Synopses & Reviews
The son of a carpenter, Julian Sorel is inspired by the writings of Napoleon to conquer the heights of society. His initial plan to work his way up through the church is, however, thwarted when he is forced to accept employment as a tutor--and this rash social entrepreneur certainly has not considered the dangers of falling in love. Stendhal's novel is an amusing and piquant study of hypocrisy and free will in post-Napoleonic France.
Based on a real crime that Stendhal read about in a French tabloid in 1827, the Red and the Black is a brilliant psychological portrait of passion, opportunism, and political intrigue set in nineteenth-century France. It is the story of Julien Sorel, a young man of humble origins but high aspirations, whose prospects for a respectable public career are cut short by boundless egotism, tragic love, and revenge.