This enthralling new translation of Dante’s Inferno “immediately joins ranks with the very best” (Richard Lansing).
One of the world’s transcendent literary masterpieces, the Inferno tells the timeless story of Dante’s journey through the nine circles of hell, guided by the poet Virgil, when in midlife he strays from his path in a dark wood. In this vivid verse translation into contemporary English, Peter Thornton makes the classic work fresh again for a new generation of readers. Recognizing that the Inferno was, for Dante and his peers, not simply an allegory but the most realistic work of fiction to date, he points out that hell was a lot like Italy of Dante's time. Thornton's translation captures the individuals represented, landscapes, and psychological immediacy of the dialogues as well as Dante's poetic effects.
The product of decades of passionate dedication and research, his translation has been hailed by the leading Dante scholars on both sides of the Atlantic as exceptional in its accuracy, spontaneity, and vividness. Those qualities and its detailed notes explaining Dante's world and references make it both accessible for individual readers and perfect for class adoption.
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About the Author
Peter Thornton attended a Jesuit prep school in Manhattan, where the curriculum was based on Latin and Greek. After graduating from Boston College, he earned his PhD from Stanford University. He taught college English for several years before becoming a lawyer. The intellectual rigor of the law did not satisfy his hunger for poetry and he spent decades translating the works of Dante and Petrarch into English verse.
Dante Alighieri, born in Florence in 1265, became one of the leading lyric poets in Italy as a young man. He was exiled for political reasons, and in the last fifteen years of his life composed The Divine Comedy, of which the Inferno is the most-read part today.