The White Goddess: An Encounter is a mesmerising tale of sex, lies and divided loyalties. Set between the magic of a bohemian Majorca and the horror of Franco's Madrid, it is a haunting evocation of a lost time and place, dominated by the extraordinary power of Robert Graves, one of the 20th century's greatest writers. 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 Graves. 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. The Observer says: "Impassioned, with all the intensive drama a youthful affair entails, this "autobifantasy" (as Gough calls it) is as much about a love of a place - the freedom and beauty of Dei? contrasts with the brutality of Franco's Madrid - as of a person. In fact, some of the finest parts of the book are not about Callas but the touching portrait of Graves and his wife Beryl; a tender, observant record both of their relationship and their real selves in their later years."