Following in the footsteps of Horace’s Ars Poetica, Boileau’s Art of Poetry lays down, in four entertaining books dealing with all forms and genres of poetry, the codes and rules for good versification. This beautiful translation proved to have a lasting influence on the future shape of English literature – among others, it was imitated magnificently by Pope in his 'Essay on Criticism', who also took Lutrin as a model for his own masterpiece, The Rape of the Lock.
Now reprinted for the first time in more than a century, Sir William Soames’s 1683 verse translation of Boileau’s poetical masterpiece – revised by the great poet John Dryden – here appears together with an eighteenth-century version of his hugely influential mock-heroic poem, Lutrin, with the original French text on facing pages.
'The poem which does the greatest honour to the French language.' Voltaire
Read an excerpt from Art of Poetry