Pollard has blown the dust off Ovid’s Heroides and given us a crisp, contemporary English translation. Here are imaginary letters from 14 women of myth and legend and one historical one (Sappho) to their absent partners. The speakers include figures still well known to us today, like Penelope and Dido, and others that we need Pollard’s helpful notes to identify.
Popular in its own time, Ovid’s work influenced Chaucer, Marlowe, and Shakespeare and paved the way for the epistolary novel. Richardson’s Clarissa, Goethe’s Sorrows of Young Werther and Laclos’ Les Liaisons dangereuses all owe a debt to Heroides.
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The Manhattan Review, Vol. 16, No. 2, Fall/Winter 2014-15