Folio Society Publishes Dante’s Divine Comedy
London — In commemoration of the 700th anniversary of Dante’s death in September 1321, The Folio Society determined to create the most sublime edition of The Divine Comedy. This new limited edition of one of the greatest classics of world literature is truly a work of art. Three exquisite leather-bound books feature 100 illustrations by Neil Packer, in a limitation of just 700 hand-numbered sets each signed by the artist.
The imaginative power of Dante’s poem has fascinated readers for centuries. Beatrice, symbol of divine grace, sends Virgil to guide Dante through Hell and up the slopes of Purgatory before leading him into Heaven herself. Peopled with legendary and historical figures, but also with Dante’s contemporaries, the poet’s journey to spiritual enlightenment is expressed with unmatched poetic elegance and still resonates after 700 years.
Tom Walker, Folio’s Publishing Director, began planning this commemorative edition more than two years ago and immediately resolved on persuading Neil Packer to contribute the illustrative scheme. Illustration has been integral to The Divine Comedy from the earliest manuscripts, and Packer’s work suggests a natural empathy with Dante’s world, incorporating many and diverse influences including medieval woodblock prints, designs from North Africa and English woodblock prints of the 1930s. The artist has also contributed striking binding designs, hand-drawn lettering, decorative papers for the elaborate presentation box and three superb prints for framing.
Completed with a newly commissioned introductory essay by Pulitzer prize-winning author Jhumpa Lahiri, this limited edition of Dante’s masterpiece achieves Folio’s ambition to create volumes expressive of craftsmanship and dedication to rival the best any age has produced.
Limited to 700 signed and hand-numbered copies; UK £700 US $1,095 Can $1,350 Aus $1,575