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About Daisy Dunn
Daisy Dunn is an award-winning classicist and biographer. Born in London, she read Classics at Oxford before gaining a scholarship to the Courtauld for an MA in the History of Art of the Italian Renaissance, and completing a doctorate in Classics and the History of Art at UCL. She writes for a number of newspapers and magazines and is editor of ARGO: A Hellenic Review. Her first books, Catullus’ Bedspread: The Life of Rome’s Most Erotic Poet and The Poems of Catullus: A New Translation, were published on both sides of the Atlantic in 2016. Her dual biography, In the Shadow of Vesuvius: A Life of Pliny, was an Editors' Choice in the New York Times in 2019. She lives in London.
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‘Never less than compelling … She consistently succeeds in bringing what might otherwise seem dusty and remote to vivid life’ Tom Holland, Literary Review
‘Starts with an erupting volcano – and then gets more exciting … Wonderfully rich, witty, insightful and wide-ranging’ Sarah Bakewell
In a dazzling, lively new literary biography, Daisy Dunn weaves together the lives of two Roman greats: Pliny the Elder, author of Natural History, and his nephew Pliny the Younger, who inherited his uncle’s notebooks and intellectual legacy.
Breathing vivid life back into the Plinys, Daisy Dunn charts the extraordinary lives of two outstanding minds and their lasting legacy on the world.
‘A fascinating, compelling and excellent biography’
Simon Sebag Montefiore
‘Immensely entertaining and readable … Thoroughly recommended’
Part of the ALL-NEW LADYBIRD EXPERT SERIES
'Brought evocatively to life' HISTORY REVEALED
- Was there really a Trojan War?
- What makes a Homeric hero?
- How did Odysseus defeat the Cyclops?
IMMERSE yourself in the epic adventures of the Ancient Greek gods and heroes. Filled with daring feats, battles and terrifying monsters, the poems and the stories told within them raise complex questions about fate, death and forgiveness that are still debated today.
MIGHTY HEROES AND MEDDLING GODS
Written by the winner of the Classical Association Prize 2020, Daisy Dunn's Homer is a fascinating introduction to these ancient stories and their truly timeless themes.
A biography of Gaius Valerius Catullus, Rome’s first great poet, a dandy who fell in love with another man’s wife and made it known to the world through his verse.
This superb book gives a rare portrait of life during one of the most critical moments in world history through the eyes of one of Rome’s greatest writers.
Living through the debauchery, decadence and spectacle of the crumbling Roman Republic, Catullus remains famous for the sharp, immediate poetry with which he skewered Rome’s sparring titans – Pompey, Crassus and his father’s friend, Julius Caesar. But it was for his erotic, scandalous but often tender love elegies that he became best known, inspired above all by his own lasting affair with a married woman whom he immortalised in his verse as ‘Lesbia’. A monumental figure for poets from Ovid and Virgil onwards, his journey across youth and experience, from Verona to Rome, Bithynia to Lake Garda, is traced in Daisy Dunn’s brilliant portrait of life during one of the most critical moments in world history.
Written in the twilight of the Roman Republic, the poetry of Gaius Valerius Catullus offers a delicious insight into the passions and gossip of high Roman society.
From the poet and his friends to cultural and political titans, including Caesar, Cicero, and Pompey, his cutting, modern verse spares no-one. In this new translation by Daisy Dunn, author of Catullus’ Bedspread, his obscene honesty, arrogant wit and surprising tenderness capture Roman society at their best.
Most famous for his obsessive love lyrics for the married Lesbia, Catullus’ words are an immortal expression of youth, rebellion and agonised love.
Daisy Dunn offers a deeply researched collection of stories reflecting the eclectic richness and depth of the classical literary canon.
Striking a balance between the 'classic classic' (such as Dryden's translation of the Aeneid) and the less familiar or expected, Of Gods and Men ranges from the epic poetry of Homer to the histories of Arrian and Diodorus Siculus and the sprawling Theogony of Hesiod; from the tragedies of Aeschylus and Euripides to the biographies of Suetonius and Plutarch and the pen portraits of Theophrastus; and from the comedies of Plautus to the the fictions of Petronius and Apuleius.
Of Gods and Men is embellished by translations from writers as diverse as Queen Elizabeth I (Boethius), Percy Bysshe Shelley (Plato), Walter Pater (Apuleius's Golden Ass), Lawrence of Arabia (Homer's Odyssey), Louis MacNeice (Aeschylus's Agamemnon) and Ted Hughes (Ovid's Pygmalion), as well as a number of accomplished translations by Daisy herself.
La historia de dos de las mentes más brillantes de la Antigüedad clásica.
«La sutileza de su estructura consigue en todo momento animar lo que de otra manera podría parecernos remoto. El resultado es un magistral retrato de una época, tan vívido como los escalofríos que provocó en su día el despertar del volcán».
Dos vidas de libros y viajes, dos historias de aventura y conocimiento entretejidas en el colosal tapiz del Imperio romano. Bajo la sombra del Vesubio comienza con la erupción más famosa del mundo antiguo y sus ecos se prolongan con toda nitidez hasta nuestros días».
Cuando Plinio el Viejo, viajero, historiador y almirante de la flota imperial, murió en Estabia durante la famosa erupción del Vesubio en el año 79, dejó tras de sí los treinta y siete libros de su Historia natural —un fabuloso compendio que abarca conocimientos sobre materias de todo orden, desde la luna o el reino vegetal hasta la eficacia de los ciempiés en la curación de úlceras— y un sobrino adolescente que lo veneraba.
Plinio el Joven heredó entonces los cuadernos de su tío —repletos de sabiduría y brillantes intuiciones— y se esforzaría durante toda su vida por mantener vivo su legado. Amigo del historiador Tácito, del biógrafo Suetonio y del poeta Marcial, fue además coleccionista de villas, abogado, senador y cronista del Imperio romano, desde los oscuros días de terror bajoel mandato de Domiciano hasta los más apacibles tiempos del emperador Trajano.
Bajo la sombra del Vesubio es una biografía narrativa y dual que, entretejiendo las cartas de Plinio el Joven con extractos de los libros de Plinio el Viejo, devuelve la vida al padre y al hijo adoptivo, al mentor y al discípulo, a dos de las mentes más brillantes de la Antigüedad clásica, a la vez que despliega a través de su mirada el fascinante panorama de la Roma del siglo I d. C.
Oxford thought it was at war. And then it was.
After the horrors of the First World War, Oxford looked like an Arcadia - a dreamworld - from which pain could be shut out. Soldiers arrived with pictures of the university fully formed in their heads, and women finally won the right to earn degrees. Freedom meant reading beneath the spires and punting down the river with champagne picnics. But all was not quite as it seemed.
Boys fresh from school settled into lecture rooms alongside men who had returned from the trenches with the beginnings of shellshock. It was displacing to be surrounded by aristocrats who liked nothing better than to burn furniture from each other's rooms on the college quads for kicks. The women of Oxford still faced a battle to emerge from their shadows. And among the dons a major conflict was beginning to brew.
Set in the world that Evelyn Waugh immortalised in Brideshead Revisited, this is a true and often funny story of the thriving of knowledge and spirit of fun and foreboding that characterised Oxford between the two world wars. One of the protagonists, in fact, was a friend of Waugh and inspired a character in his novel. Another married into the family who inhabited Castle Howard and befriended everyone from George Bernard Shaw to Virginia Woolf. The third was an Irish occultist and correspondent with the poets W. H. Auden, Louis MacNeice and W. B. Yeats.
This singular tale of Oxford colleagues and rivals encapsulates the false sense of security that developed across the country in the inter-war years. With the rise of Hitler and the Third Reich came the subversion of history for propaganda. In academic Oxford, the fight was on not only to preserve the past from the hands of the Nazis, but also to triumph, one don over another, as they became embroiled in a war of their own.