Florence's English Cemetery and its Dante Scholars App


The Victorian Cemetery was built by the Fiesolan Gate, the Porta a' Pinti, through which Dante and Beatrice would have gone as children in the summer to the countryside near Sasso beyond Fiesole. Amalia Ciardi DuPrè, descendant of Giovanni DuPrè, and relative of his daughter, Amala DuPrè, the great nineteenth-century Florentine sculptors, created this bozza for the empty niche in our wall, built when the Gate was destroyed by Giuseppe Poggi:

Many international cosmopolitan scholars enamoured of Dante came to Florence and several found their resting place here in the so-called 'English' Cemetery, owned by the Swiss. One of these was born in India and grew up in England, another's family was from Jamaica, another came from Gdansk, a fourth from Trieste, two others from Russia. This is a virtual guided tour to their tombs to be honoured with laurel wreaths and with carrying their books to their tombs in a celebration, 6 April 2021, when the Florentine wild purple irises, her lily, begin to bloom.

In Sector B, near the tombs of other members of his family, his daughter, Theodosia and her mother-in-law, Frances Trollope, is the tomb of Joseph Garrow.

Joseph Garrow was the first person to translate Dante's Vita nova into English, which he published with the Italian and English on facing pages, with the misleading title, The Earliest Life of Dante. It was printed in Florence by Felix Le Monnier in 1846. Times Literary Supplement 17/5/1920, remarked 'but it is a curious footnote to the literary annals of Anglo-India which proves that the son of an Indian mother lived to translate Dante and to move in a circle where the Brownings and Landor were the greater lights'. The Fioretta Mazzei Mediatheca has purchased a fine leather-bound facing page facsimile copy of the editio princeps from India. Thomas Adolphus Trollope writes in What I Remember, II.150-159: The little boy was born to the Indian Civil Servant's wife, Sultana, who was said to be an Indian princess. Joseph Garrow senior left his son Joseph £5,000, the interest to be used for his education ‘which I desire may be as good as he is capable of receiving in Europe’. He left his sister Eleanora Garrow £2,000 and a further £1,000 on condition that she ‘takes care of and attends to the education’ of his son. Eleanora certainly seems to have been Joseph’s affectionate aunt, and in her will, proved in July 1805, she left him £1,000 in 4% stock, to be given to him when he was 21. She also left £1,000 and some silver items to John Wright, her father’s nephew who was at Caius College, Cambridge, ‘in expectation he will continue as far as lies in his power to be a kind Friend to the dear Son of my late worthy Brother Joseph’. John Wright was in his early 30s and was about to take deacon’s orders. JLMaquay, Diaries 13/11/1857 'old Garrow wretched man died on Tuesday paralytic stroke.' His daughter Theodosia (T. Garrow on the title page) made a translation of Giovanni Battista Niccolini’s, Arnold of Brescia, a tragedy, and this was published in London, also in 1846. See
B85/ THEODOSIA (GARROW) TROLLOPE, C77/ HARRIET THEODOSIA FISHER (GARROW). See also Neil Jeffares, Dictionary of pastellists before 1800, Russell1.pdf

Joseph Garrow, Joseph [or, less likely, Sir William Garrow], Eleanor

Cippo. Marmista ignoto. Sec. XIX, post 11/1857. Ambito toscano. Cippo in pietra serena a sostituzione del cippo originario (non siamo a conoscenza dell'epoca), frammenti cippo originario conservati, inciso con iscrizione sepolcrale in latino in lettere capitali e numeri arabi, epitaffio di Thomas Adolphus Trollope, genero di Joseph Garrow. [M: A: 104. L: 60. P: 19.] Iscrizione sepolcrale in latino in lettere capitali e numeri arabi: HIC JACET IOSEPHUS GARROW/ ARMr/ DE BRADDONS IN AGRO DEVON/ APUD INDOS NATUS/ A.D. 1789/ FLORENTIAN DENATUS/ A.D. 1857/ Eglise Evangelique-Reformée de Florence Régistre des Morts: Joseph Garrow, d'Angleterre/ I: 1852-1859 'Registre des Sèpultures avec detail des frais', Paoli 685/ Q 280: 408 Paoli/ Records, Guildhall Library, London: GL23777/1 N°242, Burial 12/11, Rev O'Neill; marriage of child Theodosia 03/04/48 to Thomas Adolphus Trollope at HBM (Hamilton), Joseph Garrow, Harriet Fisher, Frances Trollope present, Rev Robbins (E101)/ Maquay Diaries: 13 Nov 1857/ Morning Chronicle/ Registro alfabetico delle persone tumulate nel Cimitero di Pinti: Garrow/ +/ Giuseppe/ / Inghilterra/ Firenze/ 10 Novembre/ 1867 [1857]/ Anni 67/ 624/ father of Theodosia Garrow-Trollope (12 Aprile/ 1865/ Anni 46/ 904/+/ C11E), stepfather of Harriet Theodosia Fisher (12 Novembre/ 1848/ Anni 37/ 393/ Latin epitaph written by Thomas Adolphus Trollope). See Giuliana Artom Treves, Golden Ring, pp. 137/Chiesa Evangelica Riformata Svizzera, 1827-present. See Mediatheca 'Fioretta Mazzei' holdings, TAU

Again, in Sector B, but along the central path is the tomb of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, who had studied Dante in his Italian as a child in England's Malvern, then came to Italy to include him and his poetry in her Casa Guidi Windows, which we have translated and re-published in a parallel text edition:

I have written elsewhere on Elizabeth Barrett Browning, especially in the notes to our edition for Penguin of Aurora Leigh and Other Poems, but also in the essay on her death and burial, http://www.florin.ms/ebbdeath.html She had studied Dante in Italian as a child in Malvern and brilliantly used the fallen leaves simile from Homer, Virgil, Dante and Milton in her Casa Guidi Windows.

    Harper's Monthly engraving of EBB's tomb, 1867

Sarcofago. Disegno: Frederic Lord Leighton; Scultore Francesco Giovanozzi; Firma: FRANCESCO GIOVANNOZZI FECE. [sarcofago in marmo e elementi decorativi in piombo su disegno di Lord Leighton eseguito da Francesco Giovannozzi, firma in basso a sinistra. Del fratello, Luigi Giovannozzi (1791-1870), è la tomba della Duchessa d'Albany in Santa Croce]. Sec. XIX, post 1864. Ambito toscano. Sarcofago scolpito con cammeo a simbolo della Poesia, arpe, lira greca (con il Dio Pan bifronte del Giardino Torrigiani), arpa ebrea con catena spezzata, arpa cristiana; intagliato con gigli e fiori delle Isole britanniche, rosa, trifoglio, giunchiglie, rami d'ulivo; sarcofago retto da sei colonne con gigli su disegno di Lord Leighton. Ultimo intervento di restauro, Meridiana Restauri, 2006, recinto in ferro, intervento conservativo sul ferro Daniel Dumitrescu, 2008. Per i disegni preparatori conservati alla Royal Academy Library, ecc., si veda ebbdeath.html [M: A: 105. L 191.2: P: 118.5; P.s. A: 37. L: 212. P: 114.6  Recinto A: 72. Totale: A: 204. L: 191.2. P: 118.5 ] Iscrizione sepolcrale in lettere capitali e numeri arabi in piombo: E.B.B./ OB.1861./ Eglise Evangelique-Reformée de Florence Régistre des Morts: Elisabeth Barrett Browning, l'Angleterre, agé de 45 ans/ Q 459: 271 Paoli, including English Church's tax of 113 Paoli/ Q 479: 90 Paoli paid to Ferdinando Giorgi, Master Mason for digging two graves for EBB/ Records, Guildhall Library, London: GL23777/1 N°293 Burial 01/07 Rev O'Neill, 'bronchitis'/ Registro alfabetico delle persone tumulate nel Cimitero di Pinti: 79. Barrett Browning/ Elisabetta/ / Inghilterra/ Firenze/ 29 Giugno/ 1861/ Anni 45 [incorrect, 55]/ 737/ N&Q 207. E. B. B., ob. 1861. No other inscription/ Freeman, 236-23/ NDNB article/ Belle Arti 1993-1997 scheda/ Henderson/ Webbs: heart attack, morphine poisoning?/ Chiesa Evangelica Riformata Svizzer, 1827-preent. Nulla osta.


At the top of the Cemetery, in Sector C, along the path from the King of Prussia's Cross, is the tomb of Robert Davidsohn.

Robert Davidsohn was the great historian of medieval Florence, who had come from Gdansk and spent a lifetime working in archives, compiling volume after meticulous volume in German to be translated into Italian. When he died in 1937 it was too dangerous to be known as Jewish. But now admirers place stones on his tomb in the Jewish custom. His wife, an opera singer, lived to be 100. I used his volumes in writing my Twice-Told Tales: Brunetto Latino and Dante Alighieri, finding that every archival reference he made was true.


Lastra. Marmista ignoto. Sec. XX, post 9/1937// 1947. Ambito toscano. Lastra in marmo, marmo sporco, rialzata su basamento in granito lucido. Intervento di pulitura e sostituzione lettere in piombo mancanti, Daniel-Claudiu Dumitrescu, 2010. [M: A: 7; L: 68; P: 188.5 ; P.s.: A: 14.5; L: 89; P: 200.] 2024/ Iscrizione sepolcrale in lettere capitali e numeri arabi in piombo: PHILIPPINE COLLOT/ VED. DAVIDSOHN/ 1847-1947/ 2024/ ROBERT DAVIDSOHN/ GERMANIA/ COMM. DOTT. PROF./ ROBERT DAVIDSOHN/ 26.4.1853-17.9.1937/ 2024/ °=Prof. Tim A. Osswald, University of Wisconsin Madison/ Belle Arti 1993-1997 scheda. Chiesa Evangelica Riformata Svizzera, 1827-present.
See Mediatheca 'Fioretta Mazzei' holdings, TAU & PE

Also in this Sector C is the tomb of Adolfo Mussafia, the scholar from Trieste, then part of Austria, of Dante Alighieri's teacher, Brunetto Latino, whose work editing the Tesoro I have also used extensively:

Adolfo Mussafia, from a Jewish family in Trieste, Professor in Vienna, was a great scholar of Dante and his teacher, Brunetto Latino, and for this chose to be buried in Florence rather than under Austrian hegemony, his wife arranging for her ashes from Vienna to be buried with his in death and his papers given to the University of Florence. It is most appropriate that he and Robert Davidsohn now lie so close to each other. He has an entry in Wikipedia. His descendant, Professor Leopoldo Stefanulti, who looks exactly like the medallion portrait of Adolfo Mussafia on his tomb, arranged for its repair and cleaning by Daniel-Claudiu Dumitrescu. This is one among several tombs with a portrait medallion:
A64/ GEORGE AUGUSTUS WALLIS by Aristodemos Costoli, A15/ ANNE SUSANNA (LLOYD) HORNER by Francesco Jerace; AB7/ INA BOSS SAULTER, by Ettore Ximenes; B4/ ELENA NIKITICNA DIK, NATA AKZYNOVA by Fyodor Fyodorovitsch Kamensky; C3/ THOMAS SOUTHWOOD SMITH by Joel T. Hart; C27/ Adolfo Mussafia; D108/ THEODORE PARKER by William Wetmore Story; D127/ JAMES ROBERTS, by Joel T. Hart?; E12/ JAMES LORIMER GRAHAM, JR by Launt Thompson; E9/ WALTER KENNEDY LAWRIE by Pietro Bazzanti, F27/ PHILIPPINA (SIMONS) CIAMPI, by Joel T. Hart?)


Sarcofago. Marmista ignoto. Sec. XX, post 6/1905// 3/1915. Ambito toscano. Sarcofago in marmo bianco scolpito, tondo con la sua effige (apice naso mancante o eroso) posto su quattro colonne in marmo grigio e lastra in marmo bianco (piccole parti distaccate), sul fronte e tergo e sui due fianchi laterali ghirlande e festoni, recinto in pietra serena. Possibile intervento di consolidamento e pulitura sul marmo (richiesta da parte di un discendente.  [M: A: 72; L: 91.8; P: 52.5; A Colonne: A: 119.5; Circum: 49; L/P: 24.5; M Base: 17.6; L: 123.3; P: 82; RP.s.: A: 43.5; L/P: 201.]/ Iscrizione sepolcrale incisa in lettere capitali e numeri arabi e romani: ADOLFO MUSSAFIA/ N. A SPALATO, IL 15 FEBBRAIO 1834/ M. A FIRENZE IL 7 GIUGNO 1905 / LA MOGLIE INCONSOLATA/ REGINA MUSSAFIA/ AUSTRIA/ DELLA VEDOVA REGINA MVSSAFIA MORTA A VIENNA IL XV/ MARZO M.D.CCCC.XV. QVI PER SVO VOLERE FVRONO DEPOSTE LE CENERI IL SUSSEGVENTE XI APRILE/ 2011/ Belle Arti 1993-1997 scheda/°=Leopoldo Stefanutti. Chiesa Evangelica Riformata Svizzera, 1827-present.
See Mediatheca 'Fioretta Mazzei' holdings, TAU & PE

Also in Sector C we find the tomb of the wife of Domenico Comparetti, who wrote on Virgil in the Middle Ages, she, Russian Jewish, married to this great Catholic Italian Dante scholar:

She married, unhappily, Domenico Comparetti, the great Catholic medievalist. Mikhail Talalay notes that she was a feminist and educator, daughter of the banker Lev Anisimovic Rafalovic, her mother a Polyakov, and that Samojlovna, the wife of her uncle Rafalovic Ljubov', is buried in the Allori Cemetery. Bibl.: Storia di Elena, a cura di E. Frontali Montali, Torino, La Rosa, 1980; M.A. Manacorda, 'La breve illusione pedagogica di Elena Comparetti' in L'educazione delle donne: Scuola e modello di vita femminile nell'Italia dell'800, a cura di S. Soldoni, Milano, Angeli, 1989. She is of the family of Don Lorenzo Milani Comparetti, likewise an educator.


Lastra. Marmista ignoto. Sec. XX, post 1918. Ambito toscano. Lastra in marmo, con lettere romane in ottone [M: A: 18; L: 60; P: 80.] Iscrizione sepolcrale in italiano in lettere capitali e numeri arabi in piombo: ELENA COMPARETTI/ RAFFALOVICH/ ODESSA 1842/ FIRENZE 1918/ [Comparetti/ Elena/ /Italia/ Firenze/ 29 Novembre/ 1918/ / 760 Later Hand]/ [Wife to prof. Domenico Comparetti] Talalay: Odessa 1842-1918; femminista, pedagoga, figlia del banchiere Lev Anisimovic Rafalovic e di Elena Jakovlevna Poljakova, moglie del filologo pisano Domenico Comparetti; nel Cimitero 'Agli Allori' si trova la tomba della moglie dello zio Rafalovic Ljubov' Samojlovna/1825-1883, HII11/ °=Valeria Milani Comparetti. Chiesa Evangelica Riformata Svizzera, 1827-present.
Компаретти, урожд. Рафалович, Елена Львовна, Одесса 1842 — Флоренция 1918, D28L [педагог].
Mediatheca 'Fioretta Mazzei' holdings, TAU & PE

Also in Sector D, in the Russian Row, we find the tomb of the wife of Professor Petr Nikolaevic Kudrjacev:

The widowed Professor Kudrjacev laments the death of his wife, speaking of himself as 'orphaned' in reference to the sculpture on the tomb of the dead Mercadanti mother and her orphaned son MARIA MERCADANTI, D52, GAUDENZIO MERCADANTI, D50. A scholar, he studied Dante.


Urna su colonna. Marmista  ignoto. Sec. XIX, post 4/1866. Ambito toscano. Pilastro in marmo sormontato da un'urna, recinto in pietra serena. Possibile intervento di pulitura. [M: A: 167; L: 40.5; P: 40.5; P.s. A: 55; L: 64; P: 64; RPs: A: 68; L: 113;  P: 197.] L'epitaffio fa riferimento alla scultura dell'orfano sulla tomba di Maria Mercadanti. Kudrjavceva, nata Nelidova, Varvara Arsen'evna. Eglise Evangelique-Reformée de Florence Régistre des Morts: Bardera Kudrawzow, femme de Pierre Kudrawzow, Moscou, Empire Russe/ I: 1852-1859 'Registre des Sepultures avec detail des frais, Paoli 640/ Q257: 175 Paoli/ Talalay: 6.2.1826 - 17(5).3.1857; 'moglie professore università di Mosca' (Petr Nikolaevic Kudrjavcev, noto storico, italianista (1816-1858), MKF; N° 609, RC; Epitaffo: nikto ne prinosil/ stol'ko scast'ja/ kak ona i tomu, kto znal/ i poterjal ee nikogda/ ne izbyt' gor'kogo sirostava/ Nessuno ha dato tanta felicità quanto lei e chi l'ha conosciuta e perduta sarà sempre amaramente orfano (epitaffio composto probabilmente dallo stesso professor Kudrjavcev rimasto vedovo)/ Kudranzow/ Bardera [sic]/ / Russia/ Firenze/ 17 Marzo/ 1857/ Anni 30/ 609. Chiesa Evangelica Riformata Svizzera, 1827-present.
See City and Book III: gimel.html.
Кудрявцева, урожд. Нелидова, Варвара Арсеньевна, 6.2.1826 — Флоренция 17(5).3.1857, № 609, D25P [«жена профессора Московского университета» <П.Н. Кудрявцева>, МКФ], никто не приносил столько счастья как она и тому, кто знал и потерял ее никогда не избыть горького сиротства.


Dissertation : 'The Figure of the Pilgrim in Medieval Poetry.' Director: Professor Phillip W. Damon, English and Comparative Literature, University of California, Berkeley, 1974. Published as The Pilgrim and the Book: A Study of Dante, Langland and Chaucer, 1987, 1989, 1993.


Brunetto Latini. Il Tesoretto. Edition, Translation, Preface. New York: Garland, 1981. Garland Library of Medieval Literature, 2. Ed. James J. Wilhelm. xliii + 164 pp. Reviewed: Italica; Italianistica: Rivista di letteratura italiana; Speculum . ISBN 0-8240-9376-3. Archived, http://www.florin.ms/Tesorett.html

Brunetto Latini: An Analytic Bibliography. London: Grant and Cutler, 1986. Research Bibliographies and Checklists. Ed. Alan Deyermond. 153 pp. Reviewed: Italian Studies; Zeitschrift für Romanische Philologie; Les Lettres Romanes; Romanische Forschungen. ISBN 0-7293-0216-4 or 84-599-1681-2. Obtainable from Boydell and Brewer

The Pilgrim and the Book: A Study of Dante, Langland and Chaucer. Berne, New York: Peter Lang, 1987. Second edition, 1989. xix + 321 pp. Third, revised, edition, 1993. xxii + 303 pp. Reviewed: Studies in the Age of Chaucer; Annali d'Italianistica; Speculum; Journal of Medieval Studies; Medium Aevum.  ISBN 0-8204-2090-5. Type-set by author in Nota Bene. Obtainable from Editrice 'Aureo Anello'

Twice-Told Tales: Brunetto Latino and Dante Alighieri. New York: Peter Lang, 1993. xiv + 552 pp. Reviewed: Speculum; Parergon; Annali italianistica. ISBN 0-8204-1954-0. Type-set by author in Nota Bene. Obtainable from Editrice 'Aureo Anello'

Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Aurora Leigh and Other Poems. Edited, John Robert Glorney Bolton and Julia Bolton Holloway. Harmondsworth: Penguin Classics, 1995. xx + 517 pp. Originally type-set by author in Nota Bene. ISBN 0-14-043412-7

Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Aurora Leigh: Romanzo in versi. Trad. Bruna Dell'Agnese, ed. Julia Bolton Holloway, AD. Florence: Le Lettere (search 'Aurora Leigh'), 2002. ISBN 88-7166-665-8.

Il pellegrino e il libro: Uno studio su Dante Alighieri. De strata francigena 20/1 (2012). Firenze: Centro Studi Romei. 191 pp.

White Silence: A Virtual Guidebook to Florence's Swiss-owned so-called 'English Cemetery. E-book. Florence, Aureo Anello Books, 2013

Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Casa Guidi Windows/Le Finestre di Casa Guidi. Traduzione di Rosalynd Pio. Testa a fronte, inglese/italiano. Firenze: Aureo Anello Books, 2017.

Christine de Piza/ Cristina da Pizzano. Le Chemin de Longs Etudes/ Il Cammin di Lungo Studio. Traduzione di Ester Zago. Testo a fronte, francese/italiano. De Strata Francigena. A cura di Renato Stopani. Firenze: Centro Studi Romei, 2017. v + 128 pp.

“Brunetto Latino.” In Oxford Bibliographies in Medieval Studies. Ed. Paul E. Szarmach. New York: Oxford University Press, 2019

Il Tesoro di Brunetto Latino, Maestro di Dante Alighieri, Il Tesoretto, Il Tesoro, Firenze: Regone Toscana, 2020. 428 pp.

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