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Dante and the Franciscans


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Table of Contents

List of illustrations; Acknowledgements; Note on citations, translations and manuscript sources; List of abbreviations; Introduction; 1. From shame to honour: Tuscan and Franciscan poverty; 2. Inferno: avarice and authority'; 3. Purgatorio: poverty in spirit; 4. Paradiso: poverty and authority; Epilogue; Appendices; Bibliography; Index.

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This study will appeal to scholars interested in medieval religious and intellectual history.

About the Author

Nicholas Havely is senior lecturer in the Department of English and Related Literature at the University of York. He is the translator of Chaucer's Boccaccio (1980, 1992); editor of The House of Fame (1994), Chaucer's Dream Poetry (1997) and Dante's Modern Afterlife (1998); and author of numerous articles on Italian and English medieval literature, including the chapter on `Literature in Italian, French and English' in volume VI of The New Cambridge Medieval History (2000).


'Dante and the Franciscans makes an impressive case that issues connected with Franciscan poverty have much to do with the Commedia on every level. Yet at the same time, the author's illuminating analyses of particular cantos of the poem show that he is anything but reductive in describing the influence of medieval Franciscanism and the poverty debates of the poem ... The book succeeds on two levels: First it contextualises the poem in ways that should allow for a new appreciation (as well as further investigation) of Dante as prophet and critic of political and religious abuse. And second, the book provides careful readings in all three cantiche, which allow us to see Dante yet again as a poet unmatched in his ability to mine the discourses available to him.' Speculum
'One can well imagine that the book's title will cause it to be perceived as occupying a particular niche in the great cathedral of Dante studies; and it is indeed likely to remain for some time to come, an invaluable resource for scholars interested in the presence of Franciscan culture in Dante. Yet, the themes with which Havely is concerned are of such central importance that this elegant and illuminating study deserves also to be regarded as indispensable to any serious attempt to understand the ideological motivations which led Dante to write the Commedia.' Italian Studies
It is Nick Havely's meticulous research and marvellous writing style that mark him as the consummate scholar and that make his book essential reading not only for Dante scholars but also for scholars of medieval religion, politics and culture.' Quaderni d'italianistica
'This is an important contribution to Dante studies and to the cultural and political dimensions of the controversies over Franciscan poverty.' Modern Philology
"Readers of Dante, historians of Franciscanism, and students and scholars of medieval Italian culture in the broadest sense will all find that this book has much to offer." -S. Botterill, University of California, Berkeley, CHOICE
"...not only timely but also timeless. [A] thorough and satisfying study.... meticulous research ... marvelous writing style ... essential reading not only for Dante scholars but also for scholars of medieval religion, politics and culture." -Quaderni d'italianistica
"Havely has shown convincingly how pervasive the influence of the literature surrounding these controversies is on teh Commedia and how essential for an understanding of the poem's recurrent concern with papal power and evangelical poetry. One of the book's most original assertionsi s that the authority of evangelical poverty is closely intertwined with the authority of prophecy and hence with Dante's concern with teh authority of his own poetic voice."- Penn Szittya, Georgetown University

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