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By Robert Alter

"A Lion for romance is a version of serious biography—a attention-grabbing biography of a desirable man." (Larry McMurty Washington Star)

"The e-book of A Lion for romance, via Robert regulate with the collaboration of his spouse, Carol Cosman, provides finally a great, perceptive, concise serious biography of Stendhal, written with a readability and sturdy feel priceless of its subject...Alter and Cosman...wear their erudition with turning into lightness." (John Simon New Leader)

"This very good brief biography...brings out either the charms and the complexities of Stendhal. The tone of the booklet is discreetly admiring, yet ironic adequate whilst want be to remind one of many saving and consummate irony of its subject." (John Sturrock long island instances booklet Review)

"A Lion for romance is a fabulous instance of an extraordinary and hard serious style: a biography which chronicles and translates improvement of a personality of complicated resourceful genius, and whilst introduces a lucid severe analyzing of his works." (Julia Epstein Washington submit publication World)

"[An] very good and balanced biography." (Anita Brookner occasions Literary complement)

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Extra info for A Lion for Love: A Critical Biography of Stendhal

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Z o ) . As a matter of fact, at about this time, the pubescent Henri was engrossed in another fictional introduction to erotic life that could well serve as a scoundrel's primer, Choderlos de Laclos's Les Uaisom dan­ gereuses. Laclos, a general in the French army, had been stationed in Grenoble from 1 769 to 1 7 75, and local rumor had it that this brilliantly cynical novel of relentless erotic egotism was explicitly based on Greno­ ble. Stendhal, in any case, firmly believed that as a boy he had known the real-life model for J\lme de J\l erteuil, the novel's high priestess of sexual c�·nicism, and so Laclos's compelling fictional inventions were reinforced for the child b�· a sense that he could actuall�· glimpse around him the real figures who had lived these ca reers of coldly calculating sensuality.

Tore generally, one rna�· infer. the philosophical sensualism and the geo­ metric spirit imparted in the classes in logic and general grammar could well have hel ped fix one of his basic modes of thinking. �· enough. it was mathematics that became Henri's great passion during his last �·car in Grenoble. Finding his instructor at the Ecole Cen­ trale i ntellectually wanting, he, with several of his friends, turned for pri­ vate lessons to Louis-Gabriel Gros, a young man of real mathematical gifts and a zealous republican besides.

Henri Bcy l c s Shakespeare, h oweve r is at once Romantic and, in a peculiar way, neoclassical . \ 1 ozart, and S hakespea re, he wrote in Som:enirs d'egotisme. ) At t he same time, Stendhal's Shakespeare, like Sam uel Johnson's, is above all a poet admirable for his "just representations of general nature," that is, for his grasp of timeless psychological truths. Stcndhal would go so far as to efj uate the imitation of Shakespeare with th e imitation of nature, the implied opposite to nature being, of course, ri gi d ifie d F rench literar�· convention, as in the pree m in e nt instance of Racine.

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