Synopses & Reviews
Handsome and ambitious, Julien Sorel is determined to rise above his humble peasant origins and make something of his life-by adopting the code of hypocrisy by which his society operates. Julien ultimately commits a crime-out of passion, principle, or insanity-that will bring about his downfall. The Red and the Black is a lively, satirical picture of French Restoration society after Waterloo, riddled with corruption, greed, and ennui. The complex, sympathetic portrayal of Julien, the cold exploiter whose Machiavellian campaign is undercut by his own emotions, makes him Stendhal
's most brilliant and human creation-and one of the greatest characters in European literature.
Translated with an introduction by Roger Gard.
Set in Restoration France, "The Red and The Black" centres on Julien Sorel, the novel's restless, ambitious hero. Julien rebels against his circumstances and determines to make something of his life by adopting the code of hypocrisy through which his society operates.
About the Author
Stendhal, born Henri Marie Beyle (1783-1842), had a post in the Ministry of War and followed Napoleon's campaigns before retiring to Italy. As "Stendhal," he began writing on art, music, and travel. He later wrote novels, literary criticism, and various biographical and autobiographical works.
Roger Gard was a reader in English at Queen Mary and Westfield College. He died in 2000.