In English translation

The full appearance of the Metamorphoses in English translation (sections had appeared in the works of Chaucer and Gower)[70] coincides with the beginning of printing, and traces a path through the history of publishing.[70][71] William Caxton produced the first translation of the text on 22 April 1480;[72] set in prose, it is a literal rendering of a French translation known as the Ovide Moralisé.[73]

From 1535–7,[74] Arthur Golding produced a translation of the poem that would become highly influential, the version read by Shakespeare and Spenser.[75] The next significant translation was by George Sandys, produced from 1621–6,[76] which set the poem in heroic couplets, a metre that would subsequently become dominant in vernacular English epic and in English translations.[77]

In 1717, a translation appeared from Samuel Garth bringing together work "by the most eminent hands":[78] primarily John Dryden, but several stories by Joseph Addison, one by Alexander Pope,[79] and contributions from Tate, Gay, Congreve, and Rowe, as well as those of eleven others including Garth himself.[80] 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.[81]

Around the later half of the twentieth century a greater number of translations appeared[82] as literary translation underwent a revival.[81] This trend has continued into the early twenty-first century.[83] 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.[84]

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