31 Facts About Stendhal


Marie-Henri Beyle, better known by his pen name Stendhal, was a 19th-century French writer.


Stendhal was an unhappy child, disliking his "unimaginative" father and mourning his mother, whom he loved fervently, and who died in childbirth in 1790, when he was seven.


Stendhal was named an auditor with the Conseil d'Etat on 3 August 1810, and thereafter took part in the French administration and in the Napoleonic wars in Italy.


Stendhal travelled extensively in Germany and was part of Napoleon's army in the 1812 invasion of Russia.


Stendhal was appointed Commissioner of War Supplies and sent to Smolensk to prepare provisions for the returning army.


Stendhal crossed the Berezina River by finding a usable ford rather than the overwhelmed pontoon bridge, which probably saved his life and those of his companions.


Stendhal arrived in Paris in 1813, largely unaware of the general fiasco that the retreat had become.


Stendhal formed a particular attachment to Italy, where he spent much of the remainder of his career.


Stendhal identified with the nascent liberalism and his sojourn in Italy convinced him that Romanticism was essentially the literary counterpart of liberalism in politics.


When Stendhal was appointed to a consular post in Trieste in 1830, Metternich refused his exequatur on account of Stendhal's liberalism and anti-clericalism.


Stendhal was a dandy and wit about town in Paris, as well as an obsessive womaniser.


Stendhal credited him for perceiving a woman as just a woman and simply a human being.


Stendhal suffered miserable physical disabilities in his final years as he continued to produce some of his most famous work.


Stendhal is said to have sought the best treatment in Paris, Vienna and Rome.


Stendhal died on 23 March 1842, a few hours after collapsing with a seizure in the street in Paris.


The only book that Stendhal published under his own name was The History of Painting.


Stendhal borrowed this pen name from the German city of Stendal, birthplace of Johann Joachim Winckelmann, an art historian and archaeologist famous at the time.


In 1807, Stendhal stayed near Stendal, where he fell in love with a woman named Wilhelmine, whom he called Minette, and for whose sake he remained in the city.


Stendhal used many aliases in his autobiographical writings and correspondence, and often assigned pseudonyms to friends, some of whom adopted the names for themselves.


Stendhal used more than a hundred pseudonyms, which were astonishingly diverse.


Stendhal was not fully appreciated until the beginning of the 20th century.


Stendhal dedicated his writing to "the Happy Few".


Stendhal was an admirer of Napoleon and his novel Le Rouge et le Noir is considered his literary tribute to the emperor.


Today, Stendhal's works attract attention for their irony and psychological and historical dimensions.


Stendhal was an avid fan of music, particularly the works of the composers Domenico Cimarosa, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Gioacchino Rossini.


Stendhal wrote a biography of Rossini, Vie de Rossini, now more valued for its wide-ranging musical criticism than for its historical content.


The departure, according to Stendhal, has nothing to do with one's will; it is an instinctive moment.


Beyle-Stendhal was a man of keen intelligence, quick and alive, mentally independent and courageous, but not quite a great figure.


Stendhal's ideas are often forceful and inspired, but they are erratic, arbitrarily advanced, and, despite all their show of boldness, lacking in inward certainty and continuity.


In 1817 Stendhal was reportedly overcome by the cultural richness of Florence he encountered when he first visited the Tuscan city.


In homage to Stendhal, Trenitalia named their overnight train service from Paris to Venice the Stendhal Express, though there is no physical distress connected to it.