Dante Alighieri was born in Florence in 1265 to a noble but impoverished family. His life was divided by political duties and poetry, the most famous of which - The Divine Comedy and La Vita Nuova - was inspired by his meeting with Bice Portinari, whom he called Beatrice. He died in Ravenna in 1321.
Before retiring Barbara Reynolds was Lecturer in Italian at Cambridge University. She holds 3 honorary doctorates & has translated Ariosto's Orlando Furioso for Penguin Classics.