Those endless afternoons where you struggled to remember the third person singular present indicative of volo (vult) may be a long time ago. But, if you have the vaguest memory of the ablative absolute, the locative and the gerund, your mastery of Latin will spring back to life with Amo, Amas, Amat . and all That.
In his trip through the world's most influential language, Harry Mount uncorks its magic, drawing on Latin lovers from Kinglsey Amis to John Cleese, from Evelyn Waugh to Donna Tartt.
Read this book and you will know Latin. Know Latin and - mirabile dictu - you will know Wilfred Owen's misery, Catullus's aching heart and the comedy of a thousand bachelor schoolmasters.
Harry Mount read Classics at Oxford and was a Latin tutor before becoming New York correspondent of the Daily Telegraph. His memoir of his time as a barrister's pupil, My Brief Career - the Trials of a Young Lawyer is also published by Short Books.