by Andrew Brown
Though celebrated today as one of the originators of the modern novel, during his lifetime Stendhal was regarded with deep ambivalence, even hostility. He was reputed to be a religious dissident and known as a fervent supporter of Napoleon. In a time of strife and subterfuge, the many pseudonyms of the author christened Henri Beyle aroused suspicion and bewilderment.
This major new biography traces Stendhal's gradual evolution into a writer against the backdrop of a remarkable political climate. It explores his politics, ambitions and many passionate love affairs, as well as his often-strained familial relations. The result is an inspired analysis of the means by which literature was endowed with one of its most distinctive voices.
Publication date: 01/04/2010