Le Rouge et le Noir ( ; French for The Red and the Black), 1830, by Stendhal, is a historical psychological novel in two volumes, chronicling a provincial young man’s attempts to rise socially beyond his modest upbringing with a combination of talent and hard work, deception and hypocrisy — yet who ultimately allows his passions to betray him.
The novel’s composite full title, Le Rouge et le Noir, Chronique du XIXe siècle (The Red and the Black: A Chronicle of the 19th Century), indicates its two-fold literary purpose, a psychological portrait of the romantic protagonist, Julien Sorel, and an analytic, sociological satire of the French social order under the Bourbon Restoration (1814–30). In English, Le Rouge et le Noir is variously translated as Red and Black, Scarlet and Black, and The Red and the Black, without the sub-title.
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