Penguin Classics Golden Ass

by Lucius Apuleius
Foreword by E J Kenney
Translated by E J Kenney

Penguin UK (PB) | October 1, 1998 | Trade Paperback

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In all of literature, there are few books with the vitality of The Golden Ass. Boccaccio borrowed freely from it; later it served to amuse and instruct Cervantes, Henry Fielding, and Tobias George Smoollett. T. E. Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia, carried it with him in his saddlebags all through the Arab Revolt, and it was Lawrence who first introduced the book to his friend Robert Graves.

The story follows Lucius, a young man of good birth, as he disports himself in the cities and along the roads of Thessaly. He encounters many diverting and strange adventures, not the least of which occurs when he betrays a priestess of the White Goddess -- for his offense, he suffers the indignity of being turned into an ass. How Lucius supports his misfortune and contrives at last to appease the goddess and resume his human form make up the body of this tale abounding in lusty incident, curious adventure, and bawdy wit.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 320 pages, 7.75 × 5.05 × 0.75 in

Published: October 1, 1998

Publisher: Penguin UK (PB)

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0140435905

ISBN - 13: 9780140435900

Found in: Classics
Appropriate for ages: 18 - 18

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– More About This Product –

Penguin Classics Golden Ass

by Lucius Apuleius
Foreword by E J Kenney
Translated by E J Kenney

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 320 pages, 7.75 × 5.05 × 0.75 in

Published: October 1, 1998

Publisher: Penguin UK (PB)

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0140435905

ISBN - 13: 9780140435900

From the Publisher

In all of literature, there are few books with the vitality of The Golden Ass. Boccaccio borrowed freely from it; later it served to amuse and instruct Cervantes, Henry Fielding, and Tobias George Smoollett. T. E. Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia, carried it with him in his saddlebags all through the Arab Revolt, and it was Lawrence who first introduced the book to his friend Robert Graves.

The story follows Lucius, a young man of good birth, as he disports himself in the cities and along the roads of Thessaly. He encounters many diverting and strange adventures, not the least of which occurs when he betrays a priestess of the White Goddess -- for his offense, he suffers the indignity of being turned into an ass. How Lucius supports his misfortune and contrives at last to appease the goddess and resume his human form make up the body of this tale abounding in lusty incident, curious adventure, and bawdy wit.

About the Author

Apuleius, of African birth, was educated in Carthage and Athens. His most famous work, The Golden Ass (c.150), is the tale of a young philosopher who transformed himself not into a bird as he had expected, but into an ass. After many adventures he was rescued by the goddess Isis. The episode of "Cupid and Psyche," told with consummate grace, is the most celebrated section. This romance of the declining Empire influenced the novels of Boccaccio, Cervantes, Fielding (see Vol. 1), and Smollett (see Vol. 1); Heywood used the theme for a drama and William Morris (see Vol. 1) used some of the material in The Earthly Paradise. Robert Graves's "translation abandons the aureate Latinity of Apuleius for a dry, sharp, plain style---which is itself a small masterpiece of twentieth-century prose" (Kenneth Rexroth, SR SR). The new translation by John Arthur Hanson is authoritative.

From Our Editors

A classic tale combining mythological and religious imagery, ApuleiusThe Golden Ass recalls the story of Lucius, a young man whose interest in the occult and witchcraft leads him to believe that he can transform himself into a bird. In an amusing turn of events, he becomes a donkey instead. What’s more, he is then kidnapped by robbers and forced to follow them through the countryside as an animal. Fortunately, he experiences a religious epiphany, and returning to his faith allows him entry into the cult of the goddess Isis. Both dramatic and amusing, Apuleius’ myth is at its core, a discourse on the importance of adhering to faith in the face of evil and temptation.

Appropriate for ages: 18 - 18

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