Prue Shaw studied at the University of Sydney, where she gained First Class degrees in English and in Italian, and was a Teaching Fellow in the Department of English for a year. She won the Wentworth Travelling Fellowship for study abroad, an award made once every three years to ‘the candidate of highest merit among students and graduates of the Faculty of Arts’. She then took degrees at the the Universities of Florence (Dott. In Lett.) and Oxford (B. Phil in General and Comparative Literature). She taught Italian Language and Literature at the University of Cambridge (where she was a Fellow of New Hall) and the University of London (Bedford College, and, from 1984 to 2003, University College London).

She is the editor of the edizione nazionale of Dante’s medieval Latin treatise Monarchia. The edizione nazionale is the officical critical text of the poet’s works published by the Società Dantesca Italiana: she is the only non-Italian to have achieved the distinction of being asked to edit a text in this prestigious series.

Her research for the Commedia digital edition was generously supported by The British Academy, The Rockefeller Foundation, The Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Modern Humanities Research Foundation. The research for the Monarchia digital edition was supported by The British Academy. Both editions, originally published as DVDs, are now freely available online.

Her translation of the Monarchia into English is used on the Princeton Dante Project website and the Società Dantesca Italiana website.

She is an Honorary Member of the Dante Society of America.

She acted as consultant to the Royal Academy for their exhibition of Botticelli’s Dante: the Drawings for the Divine Comedy, 2001.

In May 2014 she was awarded a medal by the city of Florence for her contribution to Dante studies.

Photo Chris Warde-Jones