Nineteenth-century French writer Marie-Henri Beyle, better known by his pen name Stendhal, is one of the earliest leading practitioners of realism, his stories filled with sharp analyses of his characters\u2019 psychology. This translation of Stendhal\u2019s Chroniques italiennes is a collection of nine tales written between 1829 and 1840, many of which were published only after his death. Together these collected tales reveal a great novelist working with highly dramatic subject matter to forge a vision of life lived at its most intense.The setting for these tales is a romanticized Italy, a place Stendhal viewed as unpolluted by bourgeois inhibitions and conformism. From the hothouse atmosphere of aristocratic convents to the horrors of the Cenci family, the tales in Italian Chronicles all feature passionate, transgressive characters engaged in \u201cla chasse au bonheur\u201d-the quest for happiness. Most of the tragic, violent tales are based on historical events, with Stendhal using history to validate his characters\u2019 extreme behaviors as they battle literal and figurative oppression and try to break through to freedom.Complete with revenge, bloody daggers, poisonings, and thick-walled nunneries, this new translation of Italian Chronicles includes four never-before-translated stories and a fascinating introduction detailing the origins of the book. It is sure to gratify established Stendhal fans as well as readers new to the writer.
Stendhal, the pseudonym of Marie-Henri Beyle (1783-1842), is best known for his major novels The Red and the Black and The Charterhouse of Parma. He was a prolific writer in many genres, including novellas and tales. Raymond N. MacKenzie is professor of English at the University of St. Thomas. He is the translator of Jules Barbey D'Aurevilly's Diaboliques: Six Tales of Decadence (Minnesota, 2015).
Contents Translator's Introduction Stendhal's Prefaces Italian Chronicles (1855) Vanina Vanini; or, Particulars concerning the Most Recent Gathering of a Cell of the Carbonari-Discovered in the Papal States Vittoria Accoramboni: Duchess of Bracciano The Cenci: 1599 The Duchess of Palliano The Abbess of Castro Italian Stories The Jew San Francesco a Ripa Too Much Favor Is Deadly: A Tale of 1589 Suora Scolastica: A Story That Shocked All Naples in 1740 Translator's Notes