The Charterhouse of Parma (1839) is a compelling novel of passion and daring, of prisons and heroic escape, of political chicanery and sublime personal courage. Set at the beginning of the nineteenth century, amidst the golden landscapes of northern Italy, it traces the joyous but ill-starred amorous exploits of a handsome young aristocrat called Fabrice del Dongo, and of his incomparable aunt Gina, her suitor Prime Minister Mosca, and Clelia, a heroine of ethereal beauty and earthly passion. These characters are rendered unforgettable by Stendhal's remarkable gift for psychological insight. 'Never before have the hearts of princes, ministers, courtiers, and women been depicted like this,' wrote Honore de Balzac. 'Stendhal's tableau has the dimensions of a fresco but the precision of the Dutch masters.' The great achievement of The Charterhouse of Parma is to conjure up the excitement and romance of youth while never losing sight of the harsh realities which beset the pursuit of happiness, nor the humour and patient irony with which these must be viewed.
This new translation captures Stendhal's narrative verve, while the Introduction explores the novel's reception and the reasons for its enduring popularity and power. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
Roger Pearson is Fellow and Praelector in French at The Queen's College, Oxford, and the author of Stendhal's Violin: A Novelist and his Reader (Clarendon Press, 1988), and The Fables of Reason: A Study of Voltaire's 'contes philosophiques' (Clarendon Press, 1990). He has translated and edited Voltaire, Candide and Other Stories (1988), and Zola, La Bete humaine (1996), and revised and edited Thomas Walton's
translation of Zola's The Masterpiece (1993), all for World's Classics.
Margaret Mauldon holds a doctorate in French from the University of Massachusetts. She has taught French at Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, and the University of Massachusetts. She has been working as a freelance translator since 1987, and her translation of Zola's L'Assommoir is published in World's Classics.