It is a strange, pagan, pedantic, erotic, allegorical, mythological romance relating in highly stylized Italian the quest of Poliphilo for his beloved Polia. The author (presumed to be Francesco Colonna, a friar of dubious reputation) was obsessed by architecture, landscape, and costumeit is not going too far to say sexually obsessedand its 174 woodcuts are a primary source for Renaissance ideas on both buildings and gardens.
In 1592 a beginning was made to produce an English version but the translator gave up partway. The task has been triumphantly accomplished by Joscelyn Godwin, who succeeds in reproducing all its wayward charm and arcane learning in language accessible to the modern reader. 174 b/w illustrations....Continua