The Red and the Black Introduction

by Stendhal

Le Rouge et le Noir (The Red and the Black), subtitled Chronique du XIXe siécle ("Chronicle of the 19th century"), is an historical psychological novel in two volumes by Stendhal, published in 1830. It is often cited as the first realist novel. The title has been translated into English variously as Scarlet and Black, Red and Black and The Red and the Black. It is set in the period from the end of September,1826 to the end of July,1831, and relates a young man's attempts to rise above his plebeian birth through a combination of talent, hard work, deception and hypocrisy, only to find himself betrayed by his own passions.