A few words about book's author
Born in 1265 in Florence, from which he was banished in 1302, dying in Ravenna in 1321, Dante set the Divine Comedy in the year 1300, when he was thirty-five years old and in the middle of our mortal life. The setting allows him to utilise the past symbolically, exploit the present politically, and anticipate the future in simulated prophecy.
The Commedia throughout reflects his love for Beatrice whom he first saw at a young age in a church in Florence, and who came to represent for him Intellectual and Spiritual Beauty. The story of his love for her, her early death, and his inspiration to write the Commedia are told in his prose work La vita nuova, The New Life, of 1294.
While never returning to Florence after his banishment, the city remained a crucial focus of his thoughts and memories, and while eating the bitter bread of exile his meditations on that city, on Beatrice, and on the moral challenges of his age, led as he had promised in The New Life, to this great work, of explanation, aspiration, and ultimately spiritual exaltation.