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About the book
  • Published: 28 March 2002
  • ISBN: 9780140422306
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 576
  • RRP: $32.99

Metamorphoses

Design By Coralie Bickford-Smith




Erudite but light-hearted, dramatic yet playful, the Metamorphoses has influenced writers and artists throughout the centuries from Shakespeare and Titian to Picasso and Ted Hughes.

Bringing together a series of ingeniously linked myths and legends, Ovid's deliciously witty and poignant Metamorphoses describes a magical world in which men and women are transformed - often by love - into flowers, trees, animals, stones and stars. First published in 1567, this landmark translation by Arthur Golding was the first major English edition of the epic, which includes such tales as the legend of Narcissus; the parable of Icarus; and the passion held by the witch-queen Circe for the great Aeneas. A compelling adaptation that used imagery familiar to English sixteenth-century society, it powerfully influenced Spenser, Shakespeare and the character of Elizabethan literature.

  • Pub date: 28 March 2002
  • ISBN: 9780140422306
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 576
  • RRP: $32.99

About the Author

Ovid

Publius Ovidius Naso was born in Italy on 20 March 43 BC. He was educated in Rome and worked as a public official before taking up poetry full-time. His earliest surviving work is the collection of love poems called the Amores, which was followed by the Heroides. The Ars Amatoria (The Art of Love) and the Remedia Amoris (The Cure for Love) were probably written between 2 BC and 2 AD. These were followed by his two epic poems the Fasti and the Metamorphoses. In 8 AD Ovid fell out of favour with the Emperor Augustus due to a 'carmen et error' ('a poem and a mistake') and was banished to what is now Romania. While in exile he wrote Tristia, Ibis and the Epistulae ex Ponto which consists of letters appealing for help in his efforts to be recalled to Rome. Ovid died in exile in 18 AD.

Ovid (43BC-18AD) was born at Sulmo (Sulmona) in central Italy. Coming from a wealthy Roman family and seemingly destined for a career in politics, he held minor official posts before leaving public service to write, becoming the most distinguished poet of his time. His works, all published in Penguin Classics, include Amores, a collection of short love poems; Heroides, verse-letters written by mythological heroines to their lovers; Ars Amatoria, a satirical handbook on love; and Metamorphoses, his epic work that has inspired countless writers and artists through the ages.

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