Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Dante in Love

Dante in Love

A Biography

A. N. Wilson




Trade Paperback

For William Butler Yeats, Dante Alighieri was "the chief imagination of Christendom." For T. S. Eliot, he was of supreme importance, both as poet and philosopher. Coleridge championed his introduction to an English readership. Tennyson based his poem "Ulysses" on lines from the Inferno. Byron chastised an "Ungrateful Florence" for exiling Dante. The Divine Comedy resonates across five hundred years of our literary canon.

In Dante in Love, A. N. Wilson presents a glittering study of an artist and his world, arguing that without an understanding of medieval Florence, it is impossible to grasp the meaning of Dante's great poem. He explains how the Italian states were at that time locked into violent feuds, mirrored in the ferocious competition between the Holy Roman Empire and the Papacy. He shows how Dante's preoccupations with classical mythology, numerology, and the great Christian philosophers inform every line of the Comedy.

Dante in Love also explores the enigma of the man who never wrote about the mother of his children, yet immortalized the mysterious Beatrice whom he barely knew. With a biographer's eye for detail and a novelist's comprehension of the creative process, A. N. Wilson paints a masterful portrait of Dante Alighieri and unlocks one of the seminal works of literature for a new generation of readers.


DANTE IS THE GREATEST POET OF THE MIDDLE AGES. IT COULD BE argued that he was the greatest of all European poets, of any time or place. Yet, for many, perhaps nearly all (non-Italian), readers,...


Praise for Dante in Love

“A. N. Wilson has a marvelous facility for bringing distant worlds up close....Read Wilson's book, pick up that copy of the Commedia, and try again.” —Los Angeles Times

“Accurate, lively, sometimes polemical, and always delicately devout. There is little to disagree with here, and much that encourages conversation.” —Financial Times (London)

“For this reader, Wilson's loving, human Dante, a Dante immersed in the Italian landscape, [is] a new Dante entirely….Compelling.” —The American Scholar

“Not just a thoroughly readable, illuminating story but, with its fascinating store of detail, a practical reference volume…A worthy vade mecum with which to explore Dante's masterpiece itself.” —The Independent (London)

In the Press

Read the Kirkus Review of DANTE IN LOVE . "In the middle of the journey of our life, I found myself in a dark wood, for the straight way was lost." - Kirkus Reviews

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

A. N. Wilson

A. N. Wilson is an award-winning biographer and a celebrated novelist. He is the author of The Elizabethans, Our Times, and After the Victorians, among others. He lives in North London.

A. N. Wilson

A. N. Wilson

From the Publisher


Latest on Facebook