Rare edition with unique illustrations and elegant classic cream paper. The first part of Dante's Divine Comedy, the "Inferno" (or "Hell") begins on the night before Good Friday in the year 1300, "halfway along our life's path". Dante is thirty-five years old, half of the biblical life expectancy of 70, lost in a dark wood, assailed by beasts he cannot evade, and unable to find the straight way to salvation. Conscious that he is ruining himself and that he is falling into a deep place where the sun is silent, Dante is at last rescued by Virgil, and the two of them begin their journey to the underworld. Each sin's punishment in Inferno is a contrapasso, a symbolic instance of poetic justice Includes unique illustrations.