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James Russell Lowell, Among my books, Dante. (search)
f the century. The lectures were delivered in the churches and on feastdays, which shows their popular character. Balbo reckons (but this is guess-work) that the Ms. copies of the Divina Commedia made during the fourteenth century, and now existing in the libraries of Europe, are more numerous than those of all other works, ancient and modern, made during the same period. Between the invention of printing and the year 1500 more than twenty editions were published in Italy, the earliest in 1472. During the sixteenth century there were forty editions; during the seventeenth,—a period, for Italy, of sceptical dilettanteism,—only three; during the eighteenth, thirty-four; and already, during the first half of the nineteenth, at least eighty. The first translation was into Spanish, in 1428. St. Rene Taillandier, in Revue des Deux Mondes, December 1, 1856. M. St. Rene Taillandier says that the Commedia was condemned by the inquisition in Spain; but this seems too general a statement