Charles S. Singleton's edition of the Divine Comedy, of which this is the first part, provides the English-speaking reader with everything he needs to read and understand Dante's great masterpiece.
The Italian text here is in the edition of Giorgio Petrocchi, the leading Italian editor of Dante. Professor Singleton's prose translation, facing the Italian in a line-for-line arrangement on each page, is smooth and literate. The companion volume, the Commentary, marshals every point of information the reader may require: vocabulary; grammar; identification of Dante's characters; historical sources of some of the incidents and, where pertinent, excerpts from those sources in their original languages and in translation; profound clear analysis of the Divine Comedy's basic allegory. There is a complete bibliography of every aspect of Dante studies.
This first part of the Divine Comedy which is illustrated with maps of Italy and the region Dante knew especially, diagrams of the circles of Hell, and plates showing some of the historic sites mentioned by Dante in his poem.
"The publication of the first part of Singleton's translation and commentary provides the most comprehensive annotated edition of the Inferno available in English. It is particularly valuable not only for the wealth of factual material but for the citing and translation of long passages from Dante's sources. . . . An indispensable tool for all serious students of the Divine Comedy in English and a valuable possession for all Dantisti."--Renaissance Quarterly
"Although we have had many translations of the Comedy since the eighteenth century, some of them notable re-creations, we have not really had a scholarly edition which aims at relative completeness of information about the language, ideas, and background of the poem. This Professor Singleton has provided."--Speculum
"Singleton's edition of the Divine Comedy will certainly be the edition for readers in English. The translation is much the most satisfactory one I know. The commentary is the most complete and authoritative in English. It is clear that Singleton's work on the Inferno supersedes everything else of the kind."--Francis Fergusson