The Inferno Author:Dante Alighieri, John Ciardi (Translator) In the first part of Dante's epic poem about the three realms of the Christian afterlife, a spiritual pilgrim is led by Virgil through the nine circles of Hell.
With an introduction by Archibald T. MacAllister and a new afterword by Edward M. Cifeli.
Translated in 1954 by John Ciardi, this edition published in 2001. It's enough to make you forswear the Three Beasts of Worldliness forever (expecially the "She-Wolf of Incontinence", that sounds real inconvenient).
Dante's Inferno was a great glimpse into the people of the 1300's and how Dante viewed them. He racked and stacked them into the 9 rings of Hell, according to their sins. Dante took the realism of real events and people to make this book very interesting.
The last time I read "The Inferno" was back in 1971 as an undergrad in English Lit, but I did recall liking it and I wasn't disappointed the second time around. This editon has a brief biography of Dante, a decent introduction and lots of "endnotes" (ie footnotes) to the text. Longfellow's translation is quite readable, although I can't say how it compares to more modern translations; however the fact that it was still used in 2003 when this version was published must be a testimony to its' durability.