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James Russell Lowell, Among my books 1 1 Browse Search
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James Russell Lowell, Among my books, Dante. (search)
Various dates have been assigned to the composition of the Vita Nuova. The earliest limit is fixed by the death of Beatrice in 1290 (though some of the poems are of even earlier date), and the book is commonly assumed to have been finished by 1295; Foscolo says 1294. But Professor Karl Witte, a high authority, extends the term as far as 1300. Dante Alighieri's lyrische Gedichte, Leipzig, 1842, Theil II. pp. 4-9. The title of the book also, Vita Nuova, has been diversely interpreted. Mr. Garrow, who published an English version of it at Florence in 1846, entitles it the Early Life of Dante. Balbo understands it in the same way. Vita, p. 97. But we are strongly of the opinion that New Life is the interpretation sustained by the entire significance of the book itself. His next work in order of date is the treatise De Monarchia. It has been generally taken for granted that Dante was a Guelph in politics up to the time of his banishment, and that out of resentment he then beca