Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) was born to a noble but impoverished family. When the Black Guelfs came to power in 1302 Dante, whose sympathies lay with the White Guelfs, was exiled from Florence. He eventually settled in Ravenna, where he completed the DIVINE COMEDY just before his death. Dorothy Leigh Sayers translated THE SONG OF ROLAND and Dante's DIVINE COMEDY for Penguin Classics. She also wrote a number of classic detective novels, as well as plays and poetry. She died in 1957.