Dante conference display

The conference season is in full swing again. The Institute of English Studies conference ‘Dante in the Nineteenth Century’ (6-8 September) is an easy one for Senate House Library to support with a display of relevant library material — the main restriction is the size of the available display case, which prevents us from showing illustrations by Blake and Doré. We started with a 1544 edition of the Divine Comedy, a copy known to have been in a library in London, and hence part of the English experience of Dante, in the nineteenth century. On the whole we selected a few of the many editions spanning the nineteenth century, from the miniature Diamond Classic of 1823 to the Dent desire to bring attractiveness to mass production at the end of the century. As Dante was known not just through editions or translations of his works, but through biography, we also wanted to show specimens of books mentioning him. In a year in which Dickens is so prominent, for example, the first edition of Dickens’s Pictures from Italy, with its brief romanticised image of Dante sitting in front of the cathedral in Florence, chose itself.

Edited by Baldassare Lombardi


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