DANTE ALIGHIERI.

The Vision; or Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise.

Translated by the Rev. Henry Francis Cary. In three volumes. The second edition corrected. With the life of Dante, additional notes, and an index.

London: printed for Taylor and Hessey, 1819 Stock Code: 146519
£2,750.00
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A very handsome copy

Second and best edition of one of the most important translations of Dante of the Romantic era, following the very scarce first edition which appeared in 1814 in such a diminutive format that it was barely legible.

"In January 1797 Cary began his translation of Dante's Divina commedia into blank verse. He started with the Purgatorio in 1797-8, but in 1800 he turned his attention to the Inferno, and it was this part which was published first, in 1805-6, accompanied by the Italian text. Sales were small, but Cary continued, and his translation of the complete Divine Comedy was completed in 1812 Cary was not adept at self-promotion, and his translation initially attracted little attention Then in October 1817 he made the acquaintance by chance of Coleridge at Littlehampton, and the praise which Coleridge gave to Cary's Dante in a lecture early in 1818 (reinforced by a favourable article by Ugo Foscolo in the Edinburgh Review) led to the sale of 1,000 copies of the collected edition in less than three months, and the publication of a second edition in 1819... This work is his chief claim to fame, and it remained a standard text well into the twentieth century, despite the fact that the number of translators of the work between 1782 and 1966 amounted to eighty-four. Cary's version was admired by Wordsworth, Keats, Lamb, Coleridge, Macaulay, and Ruskin, and in 1966 the author of a work on translations of the Divina commedia wrote 'Cary's version still holds its place as a minor classic, thanks to the fact that its author was a competent versifier with some poetic perception' G. F. Cunningham, The 'Divine comedy' in English: a critical bibliography, 2 vols. (1965-6)" (ODNB).

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Description

3 volumes, octavo (213 x 129 mm). Contemporary diced calf, twin red morocco labels to spines, richly gilt in compartments, wide gilt foliate border to covers, marbled endpapers and edges.

Condition

Bound without half-titles. Neat inked inscription dated 1881 to initial blank of vol. I. Joints and extremities expertly restored, contents clean and fresh; a lovely, very attractive copy.

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