About the Book (from Wikipedia):
Le Rouge et le Noir (French for The Red and the Black) is a historical psychological novel in two volumes, published in 1830 by Stendhal. It chronicles the attempts of a provincial young man to rise socially beyond his modest upbringing through a combination of talent, hard work, deception, and hypocrisy—yet who ultimately allows his passions to betray him.
In The Red and the Black, Stendhal paints a sweeping portrait of early nineteenth-century France—its social classes, professions, politics, and manners—in Paris and the provinces. The novel’s characters represent virtually every level of intelligence and sensibility, in a plot involving passion, intrigue, satire, and last-minute reversals. Changing scene and focus so often that it has frequently been called “cinematic,” the novel is held together by Julien Sorel, whose life provides its structure. Julien leaves his provincial home to become a tutor, strives to raise himself professionally and socially, becomes embroiled in a series of romantic escapades, and finally faces a capital trial. Until Stendhal chose the enigmatic phrase Le rouge et le noir as the title just before the book’s publication, he called the novel Julien. Although Julien is indisputably the novel’s central character, whether we should see him as a hero is an open question. At the end of the novel, Stendhal places us in the same position as the jury at Julien’s trial, in effect asking us to evaluate Julien and compare our verdict with the court’s.
About Stendhal (from Wikipedia):
Marie-Henri Beyle (23 January 1783 – 23 March 1842), better known by his pen name Stendhal, was a 19th-century French writer. Known for his acute analysis of his characters’ psychology, he is considered one of the earliest and foremost practitioners of realism, as is evident in the novels Le Rouge et le Noir (The Red and the Black, 1830) and La Chartreuse de Parme (The Charterhouse of Parma, 1839).