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I won the Blake illustrated Inferno at eBay today. Checking Folio 60 I just learned that there is a Folio edition of the complete Divine Comedy illustrated by John Flaxman. Any opinions among the members of this group regarding that edition?
Hi, it's a handy-sized volume, a lot easier to read than the large octavo Inferno you've just bought, though with a plainer design-blocked blue buckram binding. There are copious in-page blue line drawing illustrations throughout by Flaxman. These are by no means as visually impressive as the colour plate illustrations in the larger volumes, but the older Folio volume is a pratical size for the complete work; you'd feel more comfortable taking it out and about with you!
Thanks for your opinion, cronshaw. I will check abebooks for that edition.
For comparison purposes I would suggest checking also the Folio books available here:
They always show a picture of the book available.
I also recently picked up the FS Inferno, and also soon after realized that they published matching illustrated editions of Purgatorio and Paradiso as well. However, though Inferno can be easily found at relatively reasonable prices, I cannot find Purgatorio for less than $130 ish, and I cannot find Paradiso at all.
Can anybody shed any light on this? I initially assumed that Purgatorio and Paradiso were simply scarcer on the used market because they were published more recently, but perhaps FS also printed more copies of Inferno?
I'm sure many more copies of the Inferno were printed, and for that matter it had already been issued by itself a few years earlier, in 1998, in the same large format but bound in cloth. I bought the three books in their most recent form one by one as they were published, and the Paradiso in particular didn't seem to remain available for very long at all. It makes a slightly odd ending to the set in that Di Paolo's illuminations are in a landscape format, twice as long as they are high, and so they are reproduced compactly at the feet of pages of text rather than in the striking full-page form in which the Blake and Dali paintings appear.
Oh interesting - that makes me want Paradiso slightly less. I have no problem with turning Inferno sideways to enjoy the full-page printing. Though I doubt I could handle having only two of the three volumes on my shelf . . .
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