About Cupid’s School – The Classic Love Seduction Project

Image of a young lady with militant Cupid
‘Au temple de Vénus’ by Henri Gerbault (1863-1930). Image from ‘Le Frou-Frou’, page 519

Welcome now to Cupid’s School – The Classic Love Seduction Project … for extraordinary lovers … or, at least, aspirant ones. Cupid’s School then is all about the timeless art of classic love seduction and transcendent literary culture.

Inspired by the ancient Roman poet Ovid‘s Ars Amatoria (Art of Love) in particular and the wider benefits of timeless literature in general, Cupid’s School is dedicated to the discreet art of classic love seduction and its attendant art of self-cultivation through literary culture. Its theme then is love and seduction … but with a distinct literary twist.

Wherever we are on our voyage through life, my aim here at Cupid’ School is simply to help us …

  • Discover the timeless art of classic love seduction, embark on our epic adventures then in the art of love, and thus become extraordinary lovers.
  • Transcend our culture and conditioning, travel (by words) through time and space, and thus cultivate our intrinsic (imaginative, intellectual, social, and creative) potential.

Ovid’s Art of Love – for both men and women

The chief inspiration then for Cupid’s School is Ovid‘s timeless classic love seduction masterpiece Ars Amatoria (Art of Love).

Ars Amatoria (Art of Love) is Ovid’s three book series of love seduction manuals, in metrical form, dedicated to helping his students master the discreet art of dramatic love and affairs. Ovid’s precepts, meanwhile, are illuminated throughout his books with his dazzling wit, poetic figures of speech, and enchanting tales, references, and allusions from classical mythology and the ancient world.

These extraordinary books then are, quite simply, abundant treasure-troves of wit and wisdom in the artful adventure of love, dramatic love, and love affairs.

The first book is for men and deals with How to Find and Seduce a Woman for Love. The second book is also for men and addresses How to Win and Secure a Woman’s Love. Finally, the third book is for women and covers How To Captivate a Man and Secure his Love.

Portrait image of Giacomo Casanova
Portrait of the extraordinary lover, adventurer, and author Giacomo Girolamo Casanova de Seingalt (1725-1798) age forty. Etching by Eugène Gaujean (1850-1900) after a terra cotta bust (found in Duchcov Castle) by an unknown sculptor

Written over 2,000 years ago and with a publishing history spanning centuries, Ovid’s series of love seduction manuals have clearly stood the test of time. These didactic poems are, quite simply, timeless. Ovid’s Ars Amatoria (Art of Love) then is, and probably always will be, to my mind, the classic seminal text (or, figuratively, The Word of Venus) on the art of love seduction.

So, who am I?

I’m Stuart Henry, the founder of Cupid’s School …

As an enduring disciple and passionate protégé of my beloved friend and mentor Ovid, and following a gruelling apprenticeship and arduous odyssey in training and preparation for this, we might say the irresistible goddess Venus has ordained me now as her priest. Or more specifically and, perhaps, a little less melodramatically, that delightful Queen of Love, I’ve found, has commissioned me now as her twenty-first-century co-author, publisher, and promoter of Ovid’s amorous art.

And, that’s because I’ve won a uniquely deep understanding of, and a similar affinity for, that art and the mind that conceived it, as well an extensive grounding in its wider historic-cultural context. And, it seems, because I’ve the copywriting, design, and marketing skills to make Ovid’s amorous art far more accessible for today’s students, and would-be students, of it, as well as to effectively and candidly promote it to them.

More generally, meanwhile, as an enduring student too of related fields from the humanities and social sciences, I find myself an advocate as well, or dare I say a priest as the ancients might have called it, of that noble and perennial light-diffusing god Apollo, and thus of the liberal, or noble, arts and sciences. Or more specifically and especially, I find myself an advocate too of the soul-enriching, life-enhancing, and ultimately liberating (imaginative, intellectual, social, and creative) benefits of timeless literature.

Portrait image of William Blake
Portrait of England’s great prophet, and creative genius, William Blake (1757–1827), painted by Thomas Phillips (1770–1845) and engraved by Luigi Schiavonetti (1765–1810). Image from ‘Life of William Blake, with Selections from His Poems and Other Writings’ by Alexander Gilchrist (1828-1861)

Literary culture

Cupid’s School then is also inspired by the wider benefits of timeless literature in general.

That’s literature then that helps us to …

  • Imagine – ignite, expand, and liberate the imagination
  • Understand – evoke critical reflection, self-discovery, and heightened awareness
  • Relate – stimulate more enlightened communication and social skills
  • And Create – inspire creative living and artistry

That’s literature then that enables us to explore our essential humanity, experience, and potential. That’s literature then that can help us expand our horizons, standards, and expectations and thus start living (qualitatively) richer and (intrinsically) more satisfying lives.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge image
The extraordinary poet, literary critic, and philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge at age 42, painted by Washington Allston (1779–1843) and engraved by Samuel Cousins (1801–1887), in the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

So why Cupid’s School?

The term Cupid’s School is taken from the first line of the seventeenth century poet, translator, playwright, and literary critic John Dryden‘s classic English translation of the first book of Ovid’s Ars Amatoria (The Art of Love). Dryden then thus sublimely begins his elegantly rendered and memorably pithy and pleasing translation:

In Cupid’s school, whoe’er would take degree,
Must learn his rudiments, by reading me.
Seamen with sailing art their vessels move;
Art guides the chariot; art instructs to love.
Of ships and chariots others know the rule;
But I am master in Love’s mighty school.

It’s essential reading.

Indeed, I’d go as far as to say that thoroughly studying this book, should be viewed, I think, as a sort of rites of passage for youths about to embark on their respective voyage upon those stormy seas of adulthood. At least, that’s if we aspire to pass through this world without the prevailing winds involuntarily driving us on, on a course against our vanquished better judgement, only to be buffeted, thrashed, and washed up in the end, like a briny Ulysses, on the wrecking rocks and frothy shores of some grim and gloomy land of dark regrets.

Image of Circe and her swine
‘Circe and Her Swine’, by Briton Rivière (1840–1920). Image from ‘Character Sketches of Romance, Fiction and the Drama’ (1892) by Ebenezer Cobham Brewer (1810–1897)

At that early time in our lives then, we’re ordinarily at, or fast approaching, the peak our physical powers. Meanwhile, though, we are, more often than not, or to varying degrees, but ignorant, inexperienced, and artless buffoons, chronically confused and timid or grossly sure and arrogant, yet, either way, clumsily fumbling around or blustering about in the dark.

This being so, we might benefit more generally as well, and by the grace of God, from a solid grounding in the fundamental benefits of timeless literature. Through good literature in general then, as with Ovid in particular, we can, essentially, transcend our culture and conditioning and travel instead through time and space to consort with a whole host of tentative mentors and travelling companions on this odyssey of life.

This then, I think, could help furnish many otherwise poor and hapless voyagers with the sort of navigational tools required to more wisely steer their ships on those oft treacherous seas of ‘adult’ life and love. What’s more, an inspired and intrinsically-motivated literary education of this sort really is, I think, as Ernest Raymond aptly puts it in his profound little book Through Literature to Life, the ‘life-giver’ through which ‘may have life, and have it more abundantly.’

This then, I think, is our true inheritance.

fountain-of-youth image
‘Fountain of Life’ by Paul François Quinsac (1858-1929). Image from ‘Salon Illustré’ (1889)

And so, it’s for these reasons then I’ve founded Cupid’s School.

And also … because the best writers, I think, didn’t just write for themselves. They wrote for us too. They wrote that we might see what they saw, feel what they felt, and love as they loved.

So, if this resonates with you, join us then and enrol at Cupid’s School …

Whether you’re just starting out on your amorous adventures and your Literary Life Odyssey or are already a more seasoned amorous adventurer and literary explorer, I invite you now to kindle your torch by the light of what insight and inspiration I’m able to share here … at Cupid’s School.

Stuart Henry

Cupid’s School – The Classic Love Seduction Project

Meanwhile, as my patron poet bids me, it’s my honour now to advance Ovid’s immortal fame by ending with the words …

“Ovid was my tutor!”