After writing poetry, literary criticism, social commentaries, and numerous historical novels, the world of translation opened up to Graves.
After a prompt from Penguin publishers, he began translating Lucius Apuleius’s The Golden Ass, which he believed was ‘above all, a religious novel’.
His approach to translation was pure Gravesian, capturing the spirit of the work by changing the order of phrases and sentences, incorporating foot-note information into the text, and essentially breathing new life into the work.
Penguin was enthusiastic with the end-result and Graves himself hoped for big sales, ‘for all the wrong reasons; it certainly is full of obscenity.’
The lithographic illustrations in this Folio Society edition are by Michael Ayrton.