Stendhal (1783–1842), the pen name of Henri Marie Beyle, was born into a prosperous family in Grenoble. At sixteen he set out for Paris, intending to pursue a career as an engineer, but instead enlisted in Napoleon’s Army. Stendhal took part in campaigns in Italy, Germany, Russia, and Austria, and then, after Napoleon’s fall from power, settled in Milan,where he wrote books on art and music. Expelled from Italy for political reasons in 1821, he returned to Paris; following the 1830 revolution, he secured the position, which he was to hold for the rest of his life, of French Consul to Civitavecchia. Stendhal’s great novels The Red and the Black
(1830) and The Charterhouse of Parma
(1839) were largely ignored during his lifetime, and many of his works remained unfinished and were published only posthumously. Among his most important books are On Love, Lucien Leuwen, The Memoirs of an Egotist,
and The Life of Henry Brulard.