Contributed by Faeryn Lee (The Bolles School, ’22)
“While The Divine Comedy most clearly reflects the Catholic faith of the poet and his medieval world, it hints at some principles the Reformation would bring to bear on the church two centuries later. Dante purposely wrote in a low style that would have popular appeal despite its highly spiritual subject matter. While the church produced works in Latin, Dante wrote in the vernacular. His choice was revolutionary, ensuring the work could and would be read by common men as well as by women and children (who still study the work extensively in Italian schools today).
“Despite its loftiness, The Divine Comedy is firmly grounded in the gritty and the mundane. In fact, Dante didn’t use the word divine in his title. He simply titled it Commedia, which at the time meant a work with a happy ending as opposed to a tragic one. (The word ‘divine’ was added by a later editor and has stuck through the years.) In casting a fictional version of himself as the central figure, The Divine Comedy is prophetically personal, confessional, and autobiographical. In this way it emphasizes a surprisingly modern sense of self-determination, one that foreshadows the famous ‘Protestant work ethic.’ Moreover, in its accent on the salvation and purification of the individual soul, this work of the Catholic Dante anticipates the spiritual autobiographies of Puritans such as John Bunyan. The Divine Comedy is a story of someone seeking salvation. In Dante’s own words, the poem’s purpose is to lead readers from ‘a state of wretchedness to a state of happiness.’ And while depicting salvation in the afterlife, it’s clear Dante intends readers to find abundant life in the here and now.” [. . .] –Karen Swallow Prior, The Gospel Coalition, October 21, 2015.
“When Draco Dante experiences The Inferno with Dante family rival, Shayla Charleston, he isn’t the least opposed. In fact, he sweeps her off her feet and straight into his bed. What he doesn’t expect is for her to disappear after their one night of passion. Unwilling to let her go and with The Inferno burning in his veins, he spends months searching for her … only to discover Shayla is expecting his baby. Like, now!
“On the eve of her twenty-fifth birthday, Shayla Charleston has three goals. 1. Make sure her grandmother is taken care of. 2. Take off for Europe with her new boss. 3. Experience a one-night stand. Instead, she ends up in bed with the one man she should avoid at all costs … a Dante, her grandmother’s nemesis. [. . .]
“Draco’s Marriage Pact is Book #7 in The Dante Inferno: the Dante Dynasty Series, a contemporary romance series by USA Today bestselling author and eleven-time RITA© (Romance Writers of America) finalist, Day Leclaire. This story features passionate Italian-American heroes, the scorching connection of The Inferno, and a sizzling romance between soul mates.” —Amazon
“When the body of a poetry professor is found tortured in a deserted barn outside Florence, Inspector Perini is assigned to the case.
“No murder of passion, it is clearly a professional job. When, hours later, thieves break into Dante’s cenotaph, it seems the two crimes may be connected by some missing verses from the Divine Comedy.
“They could contain a code so valuable someone is willing to murder for it. But who? And why? As the bodies pile up, Perini is in a deadly race to find the secret before the killers. The truth will prove more shocking than he could have possibly imagined…” [. . .] —Amazon
“This spiritual guidebook follows in the footsteps of Dante on his journey through the Divine Comedy. A fresh, modern take on this path, the book invites us to explore these questions: what is my hell and how do I move through it? What is my purgatory and what lesson do I need to take away? What is my paradise; how do I get there and how do I stay there? With wisdom distilled from the great myths, scriptures, and the world’s mystics, this book is an invitation to ever-greater awakening and wholeness” [. . .] —Amazon
Dante’s Road was written by Marc Thomas Shaw and published by Amanchara Books on February 27th, 2019.