The Sappho Companion, by Margaret Reynolds

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The Independent Culture

Through her surviving fragments of lyric verse are still potent, we know little of Sappho. "A space for joining up the dots," says Reynolds, who had the brilliant idea of drawing together Sapphic translations and inspirations. The resulting collage is a triumph, from her early traducement by Ovid, who moulded her into "a sententious elderly bluestocking", through Pope's jibes and Swinburne's Sadean paroxysms, to Jeanette Winterson's raunchy remould: "She rushes at me bull-subtle."