Drawing on history, literature, and his own experience of unrequited passion, Love is a thinly disguised picture of the author's innermost feelings.
Stendahl's obsession with Mathilde Viscontini Dembowski is at the heart of this book. For her part, she neither returned his love nor understood him. In an attempt to expain his feelings to her-and to exorcize his love-he dissects his passion. Bringing together the conflicting sides of his nature, the deeply emotional and the coolly analytical, Stendhal constructed a work that is both acutely personal and universally applicable.
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Marie Henri Beyle, known as Stendhal (1783 - 1842) fought during the Napoleonic wars. After Napolean's fall, he retired to Italy and began to write under his pseudonym. In 1821 he left Italy and returned to France, where he completed Love. The Red and the Black was his second novel, and he completed three others.