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Dante's Divine Comedy

Ian Thomson



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Head of Zeus
01 October 2018
Dante has no equal as he sings of other-worldly horror and celestial beatitude alike. Yet for all our distance from medieval theology, the Florentine poet's allegorical journey through hell, purgatory and paradise remains one of the essential works of world literature. At least fifty English language versions of the Inferno – the first part of Dante's poem – appeared in the twentieth century alone.

If Dante's Divine Comedy speaks to our present condition, it is because it tells the story of Everyman who sets out in search of salvation in this world. Dante composed his great poem in the spoken Italian of his time. He wrote about suffering bodies and human weakness, and about divine ecstasy, in words that have resonated with readers and writers for the last seven hundred years.

Ian Thomson's lively book is a wide-ranging exploration of a literary masterwork and its influence on writers, poets, artists and film-makers up to our own time.
Imprint:   Head of Zeus
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 200mm,  Width: 135mm, 
ISBN:   9781786690807
ISBN 10:   1786690802
Series:   The Landmark Library
Pages:   288
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Ian Thomson is the author of an acclaimed biography of Primo Levi and of two prize-winning travel books, Bonjour Blanc: A Journey Through Haiti and The Dead Yard: Tales of Modern Jamaica.

Reviews for Dante's Divine Comedy

'Ian Thomson is a travel writer, and here he attempts the most ambitious journey of all in the company of Dante - to hell and back , as he puts it' Church Times. 'Thomson's elegant, intelligent guide views the epic poem as a kind of recovery programme for those who have lost their way, and in turn leads you back to that neglected original on your bookshelf' Financial Times, Books of the Year. 'Encapsulates everything we need for the ultimate poetic voyage from Hell to Paradise by way of Purgatory' TLS, Books of the Year. 'Thomson teases readers into wanting to find out their own answers. He'll lead you back to that neglected copy on your book shelf. And this time you'll pick it up' Financial Times. '[A] lively new book ... It has become a cliche to refer to critics as Virgil, but it would be hard to think of any more appropriate way to describe what Ian Thomson offers here' Catholic Herald. 'This book is an object of great beauty ... Thomson's aim, triumphantly realised, is to remind us why Dante's great poem is a 'landmark'' Tablet. 'Succinct but wide-ranging, Ian Thomson's richly illustrated exploration of Dante's masterpiece [is] fun ... ingenious ... Fascinating' Observer. '[A] book worth savouring as a chunky, chatty, richly illustrated guide that brings Dante and his world within our reach' Evening Standard. 'Erudite and urgent, Ian Thomson makes an excellent Virgilian guide and his Dante's Divine Comedy is another book that everyone ought to read' Spectator.

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