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Henri Marie Beyle (1783-1842) had a post in the Ministry of War and followed Napoleon's campaigns before retiring to Italy. Here, as 'Stendhal', he began writing on art, music and travel. He later wrote novels, literary criticism, and various biographical and autobiographical works.
September 2010 Guest Editor Belle de Jour on Stendhal... I find his books are incredible for how dense they are with detail – it’s like the entire plot of any other novel, on each page. But in particular his heroes are engaging, especially Julian Sorel in The Scarlet and the Black. A classic schemer and loner who, through a set of unlikely circumstances, discovers about life and love what very few ever realise.