1st Edition

The Afterlife of Dante’s Vita Nova in the Anglophone World Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Translation and Reception History

Edited By Federica Coluzzi, Jacob Blakesley Copyright 2023

    This volume provides the first systematic study of the translation and reception of Dante’s Vita Nova in the Anglophone world, reconstructing for the first time the contexts and genesis of its English-language afterlife from the early nineteenth century to the present day.

    Dante is one of the foremost authors of the Western canon, and his Vita Nova has been repeatedly translated into English over the past two centuries. However, there exists no comprehensive account of the critical, scholarly, and creative English-language reception of Dante’s work. This collection brings together scholars from Dante studies, translation studies, English studies, and book history to examine the translation and reception of the Vita Nova among modern English-speaking publics, in both academic and non-academic contexts, and thus represents a major contribution to Dante studies.

    The Afterlife of Dante’s Vita Nova in the Anglophone World will be an essential reference point for scholars and students in English and Italian studies, literary and cultural studies, and translation and reception studies in the UK, Ireland, the USA, and Italy, where Dante is taught and researched.

    List of Contributors


    Introduction. The Anglophone Vita Nova: readers and translators, Jacob Blakesley and Federica Coluzzi

    Part I. The birth and development of the English Vita nova

    1. ‘That prayer-book of love’:  La vita nuova and the Shelley-Byron Pisan Circle, 1819-22, Diego Saglia

    2. Early English Lives of the Vita Nova: 1835-46, Nick Havely 

    3. Fair BeatriceThe Vita Nuova in Nineteenth-Century AmericaKathleen Verduin 

    4. ‘The Vita Nuova Will Yet Have American Successors’Translating Dante in Nineteenth-Century New EnglandIgor Candido

    5. Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s The New Life, Fabio Camilletti

    6. Intermedial Configurations in Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s Reception of the Vita Nuova, Julia Straub

    7. The Vita nova in the Victorian Fin de Siècle: Translations, Editions and Commentary, 1893-1906, Federica Coluzzi

    Part II. The English Vita nova between Modernism and New American Poetry

    8. The Secretest Chamber of the Heart: The Vita Nuova in British and American Modernism, Teresa Prudente

    9. ‘A fraternity of poets’:The reception of Dante and the Vita nuova in the San Francisco Renaissance, Valentina Mele  

    Part IIIThe resurgence of the English Vita nova: from the 1950s to the Digital Turn

    10. Between concatenatio pulcra and the ‘Tyranny of Rhyme’: Translating Dante’s libelloDaragh O’Connell 

    11. Contemporary Translations of the Vita Nuova: Cervigni/Vasta, Frisardi and Slavitt, Ronald M. De Rooy

    12. Re-reading Dante’s Vita nova in Anglophone Contexts, David Bowe

    Appendix 1. The Vita nova ‘a l’altro polo’, Emma Louise Barlow

    Appendix 2. For an Editorial History of Dante’s Vita nova, Laura Banella 




    Federica Coluzzi is Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow at the University of Warwick, UK. She was previously Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellow at University College Cork, Ireland. Her first monograph Dante Beyond Influence: Rethinking Reception in Victorian Literary Culture came out in 2021. Her research encompasses reception theory and Dante studies, nineteenth-century periodicals, and the history of publishing and reading. She has published in Dante Studies, Tre Corone, Palgrave Encyclopedia of Victorian Women’s Writing, Nineteenth Century Prose, Studium, and Strumenti Critici.

    Jacob Blakesley is Professor in Comparative Literature and Literary Translation at the University of Leeds, UK, where he co-directs the Leeds Centre for Dante Studies. He directs the Leeds Studies on Dante series (with Matthew Treherne), and the Routledge Studies in Literary Translation series (with Duncan Large). He has published two monographs, A Sociological Approach to Poetry Translation: Modern European Poet-Translators (2018) and Modern Italian Poets: Translators of the Impossible (2014), and edited Sociologies of Poetry Translation: Emerging Perspectives (2018). He is currently writing the first global translation history of Dante’s Commedia.