More on Dante and ‘The Divine Comedy':

Dante Alighieri was born in 1265 and died in 1321. He had a very active early adulthood which saw him fall passionately in love and involve himself in the politics of his native city, Florence. In 1301, he was exiled from Florence for his beliefs and lived the rest of his life in Rome.

During his time in exile, he wrote The Divine Comedy. Written in a form of poetic verse called terza rima, which Christina Rossetti often used in her own poetry, it describes Dante's journey through hell, purgatory and paradise, guided first by the Roman poet Virgil and then by Beatrice, the subject of his love.

It has gone on to become one of the most significant books in Western literature. Between 1875 and 1876, Rossetti attended a course of lectures on Dante at University College London.

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