The Dante Club: A Novel

Front Cover
Random House Publishing Group, Feb 4, 2003 - Fiction - 384 pages
1074 Reviews
A New York Times Bestseller
Words can bleed.

In 1865 Boston, the literary geniuses of the Dante Club—poets and Harvard professors Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, and James Russell Lowell, along with publisher J. T. Fields—are finishing America’s first translation of The Divine Comedy and preparing to unveil Dante’s remarkable visions to the New World. The powerful Boston Brahmins at Harvard College are fighting to keep Dante in obscurity, believing that the infiltration of foreign superstitions into American minds will prove as corrupting as the immigrants arriving at Boston Harbor.

The members of the Dante Club fight to keep a sacred literary cause alive, but their plans fall apart when a series of murders erupts through Boston and Cambridge. Only this small group of scholars realizes that the gruesome killings are modeled on the descriptions of Hell’s punishments from Dante’s Inferno. With the lives of the Boston elite and Dante’s literary future in America at stake, the Dante Club members must find the killer before the authorities discover their secret.

Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes and an outcast police officer named Nicholas Rey, the first black member of the Boston police department, must place their careers on the line to end the terror. Together, they discover that the source of the murders lies closer to home than they ever could have imagined.

The Dante Club is a magnificent blend of fact and fiction, a brilliantly realized paean to Dante’s continued grip on our imagination, and a captivating thriller that will surprise readers from beginning to end.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

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Review: The Dante Club

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I went back and forth between two and three stars for this one. The story itself is pretty promising--gruesome murders with Dante-esque elements, as historic literary characters hunt down the cause ... Read full review

Review: The Dante Club

User Review  - Goodreads

It could have been interesting. It should have, in fact, with the wealth of possibilities. However, the author clearly thinks incredibly highly of his own writing. The death knell (ahem) for me ... Read full review

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Contents

XII
XIII
XIV
Canticle Three
XV
XVI
XVII
XVIII

VII
Canticle
VIII
IX
X
XI
XIX
XX
XXI
Historical Note Dedication
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

Matthew Pearl graduated from Harvard University summa cum laude in English and American Literature in 1997, and in 2000 from Yale Law School, where he wrote the first draft of The Dante Club. In 1998, he won the prestigious Dante Prize from the Dante Society of America for his scholarly work. He is also the editor of the new Modern Library edition of Dante’s Inferno, translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. He grew up in Fort Lauderdale and currently lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Dante Club is his first novel. He can be reached via his website, www.matthewpearl.com.

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From the Hardcover edition.

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