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The Divina Commedia of Dante Alighieri
London: Cadell and Davies, 1802. First complete edition in English. Engraved frontispiece portrait of Dante. vi, [2], 408; [4], 384; [4], 420 pp., with the half-titles in all three volumes. 3 vols. 8vo. Uniform contemporary plain calf, covers with the gilt arms of the Society of Writers to the Signet in the center of each cover (neatly rebacked with a new spine and label, edges and corners a little rubbed). A little foxed and spotted in places, title-page of first volume evenly browned, large hole through the blank fore-margin of five leaves near the end of the first volume (not touching the text and possibly caused by a flaw in the paper before it was printed). First complete edition in English. Engraved frontispiece portrait of Dante. vi, [2], 408; [4], 384; [4], 420 pp., with the half-titles in all three volumes. 3 vols. 8vo. The pinnacle of Italian literature, Dante's Divine Comedy was completed a year before his death in 1321. Its significance and influence cannot be overstated. "In 1802 Boyd issued three volumes of an English verse translation of the whole Divina commedia of Dante, with preliminary essays, notes, and illustrations. The translation is important as the first English version of the complete Divine Comedy to be published... The edition's value was in assisting to re-establish an audience for Dante, whose reputation had suffered a decline in the previous century. It was dedicated to Viscount Charleville, whose chaplain Boyd was until the Irish rising induced him to resign his post" (ODNB). The work is of further interest as record of early nineteenth century translation, as Boyd adheres to a neo-classical system of six line stanzas. Boyd was born into a farming family in Dromore, Co. Antrim and later educated at Trinity College, Dublin. His translation of the first book of Dante's Divine Comedy, the Inferno, was published in two volumes in 1785 with notes, a biography of Dante and a "specimen of a new translation of the Orlando Furioso of Ariosto". Provenance: The Society of Writers to the Signet, Edinburgh, with their gilt armorial stamp on the covers, label and shelfmarks on the front pastedown
      [Bookseller: James Cummins Bookseller]
Last Found On: 2015-11-10           Check availability:      Biblio    

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