Item #4726 Seventeen Cantos of the Inferno. Dante Alighieri, Thomas William - Parsons.
Seventeen Cantos of the Inferno
Seventeen Cantos of the Inferno

Seventeen Cantos of the Inferno

Boston: Printed by John Wilson and Son, 1865. First edition thus. 8vo, 23 x 17cm, [vii], viii, [ix], xi, [1], 104pp. Original brown pebbled cloth ruled in blind and gilt stamped lettering to front cover. T.e.g. Very good with fading to cloth around edges, softening to spine ends, and some spotting to rear board. Clean and sound internally. Important early American translation of Dante, published shortly before Longfellow's version of the Divine Comedy in 1867.

Thomas William Parsons, poet and dentist from Boston, made frequent trips to Italy to study the Italian master, committing much of his work to memory, its influence becoming apparent in his own verse. His most famous poem, "On a Bust of Dante," was originally published in 1841 and is included in this volume.

Also printed here is Parsons' letter to the Duke of Sermoneta, Don Michelangelo Caetani, explaining his method of translating Dante, in which he "developed the alternate quatrain, which is our measure nearest to the Italian." Parsons further explains his reason for publishing this "hasty reprint," which he presents to the Duke, expanding his 1843 printing of the first ten cantos, with some revisions, for the 600th birthday of Dante. The 1843 edition was the first American translation and publication of any considerable amount of Dante's work, the poet remaining largely unread in the country until the first half of the 19th century.

A landmark American translation paving the way for Longfellow and others, just the second publication of Dante in the country, first in this form, and in original cloth binding.
BAL 15529. Item #4726

Price: $375.00

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