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Catullus, Clodia and the pangs of despised love

Daisy Dunn’s own passion for the earthy yet urbane Catullus is evident in her skilful recreation of his life and times

6 February 2016

9:00 AM

6 February 2016

9:00 AM

Catullus’ Bedspread: The Life of Rome’s Most Erotic Poet Daisy Dunn

Collins, pp.312, £16.99, ISBN: 9780007554331

The Poems of Catullus Daisy Dunn

Collins, pp.156, £8.99, ISBN: 9780007582969

Reading Daisy Dunn’s ambitious first book, a biography of the salty (in more ways than one) Roman poet Catullus, it struck me how lucky we are: only one copy of his collection of poems survived the ages, hidden under a bushel in Verona.

Catullus might have gone the way of his contemporaries, such as Cinna, whose lynching is immortalised in Julius Caesar, and whose poems are now dust.

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'Catullus’ Bedspread', £16.99 and 'The Poems of Catullus', £8.99 are available from the Spectator Bookshop, Tel: 08430 600033. Philip Womack’s fifth novel, The Double Axe, will be published by Alma later this year.

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