I, Claudius purports to be the secret autobiography of Claudius, the fourth emperor of Rome, who used his wits and intelligence to survive his murderous family and become one of Rome's greatest emperors. Fans of HBO's Rome will love it, as it features four strong and manipulative women who manipulate their men in and out of power, peace, and war. Seriously, read it. It's the perfect read for fall.
A new adaptation has been kicking around Hollywood for a year or more -- last year, producer Scott Rudin won the rights, and attached Leonardo DiCaprio and William Monahan to the project, but the deal ultimately fell through. Given that DiCaprio has the busiest pre-production schedule in the world, it's just as well, and it's fallen into good hands now.
I'm quite attached to Graves' work, and the literature nerd in me hopes that Claudius could spur a revival of interest in his works. I would love to see a biopic of the man himself, as he was -- as one of my favorite professors delicately put it -- "a very, um, interesting man." I, Claudius came about because Graves dreamed the emperor himself came to him in a dream and told him to write it -- and then he later decried them as just a moneymaker. And that's not including his White Goddess, and the lover who believed she was a witch. Pick up Goodbye to All That or Miranda Seymour's biography along with I, Claudius -- you'll thank me. I'm going to dig them out of my basement myself.