unlike the other reviewer here, I think this is solely for the professional scholar (either of classical reception or of classical gender issues). It takes an interesting starting point of seeing commentaries as 'readings' of a poet, and uses Sulpicia since her corpus is small and accessible. What is really at stake in this investigation is the extent to which commentaries are invested in the hermeneutic strategy of the time in which they are written, and Skoie does a good job of proving her argument. I doubt hugely though whether anyone other than an academic or postgraduate student (regardless of price issues) would be interested in this book, but if you fit either of those categories, then it's well worth a read.
on 18 January 2006
Mathilde Skoie's 'Reading Sulpicia' is top-notch scholarship but also an accessible and enjoyable read - and the two so rarely coincide. Skoie spins a beguiling and sophisticated yarn of academia's centuries-long invention of Rome's only famous female poet. It's sad that a pricing strategy aimed at specialist libraries counts against books like this which deserve - and I think would delight - a wider readership interested in how the past makes us and vice versa. I supposed the best that can be said of the situation is that you're paying for - and certainly getting - quality. As a professional scholar working in the area of reception studies I find 'Reading Sulpicia' invaluable. As a fan of detective stories, I love it to bits.