09 September 2021, The Tablet

Besotted by Beatrice: Dante anniversary editions

Besotted by Beatrice: Dante anniversary editions

Michael Glover delights in Dante

Feverish Dante chatter, picking apart his politics, his life and his theology, has been filling many serious-minded ­column inches during this year of the 700th anniversary of his death. But what of editions of his own ­writings? Have those publishers been busy at it too? Not overmuch.

La Vita Nuova is a kind of quasi-autobiographical prequel to The Divine Comedy. It plays out, in prose and verse, the story of how the young Dante becomes besotted by Beatrice Portinari. Two publishers have reprinted Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s pioneering Victorian translation.

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