In a book that is commonly presented to boys and girls in recognition of their progress in classical languages and literature, the studious recipient will read of Ovid that ‘he may fairly be called the wickedest writer on the world's bookshelves’. This was in 1912. The opinion of a critic who was at little pains to read the authors (Plautus, for example) whom he was so ready to dismiss with cursory jibes is not in itself worthy of citation. Allowing, however, for gross exaggeration, we can no doubt regard his judgement as consistent with the prevailing opinion of that time. We know too much about ‘wicked writers’ now to give Ovid the prize for wickedness, or even, what he might have aspired to, a very high mark for ‘naughtiness’. Such knowledge was not, indeed, outside the reach of Stobart's contemporaries, but the classical scholars of those days seem to have confined their improper reading to the classics and to have reacted, publicly at least, with expressions of shocked disapproval. The combined romanticism and puritanism of the nineteenth century in England were disastrous to what remained of the popularity that Ovid had enjoyed from Chaucer onwards, and, as usually happens, moral censure was reinforced by aesthetic depreciation. The worthy Sellar did not live long enough to put together the chapter on Ovid in his Roman Poets of the Augustan Age. The chapter we have, concocted from his posthumous notes by W. P. Ker, makes rather depressing reading. We are reminded that Ovid is, in his love poetry, ‘the poet of pleasure and intrigue’, Tibullus and Propertius poets ‘of serious sentiment or passion’.