For 2500 years, poets and readers have been moved and inspired by the writing of Sappho, and the myths that surround her. Born around 630BCE on the Greek island of Lesbos, Sappho is now regarded as the greatest lyrical poet of ancient Greece, ironic and passionate, capturing the troubled depths of love, the beauty of nature, the ceremony of ritual and the power of spiritual longing. Her work survives only in fragments, yet her influence extends throughout Western literature, fuelled by the speculations of romances which have gathered around her name, her story and her sexuality. This anthology contains narrative accounts of the way different periods have taken up Sappho's haunting story. We see her image change, re-created in Ovid's poetry and Boccaccio's tales, in translations by Pope, Rossetti and Swinburne and Baudelaire, in the modern versions of Eavan Boland and Jeanetter Winterson. Artists, too, have felt Sappho's power, and this work contains a variety of illustrations: classical statues and pre-Raphaelite paintings, Roman mosaics and Romantic pornography.