in the Robert Graves Programme being published by Carcanet Press in the United Kingdom. Quinn serves as general editor of the 24-volume series. The two new editions, numbers 14 and 15 in the series, are: "The Story of Mary Powell, Wife to Mr. Milton and The Islands of Unwisdom," and "Antigua, Penny, Puce and They Hanged My Saintly Billy."

Each edition carries a new introduction by a Graves expert to the title covered, as part of this ongoing program. Both new titles are being published in limited editions of 350 numbered copies. Further details of the four Robert Graves titles covered by the new editions are:

  • The Story of Marie Powell, Wife to Mr. Milton (1943) - This historical adventure is a compelling imaginative reconstruction of the marriage between Marie Powell and Milton. Graves' merciless portrait of the young Milton, and his vivid depiction of everyday life and historical events form a spellbinding narrative of a relationship.
  • The Islands of Unwisdom (1949) - Graves' second Renaissance fiction reconstructs an expedition by Spanish explorers and adventurers to the New World.
  • Antigua, Penny, Puce (1937) - A barbed tale of sibling rivalry, takes its title from the priceless postage stamp that Jane and Oliver fight to possess, in a battle at once comic and savage.
  • They Hanged My Saintly Billy (1957) - The last of Graves' major novels. Based on a true story, the case of poisoner Dr. William Palmer. Palmer was a notorious 19th-century surgeon, racehorse owner and forger.

"This ongoing collection of Robert Graves' work," says Quinn, "will go a long way to returning one of the finest lyrical poets and modernist novelist of the 20th century to his proper rank in the echelon of British writers."

As chairman of the Department of Humanities and Arts at WPI, Quinn oversees more than two-dozen tenured and tenure-track faculty members teaching art history and architecture, German language and literature, history, literature, Spanish language and literature, music, philosophy and religion, and theatre and theatre technology. At WPI, Quinn also conducts research into the literature of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Quinn has written or edited 10 books pertaining to the literature of the Great War and its aftermath on English and American society.

Quinn earned a Ph.D. in English literature from The University of Warwick in Coventry, England, where his dissertation dealt with the early war poetry and novels of Robert Graves and Siegfried Sassoon. He also holds an M.A. in English literature from the University of Ottawa in Ontario, Canada, and a B.A. in English and history from the University of Guelph in Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

About Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1865, WPI is a pioneer in technological higher education. WPI was the first university to understand that students learn best when they have the opportunity to apply the knowledge they gain in the classroom to the solution of important problems. Today its students, working in teams at more than 20 project centers around the globe, put their knowledge and skills to work as they complete professional-level work that can have an immediate positive impact on society.

WPI's innovative, globally focused curriculum has been recognized by leaders in industry, government and academia as the model for the technological education of tomorrow. Students emerge from this program as true technological humanists, well rounded, with the confidence, the interpersonal skills and the commitment to innovation they need to make a real difference in their professional and personal lives.

The university awarded its first advanced degree in 1898. Today, its first-rate research laboratories support master's and Ph.D. programs in more than 30 disciplines in engineering, science and the management of technology. Located in the heart of the region's biotechnology and high-technology sectors, WPI has built research programs-including the largest industry/university alliance in North America-that have won it worldwide recognition.