In The Sappho History, Reynolds looks not at Sappho, but at the reflections and refractions of Sappho from the mid-18th century to today. Not a classicist herself, she has a refreshing way of reading both the poetry and the iconic status of Sappho that sends you back both to the poetry and the responses of antiquity with a new view.
Apart from her own personal responses and insights, Reynolds writes marvellously, so that her prose is a pleasure to read in its own right. The only area that I found disconcertingly missing was the surprising one of gender: what does it mean, and how does it (should it?) change our interpretation that male writers appropriate the subject position of a Greek woman?
Still, this is an excellent, stimulating book, which also has good production values, making it a pleasure to hold as well as to read.