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About the book
  • Published: 29 December 2000
  • ISBN: 9780140440584
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 368
  • RRP: $19.99

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.

Mary Innes's classic prose translation of one of the supreme masterpieces of Latin literature, Ovid's Metamorphosis.
Ovid drew on Greek mythology, Latin folklore and legend from ever further afield to create a series of narrative poems, ingeniously linked by the common theme of transformation. Here a chaotic universe is subdued into harmonious order: animals turn to stone; men and women become trees and stars. Ovid himself transformed the art of storytelling, infusing these stories with new life through his subtley, humour and understanding of human nature, and elegantly tailoring tone and pace to fit a variety of subjects. The result is a lasting treasure-house of myth and legend.
'The most beautiful book in the language (my opinion and I suspect it was Shakespeare's)' - Ezra Pound
Ovid was born in 43 BC in central Italy. He was sent to Rome where he realised that his talent lay with poetry rather than with politics. His first published work was 'Amores', a collection of short love poems. He was expelled in A.D. 8 by Emperor Augustus for an unknown reason and went to Tomis on the Black Sea, where he died in AD 17.
Mary M. Innes graduated from Glasgow and Oxford Universities and subsequently taught in the universities of Belfast and Aberdeen, before spending some twenty years proving to schoolgirls that classical languages can and should be enjoyed.

  • Pub date: 29 December 2000
  • ISBN: 9780140440584
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 368
  • RRP: $19.99

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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