Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


Translating Dante's Vita nuova: the first English edition, Florence 1846

08 March 2023, 5:00 pm–7:00 pm

Three different images of editions of Dante's book

A discussion exploring the first translation into English of Dante Alighieri’s ‘book of memory’, the Vita nuova.

Event Information

Open to

UCL staff | UCL students


Professor Catherine Keen


IAS Forum
G17, Ground Floor, South Wing
UCL, Gower Street, London
United Kingdom

Dr Federica Coluzzi (Warwick University), Professor Gigliola Sacerdoti Mariani (Florence University) and Dr Alessandro Scafi (Warburg Institute) will lead a conversation exploring the landmark first edition of an English translation of Dante Alighieri’s Vita nuova. Joseph Garrow’s The Early Life of Dante Alighieri, Together with the Original in Parallel Pages, was published in 1846 by Le Monnier, a product of the Dantean enthusiasms of Victorian Anglo-Florentine literary circles. Our speakers will discuss the nineteenth-century afterlife of the Vita nuova, and its reception among English and Italian readers, editors, and illustrators. Rare copies of the work from the UCL and London Library collections, each with important Risorgimento cultural provenance, will be on display alongside Prof. Sacerdoti Mariani’s 2021 new edition of the 1846 original.

Andrea del Cornò (London Library) and Tabitha Tuckett (UCL Special Collections) will present the two copies of the 1846 edition. Discussion will be chaired by Catherine Keen (UCL Italian Studies).

About the Speakers

Gigliola Sacerdoti Mariani

Professor of English Language and Linguistics at University of Florence

Gigliola Sacerdoti Mariani is Professor of English Language and Linguistics at the University of Florence. She has published extensively on English and American literature from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries. Her new edition of The Early Life of Dante Alighieri was published in the Intersezioni series for Effigi Edizioni, for the Dante Septcentenary of 2021.

Dr Federica Coluzzi

Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow in the Department of Italian at Warwick University

Federica Coluzzi is a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow in the Department of Italian at Warwick. A specialist in literary reception and the history of publishing and reading, she has recently co-edited, with Jacob Blakesley, a volume of essays on The Afterlife of Dante’s ‘Vita Nova’ in the Anglophone World (Routledge Translation Studies series, 2022).

Dr Alessandro Scafi

Senior Lecturer in Medieval and Renaissance Cultural History at Warburg Institute, University of London

Alessandro Scafi is Senior Lecturer in Medieval and Renaissance Cultural History at the Warburg Institute, University of London. His publications on the history of cartography and the history of pilgrimage include extensive discussion of Dante. Since 2011 he has coordinated a successful annual series of Dante readings aimed at the general public, together with Prof. John Took and Dr Tabitha Tuckett of UCL.

Catherine Keen

Professor of Dante Studies at University College London

Catherine Keen is Professor of Dante Studies at University College London. Her publications on Dante and medieval literature include several articles on Dante’s Vita nova.

Andrea del Cornò

Italian Specialist at London Library

Andrea del Cornò (MA) is Italian Specialist at the London Library, where he has been in post since 2002, and Subject Librarian (Italian Literature & Language) at the Taylor Institution Library, University of Oxford.

Dr Tabitha Tuckett

Rare Books Librarian at Special Collections, University College London Library

Tabitha Tuckett is the Rare Books Librarian in the Special Collections of University College London Library. In this capacity, she works closely with UCL Library’s Dante Collection (with circa 3000 volumes on Dante), and collaborates with John Took and Alessandro Scafi on their Dante readings series.