Medieval and Renaissance
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Purgatorio
Purgatorio
by Dante
Paperback      ISBN: 055321344x

This splendid verse translation by Allen Mandelbaum provides an entirely fresh experience of Dante's great poem of penance and hope. As Dante ascends the Mount of Purgatory toward the Earthly Paradise and his beloved Beatrice, through "that second kingdom in which the human soul is cleansed of sin," all the passion and suffering, poetry and philosophy are rendered with the immediacy of a poet of our own age. With extensive notes and commentary prepared especially for this edition.

The Inferno of Dante Alighieri
The Inferno of Dante Alighieri
Paperback      ISBN: 1590171144

This startling new translation of Dante's Inferno is by Ciaran Carson, one of contemporary Ireland's most dazzlingly gifted poets. Written in a vigorous and inventive contemporary idiom, while also reproducing the intricate rhyme-scheme that is so essential to the beauty and power of Dante's epic, Carson's virtuosic rendering of the Inferno is that rare thing--a translation with the heft and force of a true English poem. Like Seamus Heaney's Beowulf and Ted Hughes's Tales from Ovid, Ciaran Carson's Inferno is an extraordinary modern response to one of the great works of world literature.

The Divine Comedy: Inferno; Purgatorio; Paradiso (in One Volume)
The Divine Comedy
Inferno; Purgatorio; Paradiso (in One Volume)
Hardcover      ISBN: 0679433139

This Everyman's Library edition-containing in one volume all three cantos, Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso-includes an introduction by Nobel Prize--winning poet Eugenio Montale, a chronology, notes, and a bibliography. Also included are forty-two drawings selected from Botticelli's marvelous late-fifteenth-century series of illustrations.

Translated in this edition by Allen Mandelbaum, The Divine Comedy begins in a shadowed forest on Good Friday in the year 1300. It proceeds on a journey that, in its intense recreation of the depths and the heights of human experience, has become the key with which Western civilization has sought to unlock the mystery of its own identity.

Mandelbaum's astonishingly Dantean translation, which captures so much of the life of the original, renders whole for us the masterpiece of that genius whom our greatest poets have recognized as a central model for all poets.

Pearl: A New Verse Translation
Pearl
A New Verse Translation
Hardcover      ISBN: 0871407183

Simon Armitage, the acclaimed poet who brought Sir Gawain and the Green Knight to vivid life in "an energetic, free-flowing, high-spirited translation" (New York Times Book Review), turns his attention to another beloved medieval English masterpiece, the soulful Pearl. Believed to have been penned by the same author who wrote Sir Gawain and housed in the same original fourteenth-century manuscript, Pearl is here reanimated with Armitage's characteristic flair in the alliterative music of the original text.

Pearl describes a bereft father mourning the loss of his precious "Perle." Returning to the garden where she first disappeared, he observes the verdant shades of late summer--a cruel reminder of the grief that shadows his every waking thought. Succumbing to the afternoon heat, he falls into a trancelike sleep and dreams of a radiant apparition that closely resembles his Pearl. Standing before him across an unfordable stretch of water, the maiden reassures her father that she has been granted a home in heaven alongside Christ. At first overjoyed, then incredulous at the maiden's exalted stature, the dreamer is ultimately convinced of her providence by a series of tense, sorrowful arguments as she--much like Dante's Beatrice--leads him through the throes of grief toward a vision of paradise and divine redemption. At the brief, teasing glimpse of the kingdom of heaven, the dreamer rushes forward to join the maiden--only to be struck awake, his dream shattered and his irreplaceable Pearl lost once more.

Presented alongside the original text, and overseen by renowned medievalist James Simpson, Pearl is a spellbinding new translation of a classic medieval work. Remaining faithful to the intricate structure of the original, Armitage's virtuosic rendering of the lyrical dialogue between father and daughter arrives at the end only to echo the beginning; the poem emerges as a circular and perfected whole, much like the pearl itself. One of our most ingenious interpreters of Middle English, Armitage transforms this allegory of grief and consolation into a story that feels hauntingly immediate.

Arthurian Romances
Arthurian Romances
Paperback      ISBN: 046087389x
Erec and Enide; Cliges; Lancelot; Yvain; Perceval

An idyllically happy marriage in which a husband is so involved that he neglects his duties as a knight; love endangered by a husband who is more interested in athletic chivalry than his wife; timorous young love; and adulterous passion -- together these stories offer the most complete expression of French chivalry and of courtly love.

Chretien de Troyes did not invent the Arthurian legend: he gave it sophisticated literary form, establishing it as major branch of European literature. Without chretien we might today scarcely have heard of King Arthur and his brave company.

The most comprehensive paperback edition available, with introduction, notes and glossary
Alexiad of Anna Comnena
Alexiad of Anna Comnena
Trade Paperback      ISBN: 0140442154
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Paperback      ISBN: 0375709924

A splendid new translation of the classic Arthurian tale of enchantment, adventure, and romance, presented alongside the original Middle English text.

It is the height of Christmas and New Year's revelry when an enormous knight with brilliant green clothes and skin descends upon King Arthur's court. He presents a sinister challenge: he will endure a blow of the axe to his neck without offering any resistance, but whoever gives the blow must promise to take the same in exactly a year and a day's time. The young Sir Gawain quickly rises to the challenge, and the poem tells of the adventures he finds--an almost irresistible seduction, shockingly brutal hunts, and terrifyingly powerful villains--as he endeavors to fulfill his promise.

Capturing the pace, impact, and richly alliterative language of the original text, W. S. Merwin has imparted a new immediacy to a spellbinding narrative, written centuries ago by a poet whose name is now unknown, lost to time. Of the Green Knight, Merwin notes in his foreword: "We seem to recognize him--his splendor, the awe that surrounds him, his menace and his grace--without being able to place him . . . We will never know who the Green Knight is except in our own response to him."
The Divine Comedy: Volume 3: Paradiso
The Divine Comedy: Volume 3
Paradiso
Paperback      ISBN: 0195004140

An invaluable source of pleasure to those English readers who wish to read this great medieval classic with true understanding, Sinclair's three-volume prose translation of Dante's Divine Comedy provides both the original Italian text and the Sinclair translation, arranged on facing pages, and commentaries, appearing after each canto, which serve as brilliant examples of genuine literary criticism. This volume contains the complete translation of Dante's Paradiso.

The Mabinogion
The Mabinogion
Paperback      ISBN: 0140443223
'On the bank of the river he saw a tall tree: from roots to crown one half was aflame and the other green with leaves'

Drawing on myth, folklore and history, the stories of the Mabinogion passed from generations of storytellers before they were written down in the thirteenth century in the form we now read them. Set in dual realms of the forests and valleys of Wales and the shadowy otherworld, the tales are permeated by a dreamlike atmosphere. In 'Math Son of Mathonwy' two brothers plot to carry off the virginal Goewin, while in 'Manawydan Son of Ll yr' a chieftain roams throughout Britain after a spell is cast over his land. And King Arthur's court provides the backdrop to tales such as 'How Culhwch Won Olwen', in which a young man must complete many tasks before he can marry a giant's daughter, and 'Peredur Son of Evrawg' who strives to prove his valour as a knight.

In his introduction, Jeffrey Gantz discusses the sources, oral tradition and artistry of the tales. This edition includes introductory prefaces to each story, a list for further reading and a note on pronunciation.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Visions and Longings: Medieval Women Mystics
Visions and Longings
Medieval Women Mystics
Paperback      ISBN: 1570623147

The women mystics of medieval Europe represent the very first feminine voices heard in a world where women were nearly silent. As such, they are striking and unusual, strange, powerful and urgent. Monica Furlong uses key selections from among these women's own writings and writings about them by their contemporaries, along with her own assessment of them, to open up their contributions to a wide popular audience. The eleven women represented in this anthology were housewives, visionaries, abbesses, beguines, recluses, and nuns who wrote between the eleventh and fourteenth centuries. They include: H loise, the scholar and abbess, whose letters to Abelard are treasure of medieval literature. Hildegard of Bingen, the visionary Rhineland nun. Clare of Assisi, the close friend of Saint Francis and founder of the Poor Clares. Catherine of Siena, an influential spiritual counselor whose book, Dialogue, consists of a debate between herself and God. Julian of Norwich, the English hermitess who spent the greater part of her life meditating on and coming to understand the striking visions she received as a young woman. and many others...