About the author: John Took is Professor of Dante Studies at University College London. His main publications include a study of aesthetic sensibility generally in Dante (L’etterno piacer: aesthetic ideas in Dante, Oxford, 1984) an introduction to the minor works (Dante Lyric Poet and Philosopher, Oxford, 1990) and a volume designed to explore the common ground between Dante as a medieval Christian poet of exile and homecoming and certain kinds of modern ontological and depth-psychological enquiry (Dante’s Phenomenology of Being, Glasgow, 2000). He is at present concerned with aspects of Dante’s theology in the Paradiso.2004 0-7734-6526-X
Rediscovered in a manuscript of the Roman de la Rose in 1881, the Fiore comprises a cycle of 232 sonnets tracing the adventures, misfortunes, and triumph of the lover in his pursuit of the rose, all this representing a version of the archetypal text of Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meun, and preserving in full the brilliance of the original in its ample recourse to irony and parody. The ‘internal signature’ of the poem straightaway gave rise to speculation as to the possibility of the poem’s belonging to Dante. The present edition, which reproduces the now received text of Gianfranco Contini, offers in parallel to this a diplomatic transcription of the sole MS in which the poem survives (Montpellier, Bibliothèque universitaire H438), as well as a lively English translation and three sets of critical and historical apparatus (ecdotic, literary and historical, and interpretative). The detailed introduction provides an account of the historical and linguistic aspects of the text as well as a discussion of its meaning and significance responsive to developments in the sphere of Rose criticism proper. There is a full, up-to-date bibliography, glossary, table of references from the Fiore to the canonical Dante, and specialised rhetorical and technical index.