The Easton Press (EP) Deluxe Limited Edition (DLE) of Ovid’s Metamorphosis is a beautiful example of how nice a well done fascimile can be. This is one of the most impressive EP DLE’s, probably only matched in beauty and scale by their Kelmscott Chaucer, and in sheer delight to flip through only by their marvelous and under-appreciated A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It is a large 2 volume book (each 11 3/4″ x 17 3/4″) with a nice soft leather in dark burgundy, fantastic marbled endpapers, and nice paper with both the original Latin and English translations (of Alexander Pope and John Dryden) along with scores of classic illustrations, including that of the great Bernard Picart.
Publius Ovidius Naso (43 BC – 17/18 AD), better known as Ovid, was one of the three greatest Roman poets (along with Virgil and Horace) whose work is right in the center of the Western Canon. His work has had enormous influence on Western art and literature (reaching its high point during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance) and remains a critical source on classical mythology. His best known works include three major collections of poetry, the Heroides, Amores and Ars Amatoria, and the epic Metamorphoses, reviewed here.
Metamorphoses was completed in 8 AD. This classic epic is a a Latin narrative poem in 15 books presenting a history of the world beginning with its creation and ending with the deification of Julius Caesar, though it is not written to present the stories in any degree of strict chronological order. Myth and history intertwine, with tales of transformations throughout, and a constant theme of love. There is a nice summary of the organization of Metamorphosis here.
The importance of Metamorphosis cannot be over-stated and anyone with a book collection of classics would be remiss not to have at least one nice edition of it. This Easton Press DLE makes a nice choice.
About the Edition
- Facsimile of the 1732 Illustrated Edition of the World’s Great Treasury of Classical Myths
- Featuring text in both the original Latin and English translations by such greats as Alexander Pope and John Dryden
- Over 130 illustrations, including the work of Bernard Picart, the greatest illustrator of the age
- Mohawk Feltmark paper especially milled by Mohawk Fine Papers, Cohoes, New York
- Cowhide leather imported from Italy by Cortina Leathers of New York, New York
- Lithography by Falcon Press, Nashville, Tennessee
- Multi-color cover decoration and custom binding by BindTech, Nashville, Tennessee
- Raised hubbed spine deeply embossed with 22kt gold with gilt edges
- Smyth sewn pages
- 11 3/4″ x 17 3/4″
- Limited to 400 hand-numbered copies