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Stendhal Marie Henri Beyle

Stendhal Marie Henri Beyle

*  1783 Grenoble
† 1842 Paris

He was born 1783, the son of a lawyer in Grenoble. The pseudonym "Stendhal" goes back to the town of the same name in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. It is nevertheless unclear why he chose this moniker. Up to the age of 12, he was raised by a priest. In 1796, he began attending the newly established Central School in Grenoble. On the recommendation of Pierre Daru, he obtained a position in the Ministry of War. In 1800, Stendhal took part in the Italian campaign under Napoleon, during which he was stationed in Milan as a regiments' clerk. His observation of the Battle of Marengo impressed him so much that he joined the 6th dragoon regiment. He quickly achieved the rank of underlieutenant and became adjuntant for General Michaud. After the Peace of Amiens, he resigned from army service to go Paris and study. Here he discovered the author Helvétius, who had a tremendous impact on his philosophical perspective. After a passionate affair with Melanie Guilbert, an actress, his father stopped supporting him for a short time. He was therefore forced to work as a greengrocer. When he returned to Paris in 1806, he was inducted into the Sainte-Caroline Freemason Lodge. Again through the influence of Daru, he obtained a position in the commissariat from 1806 until 1814. During his tenure of office in 1812, he traveled to Russia. Because of France's war with Germany, as soon as he reached Moscow, he was forced to flee with the army through Königsberg back to Paris. After the defeat of Napoleon. Stendhal declined a military position and settled in Milan, where he met Silvio Pellico, Alessandro Manzoni, and Lord Byron. In 1821, his acquaintance with several Italian patriots came to the attention of the Italian authorities, and he was banned from Milan. Though disconnected from the French art of the day, he found his way into the circle around Destutt de Tracy after he returned to Paris. He published his "Essay sur l'amour" in 1822, though a total of only 17 copies were sold in 11 years following. "Racine et Shakespeare" (1823), "Vie de Rossini" (1824), "D'un nouveau complot contre les industriels" (1825), "Promenades dans Rome" (1829), and his first novel "Armance, ou quelques scénes de Paris en 1827" (1827) followed in that decade. He was appointed consul to Triest in 1830 after the July Revolution, but the Austrian government rejected his selection, so he was sent to Civitavecchia. After his departure, his novel "Le Rouge et le Noir, chronique du XIXe siécle" appeared. He made the acquaintance of George Sand and Alfred de Musset on a visit to Paris in 1833. Two years later, he was made a knight of the Légion d'Honneur. In 1838, he released his "Mémoires d'un touriste." His first successful novel "La Chartreuse de Parma" appeared in 1839. In the year followingr, Balzac praised the book. he died following a stroke in the presence of Romain Colomb and Abraham Constantin in a Paris hotel on March 22, 1842. His final resting place is in the Montmartre cemetery.