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The Divine comedy of Dante Alighieri / translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow [in three volumes: I. Inferno. II. Purgatorio. III. Paradiso]

ALIGHIERI, Dante, [ Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth, translator]

Published by Ticknor and Fields, Boston, 1867
Condition: Near Fine+ Hardcover
From Fine Editions Ltd (New York, NY, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

First American translation "of the first complete, and in many respects still the best, English translation of The Divine Comedy." (Luzzi) With bibliographical and critical notes. The translation in each volume is preceded by two of Longfellow's sonnets on translating this epic poem. Royal octavo: vii,[5],414; vi,[4],410; vi,[4],452pp. Publisher's original green C cloth, beveled boards, spines and upper covers lettered in gilt, top edges gilt, fore- and bottom edges untrimmed, titles pages in red and black. Small book label of Frank Hudson on upper left corner of front paste down of each volume. An excellent wide-margined set, with only minor rubbing and wear to bindings, text block free of foxing and tightly bound. BAL 12146. Chamberlain, p. 73. Chew XXV. None of the auction records or bookseller descriptions we have seen distinguish among (or even acknowledges) the four first edition printings. Each volume of the translation was first printed in a private issue of 10 copies between 1865 and 1867. For the first published edition, the translation was revised and notes and an index were added. Between April 13 and September 27, 1867, four printings went through the presses. Our three volume set comprises a second (p. 223, note 116 reads: Vedrai gli antichi spiriti dolenti), a first (p. 350, note 32 reads: It will be noted that Dante / ), and an undetermined printing with first state of the copyright notice (the "H" in "Henry" is set beneath the first "c" in "according"). Longfellow spent several years translating the poem. To help perfect the translation and review proofs, he invited friends to weekly meetings every Wednesday, starting in 1864. The "Dante Club," as it was called, regularly included William Dean Howells, James Russell Lowell, and Charles Eliot Norton. Longfellow "succeeded in capturing the original brilliance of Dante's lines with a close, sometimes awkwardly literal translation that allows the Tuscan to shine through the English . . . Longfellow's English indeed comes across as Italianate: in surrendering to the letter and spirit of Dante's Tuscan, he loses the quirks and perks of his mother tongue." (Joseph Luzzi, "How to Read Dante in the 21st Century," The American Scholar, Web exclusive, March 22, 2016) N. B. With few exceptions (always identified), we only stock books in exceptional condition, carefully preserved in archival, removable polypropylene sleeves. All orders are packaged with care and posted promptly. Satisfaction guaranteed. Bookseller Inventory # BB1359

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Divine comedy of Dante Alighieri / ...

Publisher: Ticknor and Fields, Boston

Publication Date: 1867

Binding: Cloth

Book Condition:Near Fine+

Edition: First Edition thus.

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