London: Methuen, 1954. First edition. Octavo, original blue cloth, navy top edge, original dust jacket. Bookplate. Nearly-fine book with toning to back panel of price-clipped dust jacket. Item #336
"THE THING THAT THE MODERN READER AND CRITIC FIND SO DIFFICULT, WHEN CONFRONTED BY A GREAT POET, IS TO ACCEPT HIM" First edition of Sayers' collected lectures on Dante, demonstrating a devotion to Dante which consumed the last years of her life. Sayers was gripped by "an iron determination to translate the Commedia into English terza-rima--a daunting task, given the scarcity of English rhymes--with an extensive theological and literary commentary. Her Hell and Purgatory, and her unfinished Paradise (completed by her god-daughter, the scholar and translator Barbara Reynolds) remain widely read more than half a century after publication." (Zaleski and Zaleski, The Fellowship The Literary Lives of the Inklings). Consists of Introduction, Dante's Imagery: I. Symbolic and II. Pictorial, The Meaning of Heaven and Hell, The Meaning of Purgatory, The City of Dis, The Fourfold Interpretations of the Comedy, The Paradoxes of the Comedy. Dedicated by Sayers "To the Organisers and Students of The Summer Schools arranged by the Society for Italian Study" with a short Preface by Barbara Reynolds, dated "Cambridge/June 1953." An excellent copy.