More than any other nineteenth-century writer, Stendhal was imbued with the spirit of the French Revolution and its Napoleonic aftermath, and this spirit gives The Charterhouse of Parma, the masterpiece he published in 1839, a freshness and radical originality we normally associate with the great texts of the twentieth century. Remarkable for its detail, its political prescience, and the far-reaching psychological insight with which its characters and their passions are developed, this picture of the intricate intrigues at the court of a small Italian duchy illuminates, through its intense concentration on local events, a whole epoch of European history.
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)
About the Author
Henri Marie Beyle, known through his writing as Stendhal, was born in Grenoble in 1783 and educated there at the Ecole Centrale. A cousin offered him a post in the Ministry of War, and from 1800 he followed Napoleon's campaigns in Italy, Germany, Russia and Austria. In between wars, he spent his time in Paris drawing rooms and theatres.After the fall of Napoleon, he retired to Italy, adopted his pseudonym and started to write books on Italian painting, Haydn and Mozart, and travels in Italy. In 1821 the Austrian police expelled him from the country, and on returning to Paris he finished his book De l'amour. This was followed by Racine et Shakespeare, a defense of Romantic literature. Le Rouge et le noir was his second novel, and he also produced or began three others, including La Chartreuse de Parme and Lucien Leuwen. None of his published works was received with any great understanding during his lifetime.Beyle was appointed Consul at Civitavecchia after the 1830 revolution, but his health deteriorated and six years later he was back in Paris and beginning A Life of Napoleon. In 1841 he was once again recalled for reasons of illness, and in the following year suffered a fatal stroke. Various autobiographical works, Journal, Souvenirs de l'egotisme and La Vie de Henri Brulard, were published later, as his fame grew.
"The Charterhouse of Parma has never sparkled in English with such radiance as it does in Richard Howard's new translation." --Edmund White
"[A] superb new translation." --Bernard Knox, The New York Review of Books
"An epic tale of war, love, sex, politics, and religion...an action-packed narrative." --The New Yorker