A new translation by Anthony Esolen
Illustrations by Gustave Doré
Written in the fourteenth century by Italian poet and philosopher Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy is arguably the greatest epic poem of all time—presenting Dante’s brilliant vision of the three realms of Christian afterlife: Inferno, Purgatory, and Paradise. In this second and perhaps most imaginative part of his masterwork, Dante struggles up the terraces of Mount Purgatory, still guided by Virgil, in a continuation of his difficult ascent to purity. Anthony Esolen’s acclaimed translation of Inferno, Princeton professor James Richardson said, “follows Dante through all his spectacular range, commanding where he is commanding, wrestling, as he does, with the density and darkness in language and in the soul. It is living writing.” This edition of Purgatory includes an appendix of key sources and extensive endnotes—an invaluable guide for both general readers and students.
About the Author
Dante Alighieri was born in 1265 in Florence to a family of minor nobility. He entered into Florentine politics in 1295, but he and his party were forced into exile in a hostile political climate in 1301. Taking asylum in Ravenna late in life, Dante completed his Divine Commedia, considered one of the most important works of Western literature, before his death in 1321.
Jean de La Fontaine (1621 - 1695) is known today as the most renowned fabulist in history of literature, and as one of the most widely read French poets of the 17th century. He is known above all for his Fables, inspired by Aesop, Babrius and Phaedrus, which provided a model for subsequent fabulists in occident from the 18th on, and which have been universally taught in classrooms for the teaching of contemporary moral, wit and humor.
Praise for Anthony Esolen’s translation of
“Professor Esolen’s translation of Dante’s Inferno is the best one I have seen. . . . And his endnotes and other additions provoke answers to almost any question that could arise about the work.”
—A. Kent Hieatt, translator of The Canterbury Tales
“Esolen’s brilliant translation captures the power and the spirit of a poem that does not easily give up its secrets.”
—Robert Royal, president, Faith and Reason Institute
“Anthony Esolen’s new translation follows Dante through all his spectacular range, commanding where he is commanding, wrestling, as he does, with the density and darkness in language and in the soul. It is living writing.”
—James Richardson, Princeton University