The Golden Asse


The Golden Asse, by Apuleius - click to see full size image

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The Golden Asse, also known as The Metamorphoses of Apuleius, is the only ancient novel in Latin that has survived in its entirety. It tells the story of Lucius and his desire to practice magic. After seeing his friend's wife transform herself into a bird using a magic spell, he asks Photis, a young servant girl in his friend's house, to do the same to him. However, something goes wrong and Lucius is instead, transformed into an ass. The story then follows Lucius on his adventures, as he goes on both a literal and metaphorical journey, until he is finally turned back into a human by the goddess Isis. Composed of eleven books and forty-eight chapters, the main story has other stories embedded into it, such as the tales of Aristomenes, Thelyphron, Cupid and Psyche, the Tale of the Wife's Tub, the Tale of the Jealous Husband, the Tale of the Fuller's Wife, and the Tale of the Jealous Wife. The Golden Asse has influenced many other writers, including Kafka, Machiavelli, and C. S. Lewis.

Part of Anne Haight's List of Banned Books.

This book has 80,549 words, and 141 pages in the PDF version. This edition of a translation by William Adlington was originally published in 1659 and the original spelling, capitalisation and punctuation have been retained.

Production notes: This edition of The Golden Asse was published by Global Grey on the 12th July 2021. The artwork used for the cover is 'The Abduction of Psyche' by William-Adolphe Bouguereau.

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