Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was one of the great American poets, but his magnum opus was the result of a scholar’s passion for the great work by Dante Alighieri – The Divine Comedy.
This scarce De Luxe Edition of Longfellow’s translation was published by The Nottingham Society of New York around 1909 (the books themselves are undated) in four volumes.
Each of the first three volumes contain copious “Translator’s Notes” in addition to his rendering of Inferno, Purgatorio & Paradiso. The fourth volume consists of further “literary illustrations of Dante, his works and his epoch” plus notes by the editor (Charles Welsh) on both Longfellow and Dante.
As evidenced by the pictures, this is a beautiful set – half-leather over green cloth; gilt decorations on the spine and atop the page blocks; rough-cut pages (many still uncut although some have been separated poorly); and profusely, exquisitely, illustrated.
Each volume has a neat ownership stamp on the front flyleaf but this does little to detract from a very handsome set of one of literature’s great accomplishments.