Synopses & Reviews
"You will not find a finer introduction to the genius of Dante and his Divine Comedy than Wilson's book."---The Wichita Eagle Fueled by a lifetime obsession with Dante, acclaimed novelist and biographer A. N. Wilson tells the astonishing story of the poets life and passions. He shows how the political turmoil of medieval Europe, the establishment of the modern banking system, and the rise of ancient philosophy informed Dantes epic masterpiece, and explains how Beatrice has influenced our attitudes toward love and sex. Written with remarkable dexterity and penetrating insight, Dante in Love is a brilliant and enchanting look at the life and loves of one of literatures towering figures, and a lively introduction to The Divine Comedy.
"A. N. Wilson has a marvelous facility for bringing distant worlds up close....Read Wilsons book, pick up that copy of the Commedia, and try again."---Los Angeles Times
"Accurate, lively, sometimes polemical, and always delicately devout. There is little to disagree with here, and much that encourages conversation."---Financial Times (London)
"For this reader, Wilsons loving, human Dante, a Dante immersed in the Italian landscape, [is] a new Dante entirely….Compelling."---The American Scholar
"Not just a thoroughly readable, illuminating story but, with its fascinating store of detail, a practical reference volume…A worthy vade mecum with which to explore Dantes masterpiece itself."---The Independent (London)
For William Butler Yeats, Dante Alighieri was "the chief imagination of Christendom." For T. S. Eliot, he was of supreme importance, both as poet and philosopher. Coleridge championed his introduction to an English readership. Tennyson based his poem "Ulysses" on lines from the Inferno. Byron chastised an "Ungrateful Florence" for exiling Dante. The Divine Comedy resonates across five hundred years of our literary canon.
In Dante in Love, A. N. Wilson presents a glittering study of an artist and his world, arguing that without an understanding of medieval Florence, it is impossible to grasp the meaning of Dante's great poem. He explains how the Italian states were at that time locked into violent feuds, mirrored in the ferocious competition between the Holy Roman Empire and the Papacy. He shows how Dante's preoccupations with classical mythology, numerology, and the great Christian philosophers inform every line of the Comedy.
Dante in Love also explores the enigma of the man who never wrote about the mother of his children, yet immortalized the mysterious Beatrice whom he barely knew. With a biographer's eye for detail and a novelist's comprehension of the creative process, A. N. Wilson paints a masterful portrait of Dante Alighieri and unlocks one of the seminal works of literature for a new generation of readers.
About the Author
A. N. Wilson is an award-winning biographer and a celebrated novelist. He is the author of The Elizabethans, Our Times, and After the Victorians, among others. He lives in North London.