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The Divine Comedy

Volume 1: Inferno

Illustrated by Coralie Bickford-Smith
Introduction by Robin Kirkpatrick
Translated by Robin Kirkpatrick
Hardcover
$30.00 US
5.3"W x 8"H x 1.4"D   | 24 oz | 20 per carton
On sale Sep 28, 2010 | 576 Pages | 978-0-14-119587-2
Part of Penguin's beautiful hardback Clothbound Classics series, designed by the award-winning Coralie Bickford-Smith, these delectable and collectible editions are bound in high-quality colourful, tactile cloth with foil stamped into the design. Describing Dante's descent into Hell midway through his life with Virgil as a guide, Inferno depicts a cruel underworld in which desperate figures are condemned to eternal damnation for committing one or more of seven deadly sins. As he descends through nine concentric circles of increasingly agonising torture, Dante encounters doomed souls including the pagan Aeneas, the liar Odysseus, the suicide Cleopatra, and his own political enemies, damned for their deceit. Led by leering demons, the poet must ultimately journey with Virgil to the deepest level of all. For it is only by encountering Satan, in the heart of Hell, that he can truly understand the tragedy of sin.
“A masterly translation.” ―Judith Thurman, The New Yorker

“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.” —The Times (London)

“We gain much from Kirkpatrick’s fidelity to syntax and nuance. . . . His introduction . . . tells you, very readable indeed, pretty much all you need for a heightened appreciation of the work.”
The Guardian

“Likely to be the best modern version of Dante . . . The perfect balance of tightness and colloquialism.” —Bernard O’Donoghue

“This version is the first to bring together poetry and scholarship in the very body of the translation—a deeply informed version of Dante that is also a pleasure to read.” —David Wallace, University of Pennsylvania
Dante Alighieri (1265–1321), Italy’s greatest poet, was born in Florence and belonged to a noble but impoverished family. He first met Bice Portinari, whom he called Beatrice, in 1274; she inspired his most famous poetry, including the Vita Nuova, which he wrote to console himself when she died in 1290, and The Divine Comedy, which he began seventeen years after her death. View titles by Dante Alighieri
Coralie Bickford-Smith is an award-winning designer at Penguin Books, where she has created several highly acclaimed series designs. She studied typography at Reading University and lives in London. View titles by Coralie Bickford-Smith

About

Part of Penguin's beautiful hardback Clothbound Classics series, designed by the award-winning Coralie Bickford-Smith, these delectable and collectible editions are bound in high-quality colourful, tactile cloth with foil stamped into the design. Describing Dante's descent into Hell midway through his life with Virgil as a guide, Inferno depicts a cruel underworld in which desperate figures are condemned to eternal damnation for committing one or more of seven deadly sins. As he descends through nine concentric circles of increasingly agonising torture, Dante encounters doomed souls including the pagan Aeneas, the liar Odysseus, the suicide Cleopatra, and his own political enemies, damned for their deceit. Led by leering demons, the poet must ultimately journey with Virgil to the deepest level of all. For it is only by encountering Satan, in the heart of Hell, that he can truly understand the tragedy of sin.

Praise

“A masterly translation.” ―Judith Thurman, The New Yorker

“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.” —The Times (London)

“We gain much from Kirkpatrick’s fidelity to syntax and nuance. . . . His introduction . . . tells you, very readable indeed, pretty much all you need for a heightened appreciation of the work.”
The Guardian

“Likely to be the best modern version of Dante . . . The perfect balance of tightness and colloquialism.” —Bernard O’Donoghue

“This version is the first to bring together poetry and scholarship in the very body of the translation—a deeply informed version of Dante that is also a pleasure to read.” —David Wallace, University of Pennsylvania

Author

Dante Alighieri (1265–1321), Italy’s greatest poet, was born in Florence and belonged to a noble but impoverished family. He first met Bice Portinari, whom he called Beatrice, in 1274; she inspired his most famous poetry, including the Vita Nuova, which he wrote to console himself when she died in 1290, and The Divine Comedy, which he began seventeen years after her death. View titles by Dante Alighieri
Coralie Bickford-Smith is an award-winning designer at Penguin Books, where she has created several highly acclaimed series designs. She studied typography at Reading University and lives in London. View titles by Coralie Bickford-Smith