This site is a tribute to the French author Stendhal. It's primary aim is to ensure that the Happy Few keep growing in number by offering an introduction to the author, his writings and his world in English.

Any feedback or constructive critcism is welcome.

J. J. Haldane


Portrait of Stendhal by Pierre-Joseph Dedreux-Dorcy
(Bibliothèque Municipale de Grenoble)

Marie-Henri Beyle, better known as Stendhal, was born in Grenoble in 1783 and died in Paris in 1842. Little appreciated in his own lifetime he is now recognized as one of the world's greatest novelists.

Considered by many as the founder of realism, his books are characterised by the use of a simple, direct and highly recognisable style that rejected the dominant Romantic trend at the time for rich but often rhetorically ambiguous or even meaningless prose. In opposition to Balzac, descriptive passages are rare in Stendhal's works as the emphasis is on depiction with words and actions. This, coupled with the exposition and analysis of the psychological state of his characters has meant that his novels do not appear as dated as those of his contemporaries but instead remain in many ways as relevant today as when they were written.

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