What is the ending of The Dante Club?

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As has been established earlier in the novel, poets in the Dante Club have been translating Dante’s Divine Comedy and fear that the recent spate of murders in the vein of the Comedy will tarnish Dante’s reputation in America, spoil their efforts at publishing a translation, and potentially also land...

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As has been established earlier in the novel, poets in the Dante Club have been translating Dante’s Divine Comedy and fear that the recent spate of murders in the vein of the Comedy will tarnish Dante’s reputation in America, spoil their efforts at publishing a translation, and potentially also land them in some legal trouble as the only obvious suspects for the murders. So, the team of poets—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Oliver Wendel Holmes Sr., and James Russell Lowell—embark on a mission to catch the killer, who turns out to be a former Civil War Soldier by the name of Benjamin Galvin (Dan Teal).

Traumatized from wartime experiences, Teal attaches himself to the sermons on Dante given by Dante Club member George Washington Greene to fellow soldiers. Convinced that Dante had a pure understanding of justice, Teal takes up the mantle of divine punishment and attempts to cleanse the city of Boston, starting with anyone who stood in the way of translating the Comedy.

With the assistance of Nicholas Rey, Boston’s first African American policeman, the Club manages to track down Teal, but not before he attempts to exact Divine vengeance upon them. Ultimately, the traitor Manning shoots Teal dead, and the Club goes free from their icy punishments.

Manning later resigns from the Harvard Corporation, replaced by Ralph Waldo Emerson, and translations of both the Inferno and Comedy are published to great acclaim in the literary and public circles.

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