In this new book, Robert Langdon finds himself in the beautiful city of Florence, Italy and involved in another adventure. This time it involves the Inferno, the first book of Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy, where Dante and his guide Virgil travel through the layers of Hell. If this story is similar to the previous books in the series, Langdon will face dangerous adversaries and will have to solve mysteries and riddles to save the world - once again.
Alternatively, if you've recently been to (or are planning to attend) the current exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Revealing the Early Renaissance: Stories and Secrets in Florentine Art, this too may have sparked an interest to learn more about Renaissance Florence. If that is the case, you may want to attend the upcoming program Florentine Altarpieces in the Early Renaissance, which is being held on May 7th at North York Central Library.
So, whether you are eagerly awaiting Dan Brown's next thriller, or looking forward to visiting the AGO exhibit (or perhaps both), have a look at this list of books about Florence and/or Dante:
The Inferno by Dante Alighieri
In this classic poem, as Dante travels through Hell with his guide Virgil, he describes an underworld of nine concentric circles of increasingly agonising torture, where he encounters doomed souls including the pagan Aeneas, the liar Odysseus, the suicide Cleopatra, and his own political enemies. His journey continues in the next two volumes of the poem, Purgatorio and Paradiso.
April Blood: Florence and the Plot against
the Medici by Laura
In 1478, assassins attacked the brothers Lorenzo and Giuliano de Medici while they attended mass in Florence's Cathedral. Giuliano was killed. This is the story of the conspiracy behind the assassination and the resulting reprisals by Lorenzo de Medici.
Brunelleschi’s Dome: The Story of the Great Cathedral in Florence by Ross King.
When it was completed, the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence was hailed as one of the wonders of the world and it still retains a rare power to astonish six centuries later. This is the story of the building of the dome, which was the greatest architectural puzzle of its age. To this day, it remains the largest masonry dome ever constructed. Also available in Large Print.
Dante in Love:
The World’s Greatest Poem and How It Made History
by Harriet Rubin.
Rubin reconstructs Dante's love for Beatrice and his years of travel and exile, while also examining the impact that contemporary events had on his writing of the Divine Comedy.
money : banking, metaphysics, and art in fifteenth-century Florence by Tim Parks.
While the Medici family were late entrants into the world of banking, they used their resources to rise to the height of political power in fifteenth-century republican Florence and to extend patronage not only to political supporters but also to artists and scholars.
The Dante Club
by Matthew Pearl
In 1865 Boston, as the Dante Club, which includes poets and Harvard professors Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, prepares to release the first translation of Dante's "The Divine Comedy", they are threatened by a series of murders that re-create episodes from "Inferno". Also available in audiobook.
I, Mona Lisa by Jeanne Kalogridis.
When Madonna Lisa’s love, Giuliano de Medici, meets a tragic end, Lisa must then gather all her courage and cunning to untangle a sinister web of illicit love, treachery, and dangerous secrets that threatens her life.
The Mosaic Crimes by Guilio Leoni, translated from Italian by Anne Milano Appel.
In the aftermath of an artist's murder in 1300 Florence, Dante Alighieri undertakes the investigation, during which he wonders about an assembly of seven master scholars and the secret behind the victim's mosaic.
The Passion of Artemisia by Susan Vreeland.
After Artemisia Gentileschi finds herself humiliated in the papal court, her new husband takes her to Florence, where her talent for painting blossoms and she begins a lifelong search to reconcile painting and motherhood, passion and genius. Also available in audiobook.
While exploring Florence, art students Kate Westcott and Marco Scudarti uncover a secret chamber which holds lost scuptures by Michelangelo. When word of the discovery gets out, Kate and Marco are pursued by criminals and fall under suspicion from the elite Rome Art Squad. Kate and Marco race to preserve and protect not only Michelangelo’s work but also their lives. A thrilling page-turner.