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Stendhal (1783–1842)

Author of The Red and the Black

460+ Works 19,064 Members 277 Reviews 71 Favorited

About the Author

One of the great French novelists of the nineteenth century, Stendhal (pseudonym for Marie-Henri Beyle) describes his unhappy youth with sensitivity and intelligence in his autobiographical novel The Life of Henri Brulard. It was written in 1835 and 1836 but published in 1890, long after his death. show more He detested his father, a lawyer from Grenoble, France, whose only passion in life was making money. Therefore, Stendhal left home as soon as he could. Stendhal served with Napoleon's army in the campaign in Russia in 1812, which helped inspire the famous war scenes in his novel The Red and the Black (1831). After Napoleon's fall, Stendhal lived for six years in Italy, a country he loved during his entire life. In 1821, he returned to Paris for a life of literature, politics, and love affairs. Stendhal's novels feature heroes who reject any form of authority that would restrain their sense of individual freedom. They are an interesting blend of romantic emotionalism and eighteenth-century realism. Stendhal's heroes are sensitive, emotional individuals who are in conflict with the society in which they live, yet they have the intelligence and detachment to analyze their society and its faults. Stendhal was a precursor of the realism of Flaubert. He once described the novelist's function as that of a person carrying a mirror down a highway so that the mirror would reflect life as it was, for all society. (Bowker Author Biography) show less

Includes the names: Stendal, Stendhal, Stendhal, Stendhal, Stendhals, Stendhall, Henry Beyle, Henri Beyle, H.B. Stendhal, Σταντάλ, M. de Stendhal, Henri Stendhal, pseud. Stendhal, psevd. Stendhal, Stedhal Stendhal, Стендаль, Marie De Stendhal, HENRI B. Stendhal, Marie De Stendhal, Stendhal Stendhal, Marie-Henri Beyle, Henri de Stendhal, スタンダール, Par M. De Stendhal, Henri Beye Stendhal, Beyle Henri Stendal, seudónimo Stendhal, Henry Beyle Stendhal, Marie-Henri Stendhal, beylemariehenriakast, Henri Beyle Stendhal, Beyle Henry Stendhal, Beyle Henri Stendhal, Henri Stendhal; Beyle, Stendhal (Henri Beyle), Henry Beyle de Stendhal, Henry de Stendhal-Beyle, Henri Beyle dit Stendhal, Henri Beyle de. Stendhal, Henri Beyle dit Stendhal, Stendhal (Henri de Beyle), Henry Marie Beyle Stendhal, Marie-Henry Beyle Stendhal, Marie Henri Boyle Stendhal, Marie-Henri Stendhal Beyle, Marie-Henri Beyle Stendhal, Stendhal alias Henry Beyle, Stendhal Beyle Marie-Henri, Mari-Henri Beyle (Stendhal), Marier-Henri Beyle Stendhal, Stendhal Marie-Henri Beyle., Henrie Marie Beyle Stendhal, Stendhal (Henri Marie Beyle), Henri-Marie (Stendhal) Beyle, Marie-Henri Beyle (Stendhal), Marie-Henri Beyle de Stendhal, Stendhal aka Marie Henri Beyle, Henri Beyle Marie ( stendhal ), Marie-Henry Beyle ( Stendhal ), Marie-Henri Beyle (De Stendhal), psevd. for Henri Beyle Stendhal, Merie-Henri Beyle (De Stendhal), De aka Marie Henri Beyle Stendhal, Stendhal; pseud for Marie-Henri Beyle, Henri-Marie Beyle Stendhal (1783-1842), Henri Beyle Stendhal, Grenoble 1783 - Parigi 1842), 1783 - Paris (Beyle, 1842) Marie-Henri. Grenoble Stendhal, Henri Beyle dit Stendhal (FR1743-1842) écrivain - réaliste - romantique, Σταντάλ (Μαρί-Ανρί Μπελ) [Stendhal (Marie-Henri Beyle)]

Image credit: Johan Olaf Sodemark


Works by Stendhal

The Red and the Black (1830) 9,312 copies
The Charterhouse of Parma (1839) — Author — 4,303 copies
Love (1822) 878 copies
The Life of Henry Brulard (1890) — Author — 427 copies
Italian chroniques (1829) 295 copies
Lucien Leuwen (1894) 277 copies
Armance (1827) 246 copies
Memoirs of an Egotist (1832) 180 copies
Cures for Love (2007) 137 copies
The Abbess of Castro (1832) 123 copies
Life of Rossini (1824) 108 copies
A Life of Napoleon (1900) 107 copies
A Roman Journal (1829) 106 copies
Lamiel (1928) 87 copies
100 Eternal Masterpieces of Literature - volume 2 (2020) — Contributor — 64 copies
Relatos (1970) 58 copies
Vanina Vanini (1829) — Author — 57 copies
100 Eternal Masterpieces of Literature - volume 1 (2017) — Contributor — 54 copies
Memoirs of a Tourist (1838) 43 copies
Lucien Leuwen, tome 2 (1950) 41 copies
Vita di Mozart (1983) 39 copies
Racine et Shakespeare (1962) 38 copies
Le Rose et le vert (1977) 31 copies
Voyages en Italie (1973) 31 copies
Stendhal : Romans et nouvelles, tome 2 (1934) — Author — 29 copies
The Cenci (1837) 25 copies
Féder ou Le Mari d'argent (1900) 22 copies
Le coffre et le revenant (1997) 18 copies
Oeuvres intimes (1955) 15 copies
I privilegi (1992) 14 copies
Liefdesverhalen (2009) 13 copies
Stendhal and the arts (1951) 12 copies
Journal (2010) 10 copies
Romans, tome 1 (1969) 8 copies
Memorias sobre Napoleón (1991) 8 copies
Diario (2015) 8 copies
Lamiel, suivi de Armance (1961) 8 copies
Album Stendhal (1966) 8 copies
Mina de Vanghel (2004) 7 copies
Vittoria Accoramboni (1837) 7 copies
Drie jonge vrouwen (1944) 7 copies
Narraciones y esbozos (2010) 6 copies
Novellen (1985) 6 copies
I briganti in Italia (2004) 5 copies
Schwester Scolastica (1954) — Author — 5 copies
Correspondance 5 copies
Vanina Vanini - Los Cenci (2013) 5 copies
Diccionario del amor (2008) 4 copies
Obras completas (1988) 4 copies
El arca y el aparecido (2003) 4 copies
Racconti e novelle (1976) 4 copies
Lettere d'amore (1994) 3 copies
Théâtre 3 copies
El filtro (2004) 3 copies
Salons (2001) 3 copies
Interni di un convento (1987) 3 copies
L'Âme et la Musique (1999) 3 copies
Filosofia nova 3 copies
Journal, Vol 3 (2017) 3 copies
De l'homme 2 copies
Bordeaux 2 copies
Storie romane 2 copies
Favores que matan (2003) 2 copies
Selvopptatte memoarer (2010) 2 copies
La duquesa de Palliano (2011) — Author — 2 copies
Italienische Novellen. (1938) 2 copies
Le rouge et le noir CD (2011) 2 copies
Vanina Vanini 2 copies
Voyage à Bordeaux (1993) 2 copies
Le Rouge et le Noir (2019) 2 copies
Histoire d'Espagne (2007) 2 copies
Vörös és fehér Lucien Leuwen — Author — 2 copies
Asechanzas de amor (1955) 2 copies
Journal, Vol 2 (2018) 2 copies
The Red and the Black (1926) 2 copies
Le juif Filippo Ebreo (2015) 2 copies
Journal 1801-1814 (2012) 2 copies
Feder Ya Da Paragöz Koca (2021) 2 copies
Le rouge et le noir (2010) — Auteur illustré — 2 copies
Lettres intimes 2 copies
LAMIEL II 1 copy
Kirmizi ve Siyah (2011) 1 copy
Dell' amore 1 copy
Diario. Vol. 2, 1805 (2021) 1 copy
Ask (2009) 1 copy
Cronache italiane (1966) 1 copy
Waterloo 1 copy
Kizil ve Kara 2 (2015) 1 copy
Romanzi e Racconti (1956) 1 copy
RELATOS 1 copy
Philibert Lescale (2015) 1 copy
To The Happy Few (1955) 1 copy
Cuentos de amor (2000) 1 copy
Red Black (1991) 1 copy
Vita di Metastasio (1987) 1 copy
Novelas y relatos (2002) 1 copy
Ecrits érotiques (2002) 1 copy
Une vie 1 copy
Meningen 1 copy
Life of Rossini (1957) 1 copy
Vandringer i Rom (1998) 1 copy
Voyage à Florence (2014) 1 copy
Peri erotos (1995) 1 copy
Roma 1 copy
L'Italia nel 1818 (2016) 1 copy
Theatre 3 tomes (1931) 1 copy
Oeuvres intimes II (1982) 1 copy
Souvenirs d'Egotisme (1927) 1 copy
Vie de Henri Brulard Stendhal I — Author — 1 copy
Vie de Henri Brulard Stendhal II — Author — 1 copy

Associated Works

The Assassin's Cloak: An Anthology of the World's Greatest Diarists (2000) — Contributor, some editions — 544 copies
Men at War: The Best War Stories of All Time (1942) — Contributor — 283 copies
A Documentary History of Art, Volume 3 (1966) — Contributor — 152 copies
Candide [Norton Critical Edition, 1st ed.] (1966) — Contributor — 150 copies
French Short Stories (1998) — Contributor — 84 copies
The Romantics on Shakespeare (1992) — Contributor — 36 copies
Great French Short Novels (1952) — Contributor — 31 copies
The Triumph of Art for the Public: 1785-1848 (1979) — Contributor — 30 copies
The Book Lovers (1976) — Contributor — 25 copies
The World's Greatest Books Volume 08 Fiction (1910) — Contributor — 25 copies
The Masterpiece Library of Short Stories Volumes 3 & 4 (1900) — Contributor — 17 copies
Profil d'une œuvre. Le rouge et le noir, Stendhal (1984) — Contributor — 17 copies
Verhalen uit de Franse romantiek (1983) — Contributor — 11 copies
La chartreuse de Parme, Stendhal (1973) — Contributor — 11 copies
La chartreuse de Parme de Stendhal (1995) — Contributor — 6 copies
Tyve mesterfortællinger — Contributor, some editions — 4 copies
La Chartreuse de Parme [1948 film] (2015) — Original novel — 3 copies
French short stories (1933) — Contributor — 2 copies
Meesters der Franse vertelkunst (1950) — Contributor — 2 copies
La Chartreuse de Parme [1982 TV mini series] — Original book — 1 copy
Cuentos del mundo (2017) 1 copy


1001 (64) 1001 books (74) 19th century (644) 19th century literature (79) anthology (92) autobiography (66) biography (112) classic (295) classics (297) diary (132) essays (54) fiction (1,606) Folio Society (77) France (521) French (667) French fiction (135) French literature (1,264) historical fiction (75) history (103) Italy (134) literature (695) Littérature française. XIXe (46) love (82) memoir (57) Napoleon (48) narrativa (79) non-fiction (119) novel (574) Novela (102) Penguin Classics (59) philosophy (47) Pléiade (50) read (100) Roman (241) romance (62) short stories (66) Stendhal (220) to-read (652) translation (102) unread (85)

Common Knowledge



Group Read, July 2017: Charterhosue of Parma in 1001 Books to read before you die (August 2017)
1001 Group Read for September: The Red and the Black in 1001 Books to read before you die (September 2012)


Stendhal, the mononym pseudonym of Henri Beyle, was a veteran of the Napoleonic wars and a staunch supporter of Napoleon. He was a sharp critic of the French aristocracy and a supporter of the Restoration following the revolution of 1830. His novel THE RED AND THE BLACK expresses his political philosophy through the tale of an ambitious peasant lad, Julien Sorel, who rises from lowly carpenter's son to, briefly, member of the nobility. He becomes employed first by a local mayor, then by a Parisian nobleman, and seduces women in each household, with a maddening fluctuation in his feelings and an inconsistency in the genuineness of his bond with the lover of the moment. In the end, a moment of true passion leads to Julien's downfall, in a society where appearances carry more weight than reality. Beautifully written, the novel was a powerful influence on writers such as Zola, Balzac, and Flaubert. But I found Julien's inability to maintain a position in his affairs, his constant, minute-to-minute flip-flops between believing himself in love and believing himself the cold-hearted social climber, to be enervating. Every assertion of love is followed, moments later, by its opposite. The inconsistency of thought is a consistent part of Julien's persona, and a believable one, but the number of fluctuations became frustrating for a reader who wanted to identify in some way with the leading character of the story. While there are moments of great power in the novel (especially at the end), and great insights into French society of the time, I did not connect with the novel in the way I had hoped. It is a hallmark of French literature, but not, in my estimation, one of French literature's truly great novels.… (more)
jumblejim | 131 other reviews | Aug 26, 2023 |
I’ve tried before and failed. This time it clicked. The protagonist, Julien Sorel, is torn between the red (the army/the military) and the black (the church) but ambition is what he’s all about. It’s a coming of age tale in its own way, the story of a poor provincial young man whose psychology this is all about. Set in France in the 1820s, Sorel uses seduction as his weapon. The story isn't what matters since it is, ultimately, a very simple story whose focus is Sorel's mind and how his actions proceed from his thoughts.… (more)
Gypsy_Boy | 131 other reviews | Aug 25, 2023 |
I guess my biggest takeaway was that I enjoyed The Red and the Black more. The story just never quite engaged me. It takes place at the beginning of the 19th-century in northern Italy and follows a young aristocrat named Fabrice/Fabrizio del Dongo whose political career is nurtured by his aunt/love interest and her husband. The political allegiances of different parts of Italy at the time were confusing enough that I had to consult outside sources several times and my translation (by Richard Howard) seemed somehow “not quite right” from time to time, though mostly quite fluid and easy to read. It didn’t help that I didn’t find our protagonist particularly sympathetic or even likeable. (Interestingly enough, I found the protagonist in The Red and the Black also unlikeable but I thought that that book was much better done and much more believable.) Mostly, I just got tired of the “adventures” and what seemed to me to be Stendhal’s too-obvious techniques for delaying the resolution of the problem of the moment. It read a little bit like a bad Errol Flynn movie. Stendhal wrote it in 52 days they say, and while that could be seen as a great achievement, it could also account for some of the problems. Glad I read it, don’t know that I’d particularly recommend it.… (more)
Gypsy_Boy | 76 other reviews | Aug 25, 2023 |
The perils of being poor, brilliant, gorgeous and well-hung.
slickdpdx | 131 other reviews | Aug 24, 2023 |


1890s (1)
100 (1)
1820s (1)
Europe (1)
Romans (1)


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