A magnificent new translation of Stendhal's picaresque novel about love and intrigue in post- Napoleonic Europe Judged by Balzac to be the most important French novel of its time, "The Charterhouse of Parma" is a classic portrait of aristocratic adventure. Fabrizio del Dongo, a headstrong and naive Italian grandee, defies the wrath of his right-wing father and goes to fight for Napoleon. But his dreams of military glory are dashed, drawing him back to Milan. There he becomes embroiled in a series of amorous exploits, fueled by his own impetuous nature and the political chicanery of his aunt and her wily lover. This is a colorful journey through extravagance, duplicity, and youthful daring.
Headstrong and naove, the young Italian aristocrat Fabrizio del Dongo is determined to defy the wrath of his right-wing father and go to war to fight for Napoleon. He stumbles on the Battle of Waterloo, ill-prepared, yet filled with enthusiasm for war and glory. Finally heeding advice, Fabrizio sneaks back to Milan, only to become embroiled in a series of amorous exploits, fuelled by his impetuous nature and the political chicanery of his aunt Gina and her wily lover. Judged by Balzac to be the most important French novel of its time, The Charterhouse of Parma is a compelling novel of extravagance and daring, blending the intrigues of the Italian court with the romance and excitement of youth.
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
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