Catullus’ Bedspread: The Life of Rome’s Most Erotic Poet

Written by: Daisy Dunn

Daisy Dunn’s immediate narrative rediscovers the life and poetry of Gaius Valerius Catullus, Rome’s first ‘modern’ poet, a dandy who fell in love with another man’s wife and made it known to the world through his timeless verse.

Catullus was famed for his lyrical and subversive voice. His poetry tells the story of a life beset with love, loss, and the political conflict that characterised the end of the Roman Republic.

CATULLUS’ BEDSPREAD follows the young poet’s journey through a world filled with all the indulgences and sexual mores of the time, and his lasting affair with a married woman called Clodia. While Catullus and Clodia made love in the shadows, the whole of Italy was quaking as Caesar, Pompey and Crassus forged a doomed allegiance for power.  In these circumstances, Catullus composed his greatest work of all, a poem about the decoration on a bedspread, which forms the heart of this biography.

CATULLUS’ BEDSPREAD will be published on 28th January 2016 by William Collins.  The American edition will be published in July 2016 by HarperCollins USA.

‘An amazing mixture of pacey biography and first rate literary analysis. Rome’s most famous bad boy poet comes alive as never before. Stunning’  – Boris Johnson

‘A haunting reminder of how little humanity has changed over two thousand years and a moving introduction to the greatest love poet of all time’  – Robert Harris

‘Lyrical, playful and startlingly original…Breathes extraordinary new life into the classical world. An unforgettable journey into the high art and low life of ancient Rome’  – Dan Jones

‘Simultaneously imaginative and learned, Daisy Dunn has written the perfect introduction to Catullus and his world’  – Tom Holland

‘For all those of us who love counting stars none burns brighter in the literary firmament than that of Gaius Valerius Catullus – Daisy Dunn’s brilliant new biography of the Roman master will shine beams of light on his darkly passionate poetry’  – Professor Paul Cartledge