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Stendhal

Marie-Henri Beyle (January 23, 1783 - March 23, 1842), better known as Stendhal, was a 19th century French writer.

Born in Grenoble, France, he had a miserable childhood but blossomed in the military and theatrical worlds of the First French Empire. He travelled extensively in Germany and visited Russia (as part of Napoleon's army), but formed a particular attachment to Italy, where he spent much of the remainder of his career, serving as French consul and writing.

Beyle used the pseudonym "Stendhal", supposedly chosen as an anagram of "Shetland" (although Georges Perec may have invented this explanation - references to Le Rouge et le Noir feature extensively in Perec's unfinished last novel 53 jours).

Stendhal's readers did not greatly appreciate his somewhat realistic style during the Romantic period in which he lived; he was not fully appreciated until the dawn of the 20th century. He dedicated his writing to "the Happy Few", referring to those who would one day recognise his own genius. Today, his works attract attention for their irony and psychological and historical aspects.

He died in Paris in 1842 and is interred in the Cimetière de Montmartre.

Novels include:

His other work includes short stories, journalism, travel books (among them Rome, Naples et Florence and Promenades dans Rome) and L'amour, a singular treatise in which the author gives his views on love and records one of his own failed relationships.

See also: Stendhal syndrome

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