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The The Divine Comedy


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Dante Alighieri was born in Florence in 1265 and belonged to a noble but impoverished family. He married Gemma Donati in his twenties and had four children. He met Beatrice, who was to be his muse, in 1274, and when she died in 1290 he sought distraction in philosophy and theology, and wrote La Vita Nuova. He worked on the Divine Comedy from 1308 until near the time of his death in Ravenna in 1321.Robin Kirkpatrick is a poet and widely-published Dante scholar. He has taught courses on Dante's Divine Comedy in Hong Kong, Dublin, and Cambridge where is Fellow of Robinson College and Professor of Italian and English Literatures.


Dante's Divine Comedy has inspired artists from Giotto down to the present. Perhaps among the most beautiful illustrations are those of the 15th-century Sienese painter Giovanni di Paolo, who illuminated a Paradiso manuscript for the library of the King of Naples, now in the British Library as Yates-Thompson MS 36. Pope-Hennessy, the noted British art historian, presents reproductions of di Paolo's 61 illuminations in a large format and in full color. He includes a lucid historical introduction and a commentary on the content of each of the miniatures. This book also includes Charles Singleton's prose translation of the Paradiso . This is a wonderful gift for the student of Dante and the lover of art.-- T.L. Cooksey, Armstrong State Coll., Savannah, Ga.

"Kirkpatrick brings a more nuanced sense of the Italian and a more mediated appreciation of the poem's construction than nearly all of his competitors. . . . There is much to recommend here-certainly the intelligence, the energy, the linguistic range. . . . His introduction and canto-by-canto notes are remarkably level and lucid, as attentive to structure as to syntax, language and motif, and deftly cross-reference the whole poem. On their own, they would justify the price."
-The Times (London)

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