Long Live Latin (Hardback)

The Pleasures of a Useless Language

Nicola Gardini

The international bestseller that celebrates the beauty, passion and life-lessons to be found in this not-so-dead language

'A love letter to the finest language ever created. ... Gardini explains lucidly, compellingly and passionately how and why Latin is so elegant, beautiful, expressive and succinct.' Susan Hill, Spectator

'Enthrals, illuminates, and convinces. Nobody could possibly describe Latin as a dead or useless language after reading it.' David Crystal

Virgil gave us the Aeneid, and Ovid the Metamorphoses

Publication date: 14/11/2019

£14.99

ISBN: 9781781259399

Imprint: Profile Books

Subject: Arts, Language & Literature

Long Live Latin (Ebook)

The Pleasures of a Useless Language

Nicola Gardini

The international bestseller that celebrates the beauty, passion and life-lessons to be found in this not-so-dead language

'A love letter to the finest language ever created. ... Gardini explains lucidly, compellingly and passionately how and why Latin is so elegant, beautiful, expressive and succinct.' Susan Hill, Spectator

'Enthrals, illuminates, and convinces. Nobody could possibly describe Latin as a dead or useless language after reading it.' David Crystal

Virgil gave us the Aeneid, and Ovid the Metamorphoses

Publication date: 14/11/2019

£10.99

ISBN: 9781782833994

ISBN 10 / ASIN: B07PW1RLHD

Imprint: Profile Books

Subject: Arts, Language & Literature

Reviews for Long Live Latin

'This love-letter to Latin enthrals, illuminates, and convinces. Nobody could possibly describe Latin as a dead or useless language after reading it.'

David Crystal 

'Highlighting the particular charms in the styles and attitudes of Latin's greatest writers, this book will open many eyes to the unexpected pleasures of Latin'

Nicholas Ostler, author of Empires of the Word:A Language History of the World

'A brilliant reminder that the supposedly dead language is alive and kicking - and still the most influential language in the world.'

Harry Mount, author Amo, Amas, Amat ... And All That

'A highly enjoyable, erudite book . . . Gardini knows his Latin inside out [and] is alive to the immense power of Latin to move the reader.'

Harry Mount Catholic Herald

'In this spirited linguistic jaunt, novelist Gardini (Lost Words) makes a strong argument for studying a supposedly "dead language" to unlock its beauty, history, and continued liveliness . . . Anyone who embarks on such a voyage will find this a helpful and contagiously enthusiastic companion.'

 Publishers Weekly

'A loving tribute to Latin as well as a compelling response to those who would call the language 'useless' . . . [Gardini's] enthusiasm is infectious. Whether new to the study or remembering Latin lessons from years ago, interested readers will appreciate his insights, both translational and social.'

Jennifer Oleinik Shelf Awareness (starred review)

'Fascinating . . . [Gardini's] precise, writerly descriptions of the texts are often exciting and infectious in themselves . . . For Gardini, the promise of Latin is that getting to the root of words, understanding what they meant before they got into Italian or English or any other Romance language, is getting at what underlies and defines our vexing Western culture'

Will Boast Los Angeles Review of Books

'In Long Live Latin, Nicola Gardini argues that it is worth studying not for its utility but simply because "Latin is beautiful" . . . . The book emerges as an adoring "biography" of Latin as the greatest written language; maintaining throughout that the point of reading Latin authors is not to haul them into the present, under a banner of "relevance", but rather to venture ourselves into the linguistic world of the ancients that helped create so much of Western literature from the philosophy of More, Spinoza and Descartes to the poetry of Petrarch, Dante and Milton.'

Times Literary Supplement Shmoit Dutta

'Gardini . . . crafts each chapter so that it feels like an encounter. Offering numerous personal anecdotes from his own life, Gardini's writing is warm and conversational yet scholarly.'

Diane Scharper National Review

'Nicola Gardini's paean to Latin belongs on the shelf alongside Nabokov's Lectures on Literature. With a similar blend of erudition, reverence, and impeccable close reading, he connects the dots between etymology and poetry, between syntax and society. And he proves, in the process, that a mysterious and magnificent language, born in ancient Rome, is still relevant to each and every one of us.'

Jhumpa Lahiri, author In Other Words

'Nicola Gardini's Long Live Latin is not only a learned crash course in the splendors of Latin literature, but also an inspiring demonstration on why Latin still matters. Passionate, wise, and, finally, ennobling, this is a must read for anyone with even a passing interest in the subject.'

Ann Patty, author Living with a Dead Language: My Romance with Latin

'Meditative ... To learn a language because it was spoken by some brilliant people 2,000 years ago is to celebrate the world; not a way to optimise yourself, but to get over yourself.'

 Economist

Nicola Gardini

Nicola Gardini

Nicola Gardini lives in Oxford and Milan. His novel The lost words of Amelia Lynd (Feltrinelli 2012) was awarded the Viareggio prize in 2012. He teaches Italian Literature at the University of Oxford. He also writes poetry and fiction, having published three novels and several collections of verse. He also co-edits the monthly magazine 'Poesia', based in Milan.