Vertical Readings in Dante's Comedy: Volume 1 - cover image


George Corbett; Heather Webb; Copyright of individual chapters is maintained by the chapter’s author.

Published On





  • English

Print Length

282 pages (viii + 274)


Paperback156 x 15 x 234 mm(6.14" x 0.6" x 9.21")
Hardback156 x 17 x 234 mm(6.14" x 0.69" x 9.21")


Paperback900g (31.75oz)
Hardback1282g (45.22oz)

OCLC Number





  • DS
  • DSC


  • LIT004200
  • POE019000
  • LIT011000


  • PQ4435


  • Dante Alighieri
  • Commedia
  • Inferno
  • Purgatorio
  • Paradiso
  • Italian poetry
  • Italian literature
  • vertical readings
  • comparative
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Vertical Readings in Dante's Comedy

Volume 1

  • George Corbett (editor)
  • Heather Webb (editor)
This book is part of a 3-volume set. Other volumes in the set are:
Vertical Readings in Dante’s Comedy is a reappraisal of the poem by an international team of thirty-four scholars. Each vertical reading analyses three same-numbered cantos from the three canticles: Inferno i, Purgatorio i and Paradiso i; Inferno ii, Purgatorio ii and Paradiso ii; etc. Although scholars have suggested before that there are correspondences between same-numbered cantos that beg to be explored, this is the first time that the approach has been pursued in a systematic fashion across the poem.
This collection – to be issued in three volumes – offers an unprecedented repertoire of vertical readings for the whole poem. As the first volume exemplifies, vertical reading not only articulates unexamined connections between the three canticles but also unlocks engaging new ways to enter into core concerns of the poem. The three volumes thereby provide an indispensable resource for scholars, students and enthusiasts of Dante.


While all the essays are well-considered and extraordinarily illuminating, the strength of the collection lies in the willingness of the contributing scholars to look for correspondences in the parallel cantos that they might not otherwise have noted. […] The results of this exploration have enormous implications for Dante Studies as we move into the new millennium.

Mary Watt

"George Corbett and Heather Webb, editors. Vertical Readings in Dante’s Comedy: Volume 1". Quaderni d’italianistica (2293-7382), vol. 37, no. 1, 2017. doi:10.33137/q.i..v37i1.28284

Full Review

Additional Resources

This volume has its origin in a series of thirty-three public lectures held in Trinity College, the University of Cambridge (2012-2016) which can be accessed at the ‘Cambridge Vertical Readings in Dante’s Comedy’ website.


1.i.Pagan Dawn of a Christian Vision

(pp. 13–24)
  • George Corbett
  • Heather Webb


(pp. 25–36)
  • Heather Webb

2.Reading Time, Text and the World

(pp. 37–56)
  • Matthew Treherne

3. The Bliss and Abyss of Freedom: Hope, Personhood and Particularity

(pp. 57–76)
  • Vittorio Montemaggi

4. Virtuous Pagans, Hopeless Desire and Unjust Justice

(pp. 77–96)
  • John Marenbon

5. Massacre, Miserere and Martyrdom

(pp. 97–118)
  • Robin Kirkpatrick

6. Divided City, Slavish Italy, Universal Empire

(pp. 119–142)
  • Claire E. Honess

7. The Wheeling Sevens

(pp. 143–160)
  • Simon A. Gilson

8. Civitas and Love: Looking Backward from Paradiso viii

(pp. 161–180)
  • Brenda Deen Schildgen

9.‘Without Any Violence’

(pp. 181–202)
  • Zygmunt G. Barański

10. Humility and the (P)arts of Art

(pp. 203–222)
  • K P Clarke

11. The Art of Teaching and the Nature of Love

(pp. 223–248)
  • Paola Nasti


(pp. 1–12)
  • George Corbett
  • Heather Webb


George Corbett

Junior Research Fellow of Trinity College at University of Cambridge

Heather Webb

University Lecturer in Medieval Italian Literature at University of Cambridge