Books

Love That Moves the Sun and Other Stars

Dante Alighieri

'Happiness beyond all words! A life of peace and love, entire and whole!'

A collection of cantos from Paradiso, the most original and experimental part of the Divina Commedia.

One of 46 new books in the bestselling Little Black Classics series, to celebrate the first ever Penguin Classic in 1946. Each book gives readers a taste of the Classics' huge range and diversity, with works from around the world and across the centuries - including fables, decadence, heartbreak, tall tales, satire, ghosts, battles and elephants.

The Divine Comedy

Robin Kirkpatrick (and others)

Robin Kirkpatrick's masterful verse translation of The Divine Comedy, tracing Dante's journey from Hell to Purgatory and finally Paradise, is published here for the first time in a single volume. The volume includes a new introduction, notes, maps and diagrams, and is the ideal edition for students as well as the general reader who is coming to the great masterpiece of Italian literature for the first time.

The Divine Comedydescribes Dante's descent into Hell with Virgil as a guide; his ascent of Mount Purgatory and encounter with his dead love, Beatrice; and finally, his arrival in Heaven. Examining questions of faith, desire and enlightenment, the poem is a brilliantly nuanced and moving allegory of human redemption.

'The perfect balance of tightness and colloquialism... likely to be the best modern version of Dante' - Bernard O'Donoghue

'The most moving lines literature has achieved' - Jorge Luis Borges

'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' - Professor David Wallace, University of Pennsylvania

Individual editions of Robin Kirkpatrick's translation - Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso - are also available in Penguin Classics, and include Dante's Italian printed alongside the English text.

Dante Alighieri was born in Florence in 1265 and belonged to a noble but impoverished family. His life was divided by political duties and poetry, the most of famous of which was inspired by his meeting with Bice Portinari, whom he called Beatrice, including La Vita Nuova and The Divine Comedy. He died in Ravenna in 1321.

Robin Kirkpatrick is a poet and widely-published Dante scholar. He has taught courses on Dante's Divine Comedy in Hong Kong, Dublin, and Cambridge where is Fellow of Robinson College and Professor of Italian and English Literatures.

The Comedy of Dante Alighieri

Dante Alighieri

Guided by the poet Virgil, Dante plunges to the very depths of Hell and embarks on his arduous journey towards God. Together they descend through the nine circles of the underworld and encounter the tormented souls of the damned - from heretics and pagans to gluttons, criminals and seducers - who tell of their sad fates and predict events still to come in Dante’s life. In this first part of his Divine Comedy, Dante fused satire and humour with intellect and soaring passion to create an immortal Christian allegory of mankind’s search for self-knowledge and spiritual enlightenment.

The Divine Comedy

Dante Alighieri

Beginning with Dante's liberation from Hell, Purgatory relates his ascent, accompanied by Virgil, of the Mount of Purgatory - a mountain of nine levels, formed from rock forced upwards when God threw Satan into depths of the earth. As he travels through the first seven levels, Dante observes the sinners who are waiting for their release into Paradise, and through these encounters he is himself transformed into a stronger and better man. For it is only when he has learned from each of these levels that he can ascend to the gateway to Heaven: the Garden of Eden. The second part of one of the greatest epic poems, Purgatory is an enthralling Christian allegory of sin, redemption and ultimate enlightenment.

The Divine Comedy & Paradise

Dante Alighieri (and others)

In Paradise, having plunged to the uttermost depths of Hell and climbed the Mount of Purgatory, Dante ascends to Heaven, continuing his soul's search for God, guided by his beloved Beatrice. As he progresses through the spheres of Paradise he grows in understanding, until he finally experiences divine love in the radiant presence of the deity. Examining eternal questions of faith, desire and enlightenment, Dante exercised all his learning and wit, wrath and tenderness in his creation of one of the greatest of all Christian allegories.

Vita Nuova

Dante Alighieri (and others)

A unique treatise by a poet, written for poets, on the art of poetry, LA VITA NUOVA is elaborately and symbolically patterned, consisting of a selection of Dante's early poems, interspersed with his own prose commentary.

The poems themselves tell the story of his love for Beatrice, from their first meeting at a May Day party in her father's house, through Dante's sufferings and his attempts to conceal the true object of his devotion by the use of 'screen-loves', to his overwhelming grief ather death, ending with the transformative vision of her in heaven. These are some of the richest love poems in literature and the movement from self-pitying lament to praise for the beloved's beauty and virtue, illustrate the elevating power of love.

Biography

Dante Alighieri was born in Florence in 1265 and belonged to a noble but impoverished family. He met Beatrice, who was to be his muse, in 1274, and when she died in 1290 he sought distraction in philosophy and theology, and wrote La Vita Nuova. He worked on the Divine Comedy from 1308 until near the time of his death in Ravenna in 1321.