The Divine Comedy Vol. 2 Purgatory - Dante - Penguin Books Paperback

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Cover art: The cover shows a detail from Domenico di Francesco's Dante e il suo poema (photo: Scala)


Dante (1265-1321) is the greatest of Italian poets

and his Divine Comedy is the finest of all

Christian allegories.

To the consternation of his more academic admirers, who believed Latin to be the only proper language for dignified verse, Dante wrote his Comedy in colloquial Italian, wanting it to be a poem for the common reader.

Taking two threads of a story which everybody knew and loved - the story of a vision of Hell, Purgatory and

Paradise, and the story of the lover who has to brave the underworld to find his lost lady - he combined them into a great allegory of the soul's search for God. He made it swift, exciting and topical, lavishing upon it all his learning and wit, all his tenderness, humour and entusiasm, and all his poetry.

In Purgatory, which is according to Dorothy L. Sayers the tenderest, most subtle and most human section of the Comedy', Dante struggles up the slopes of

Mount Purgatory on the second stage of his journey towards God.“