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Dante Alighiere is one of the most well known and widely celebrated poets of Italian literature. He began writing his most famous work, The Divine Comedy, in 1308 and finished it before his death in 1321. The poems describe one man's journey through the afterlife, visiting the souls of Hell, Purgatory and Paradise on his journey to salvation.
Dante's work found a resurgence in the 19th century perhaps with the popularity of the Grand Tour. The tour was considered a right of passage for young English noblemen to travel across Europe with Italy being a popular destination. Italy, her art and literature became an inspiration for many English artists and writers many siting Dante as their inspiration.
In 1805, British author, Henry Francis Cary, translated The Inferno to English. At his own expense by 1814 he had published the entire Divine Comedy to English. Cary's translation was well received and became the standard work being reproduced by publishers throughout England and the United States. One such publisher was Belford, Clark and Co. based out of Chicago. Belford, Clark and Co. started in 1875 publishing standard works of many famous authors and poets, selling them at a fraction of the price as their competitors. One of their publications being Dante's Poems, likely published between 1880-1885.
This stunning version by Belford, Clark and Co. is handsomely bound in embossed cloth with an eye-catching floral and leaf border with gold gilt details. There are six illustrations included by famed artist and engraver Gustav Doré.
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