by Marco Santagata
translated by Richard Dixon
Harvard University Press, 2016
eISBN: 978-0-674-96998-8 | Paper: 978-0-674-98406-6 | Cloth: 978-0-674-50486-8
Library of Congress Classification PQ4339.S2613 2016
Dewey Decimal Classification 851.1


A Times Literary Supplement Book of the Year
A Marginal Revolution Best Non-Fiction Book of the Year
A Seminary Co-op Notable Book of the Year
A Times Higher Education Book of the Week
A Choice Outstanding Academic Title of the Year

Marco Santagata’s Dante: The Story of His Life illuminates one of the world’s supreme poets from many angles—writer, philosopher, father, courtier, political partisan. Santagata brings together a vast body of Italian scholarship on Dante’s medieval world, untangles a complex web of family and political relationships for English readers, and shows how the composition of the Commedia was influenced by local and regional politics.

“Reading Marco Santagata’s fascinating new biography, the reader is soon forced to acknowledge that one of the cornerstones of Western literature [The Divine Comedy], a poem considered sublime and universal, is the product of vicious factionalism and packed with local scandal.”
—Tim Parks, London Review of Books

“This is a wonderful book. Even if you have not read Dante you will be gripped by its account of one of the most extraordinary figures in the history of literature, and one of the most dramatic periods of European history. If you are a Dantean, it will be your invaluable companion forever.”
—A. N. Wilson, The Spectator

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