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.

chapter |24 pages


The Anglophone Vita Nova: translators and readers

part I|112 pages

The birth and development of the English Vita nova

chapter 1|15 pages

‘That Prayer-Book of Love’

La Vita nuova and the Shelley-Byron Pisan Circle, 1819–22

chapter 2|18 pages

Early English Lives of the Vita Nova


chapter 3|16 pages

Fair Beatrice

The Vita Nuova in Nineteenth-Century America

chapter 4|17 pages

‘The Vita Nuova Will Yet Have American Successors’

Translating Dante in Nineteenth-Century New England

chapter 7|16 pages

The Vita nuova in the Victorian Fin de Siècle

Translations, editions and commentary, 1893–1906

part II|35 pages

The English Vita nova between Modernism and New American Poetry

chapter 8|16 pages

The Secretest Chamber of the Heart

The Vita nova in British and American Modernism

chapter 9|17 pages

‘A fraternity of poets’

The reception of Dante and the Vita Nuova in the Berkeley Renaissance

part III|48 pages

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

chapter 10|14 pages

Between concatenatio pulcra and the ‘Tyranny of Rhyme’

Translating Dante's libello

chapter 11|20 pages

Contemporary Translations of the Vita Nuova

Cervigni and Vasta, Frisardi, and Slavitt