The Divine Comedy of Dante

S$445.00

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The Divine Comedy of Dante

S$445.00

Title: The Divine Comedy: Inferno, Purgatory & Paradise

Author: Dante Alighieri, John Ciardi (trans), Gustave Dore (illus)

Publisher: Oxford University Press/The Franklin Mint, 1985/1983 (Oxford Library of the World’s Great Books series, limited edition). Impossibly rare and out of print.

Condition: Hardcover. Largely flawless. Looks like it was never read.

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Description

About this edition:

This book is a triumph of book design and bookbinding, meant to last for generations. It features:

  • Full top-grade leather binding
  • Genuine 22k gold gilt to all edges, front design, spine, and back
  • Marbled endsheets
  • Satin bookmark, sewn-in
  • Hubbed spine with raised bands
  • Smyth-sewn binding for durability
  • Premium acid-neutral archival paper that will not yellow

A writeup by a book collector at Librarything.com:

OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS AND FRANKLIN MINT: One Brief, Shining Moment

The Franklin Library, the publishing division of The Franklin Mint, was of course, at one time, the nation’s largest publisher of great books in fine bindings. Founded in 1973, it ceased publishing in 2000. Its early editions ~ fully bound in genuine premium-grade, hand-cut leather, selected for quality of grain and texture ~ were designed and bound by The Sloves Organization, Ltd., an affiliate of the mint, whose bindery was one of the few in the world devoted exclusively to the crafting of fine leather books.

Printed from 1981 to 1985,* the Oxford/Franklin volumes are gorgeous ~ absolutely stunning in their production qualities. Oxford University Press, in fact, specially chose the publishing division of The Franklin Mint to design and produce its World’s Great Books series because of Franklin’s unsurpassed skill in achieving a premium-quality product: each Oxford book must also be ‘a wonder’ in the finest of bookbinding traditions and, if possible, exceed Franklin’s high standard. By that prestigious election, Franklin thus was also doubly honored and formally recognized for the awesome reputation it had achieved in the publishing world throughout the decade of the 1970s.

It is because of that ‘brief, shining moment’ in publication history that these fine classic Oxford/Franklin editions generally surpass anything else ever produced either before or after that time by any of today’s renowned publishing giants. Relatively few titles in the multi-edition Great Books series were given the fabulous full-leather treatment; most were quarter-bound volumes ~ very lovely indeed by the lights of their own publication merits ~ but still unable to boast the same ‘Rolls Royce’ elegance of their full-leather counterparts.

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.

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