London: Sheed & Ward, 1932. First edition. 12 mo., original brick cloth with blindstamp, illustrated rear endpapers, original dust jacket. Early owner signature (dated year of publication), mild tanning to blank front flyleaf, toning and creasing to ends of jacket. Very good indeed. Item #812
"DANTE, TO ENGLISH-READING CATHOLICS, IS A NEGLECTED INHERITANCE" First edition of this call for a rebirth of an appreciation of the Catholic identity of the Supreme Poet. Perhaps best known for her study of St. Catherine of Siena, Alice Curtayne's perspective on Dante is "one of the few really helpful books we have on the Florentine by English-speaking Catholics" (Calvert Alexander). She seeks to separate the verse renderings of Longfellow and Cary from the canon and stresses the Catholic elements in Dante's life and work: "Hardly anyone reads Dante in English for the joy of Catholic poetry. Yet he was the greatest poet of the Faith that ever arose in Christendom." The book consists of seven sections: I. Dante, iii. In the Beginning, ii. In the Middle of the Journey, iii. The Poet of the Commedia, II. Order in the Study of Dante, III. Dante in English, IV. The Divina Commedia, i. The Inferno, ii. The Purgatorio, iii. The Paradiso, V. Dante on the Holy Name, VI. Dante on Our Lady, VII. Dante on Prayer. The text is illustrated with a frontispiece portrait ("Dante Alighieri from the Bronze bust at Naples"), an additional portrait (after Giotto), and a concluding illustration ("Dante's Cosmography") decorating the rear endpapers. Complete with the scarce typographic dust wrapper (noting this as a "Member's Copy" from the Catholic Book-a-Month-Club). An important work on the literary memory of the Church. Alexander, The Catholic Literary Revival.