Title: The Divine Comedy
Author: Dante Alighieri, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (trans)
Publisher: George Routledge & Sons, 1891. Very early edition of Longfellow’s translation.
Condition: Hardcover, full leather. Front hinge tender, spine well worn. 3 pages foxed. Otherwise spotless. Big book with prize emboss on front board. Beautifully marbled edges.
About The Divine Comedy:
The Divine Comedy is an epic poem written by Dante Alighieri between 1308 and his death in 1321. It is widely considered the preëminent work of Italian literature, and is seen as one of the greatest works of world literature. The poem’s imaginative and allegorical vision of the afterlife is a culmination of the medieval world-view as it had developed in the Western Church. It is divided into three parts, the Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso.
On the surface the poem describes Dante’s travels through Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven; but at a deeper level it represents allegorically the soul’s journey towards God. At this deeper level, Dante draws on medieval Christian theology and philosophy, especially the writings of Thomas Aquinas.
The poem is written in the first person, and tells of Dante’s journey through the three realms of the dead, lasting from the night before Good Friday to the Wednesday after Easter in the spring of 1300. The Roman poet Virgil guides him through Hell and Purgatory; Beatrice, Dante’s ideal woman, guides him through Heaven.
More at wikipedia.
About the translator:
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (February 27, 1807 – March 24, 1882) was an American poet and educator whose works include “Paul Revere’s Ride”, The Song of Hiawatha, and Evangeline. He was also the first American to translate Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy and was one of the five Fireside Poets.
Longfellow was born in Portland, Maine, then part of Massachusetts, and studied at Bowdoin College. After spending time in Europe he became a professor at Bowdoin and, later, at Harvard College. His first major poetry collections were Voices of the Night (1839) and Ballads and Other Poems (1841).
Longfellow wrote predominantly lyric poems, known for their musicality and often presenting stories of mythology and legend. He became the most popular American poet of his day and also had success overseas.