Although Longus's pastoral has attracted disapproval too - Mrs. Browning called it an "obscene text" - it has proved an enduringly fertile source for artists from Henry Fielding to Corot and Ravel and is recognizably the masterpiece among early Greek novels. It shares with them the stock in trade of pirates, dreams and supernatural aids, but Longus's artistry adds other dimensions, transforming it into a virtuoso love story, rich in insights, humorous and ironical in its treatment of human sexual experience. "One would do well to read it every year," Goethe advised, "to be instructed by it again and again, and to receive anew the impression of its great beauty."
A masterpiece among early Greek romances
A tender novel describing eager and inept young love, Daphnis and Chloe tells the story of a baby boy and girl who are discovered separately, two years apart, alone and exposed on a Greek mountainside. Taken in by a goatherd and a shepherd respectively, and raised near the town of Mytilene, they grow to maturity unaware of one another's existence - until the mischievous god of love, Eros, creates in them a sudden overpowering desire for one another. A masterpiece among early Greek romances, attracting both high praise and moral disapproval, this work has proved an enduringly fertile source of inspiration for musicians, writers and artists from Henry Fielding to Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot and Maurice Ravel. Longus transforms familiar themes from the romance genre - including pirates, dreams, and the supernatural - into a virtuoso love story that is rich in insight, humorous and ironical in its treatment of human sexual experience.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Have a question about this product? Ask us here.