Although Frenchman Stendhal (Marie-Henri Beyle) wrote this novel partly as a tribute to Italy, where he lived and worked a good part of his adult life, and the novel is rich in psychological and historical insights as well as descriptions of the landscape, it can simply be read as one of the greatest romance novels of all time. Young Fabrizio Del Dongo makes his way to the confused horror of the battlefield at Waterloo, becomes a cleric, fights a duel, escapes from a prison tower, survives with the patronage of his worldly and chastely adoring aunt Gina Petranera and her lover the Count Mosca, falls in love with the pure and spiritual Clelia Conti, and much later becomes her lover when she is married and he is a bishop. Stendhal wrote this swashbuckling masterpiece in just seven weeks, a short three years before his death.
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The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus