A manuscript by George Cochraneine
Dante’s Divine Comedy is considered a masterpiece of world literature and numerous copies of this narrative poem have been produced over the last seven centuries. Consequently, a unique edition has been completed, a modern manuscript written by George Cochrane. He worked on this manuscript for years and dedicated his life’s work to the creation of a new Divine Comedy: the first fully handwritten and hand-illustrated version of Dante’s Divine Comedy since the 15th century!
Dante’s Divine Comedy
The Divina Commedia is divided into three parts: Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso. Each of the three cantiche consists of 33 canti (cantos), therefore – as there is an introductory canto – the poem consists of 100 canti with 14 233 lines. In addition, the number three in this poem is very important in many ways; Dante used the verse scheme terza rima, creating lines of eleven syllables, and these lines form tercets. The total number of syllables in each tercet is thus 33, which corresponds to the number of cantos in each cantina.
Dante’s Journey through Heaven and Hell
The poem is written in the first person and narrates Dante’s journey through the three realms of the dead. The journey begins on the night before Good Friday and ends on the Wednesday after Easter in the spring of 1300. The Roman poet Virgil guides him through Hell and Purgatory; Beatrice, Dante’s ideal wife, guides him through Heaven. Beatrice was a Florentine woman whom he had met in his childhood and admired from afar, in keeping with the courtly love tradition of the time.
The facsimile edition
The faithful facsimile edition of the manuscript was completed by Georges Cochrane in 2020. On 384 full-page illustrated pages in 30 × 25 cm format, Dante’s masterpiece is reinterpreted as a modern manuscript.
It is a limited edition of the German version, hand-numbered to 1000 copies worldwide, and comes in a gold-stamped leather binding with a jewelled case. We presented the new edition for the first time at the Frankfurt Book Fair.