The Inferno Revealed: Deborah Parker's new book on Dante and Dan Brown

November 18, 2013

Dante’s role in popular imagination remains strong, but this past summer Dan Brown’s Inferno inspired many readers to explore Dante’s work in the company of Brown’s Robert Langdon. To follow up and provide a more complete introduction to Dante, Deborah Parker, Professor of Italian at UVA, and Mark Parker, Head and Professor of English at James Madison University, wrote Inferno Revealed: From Dante to Dan Brown. This new book discusses fact and fiction about The Divine Comedy and explains the context for Dante's deeply personal vision of hell and heaven and its influence on writers, readers, and culture.

The book draws on Parker's “The World of Dante,” a multi-media research tool developed as part of her IATH Fellowship. The tool enables readers, teachers, and students to explore the stories, people, places, art, music, and creatures in and inspired by The Divine Comedy, and helps readers to explore the cultural and political contexts in which Dante wrote his works.

Sarah McConnell, host of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities' radio program With Good Reason, recently interviewed the husband-wife team as part of a discussion of heroes of Medieval literature. The Parkers will also be discussing the book on Thursday, November 21, at 5:30 at the New Dominion Bookshop in Charlottesville.