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This is a very quick study of Dante's life. It is well written and narrated, but I got a little lost in the foreign names and events since my knowledge of Italian history is limited. I enjoyed the story, however, and it did introduce me to Dante and 13th century Italian history.
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Benedict Flynn describes in his short story the life of Dante Alighieri - the Italian poet of Dark Ages. The book reveals the dark side of the life of Dante - his conflicts with Florentines, his banishment from beloved city of Florentine, his passion for Guelphs and their struggles with Ghibellins. For those who do not know - Guelphs were papacy supporters against Ghibellins - the Roman Emperors supporters. Later - the movement divided into two factions Black and White Guelphs, and Dante was unfortunate to be White, while Black were in power, the power that, among other things was used to expel Dante for life long exile in Verona and finally in Ravenna.
The short book suggests that these misfortunes in Dante life, were actually the breeding ground for Dante's "Divine Comedy".