The full appearance of the Metamorphoses in English translation (sections had appeared in the works of Chaucer and Gower) coincides with the beginning of printing, and traces a path through the history of publishing. William Caxton produced the first translation of the text on 22 April 1480; set in prose, it is a literal rendering of a French translation known as the Ovide Moralisé.
From 1535–7, Arthur Golding produced a translation of the poem that would become highly influential, the version read by Shakespeare and Spenser. The next significant translation was by George Sandys, produced from 1621–6, which set the poem in heroic couplets, a metre that would subsequently become dominant in vernacular English epic and in English translations.
In 1717, a translation appeared from Samuel Garth bringing together work "by the most eminent hands": primarily John Dryden, but several stories by Joseph Addison, one by Alexander Pope, and contributions from Tate, Gay, Congreve, and Rowe, as well as those of eleven others including Garth himself. Translation of the Metamorphoses after this period was comparatively limited in its achievement; having "no real rivals throughout the nineteenth century", the Garth volume continued to be printed into the 1800s.
Around the later half of the twentieth century a greater number of translations appeared as literary translation underwent a revival. This trend has continued into the early twenty-first century. In 2004, a collection of translations and responses to the poem, entitled After Ovid: New Metamorphoses, was produced by numerous contributors in emulation of the process of the Garth volume.