Marie Heuri Beyle, popularly known as Stendhal, a French author, born in Grenoble, Jan. 23, 1783, died in Paris, March 23, 1842. He was the son of a lawyer, displayed early talent at the central school of Grenoble, went to Paris in 1799, was connected with the civil and military service chiefly with the army in Italy, and was also engaged in various other pursuits according to the promptings of his restless, roving disposition, and of his necessities. Finally he became consul at Civita Vecchia (1830-'42), the exequatur at Trieste, the original place of his destination, having been denied to him on account of his Italian sympathies. He wrote voluminously under various names for many periodicals and journals. Under that of Alexandre Cesar Bombet he wrote in 1814 Let-tres de Vienne sur Haydn, suivies d'une vie de Mozart et de considerations sur Metastase et l'etat present de la musique en Italie (new ed., 1817, under the name of Stendhal), the life of Haydn being a new version of Carpiani's work, and that of Mozart a free translation from the German. Both works, as well as his Vie de Rossini, the only entirely original and best of the series, were translated into English (1820-'24). By his Histoire de la peinture en Italie (1817), Rome, Naples et Florence (1817), and Promenades dans Rome (2 vols., 1829; new ed., 6 vols., 1846), he gave additional evidence of his remarkable familiarity with Italy; while his Del romantismo nelle arti (2 vols., Florence, 1819) was written in excellent Italian. In the latter work, as in his pithy pamphlet Racine et Shakespeare (1823), which made a sensation at the time of its publication, he reveals himself as an enthusiastic champion of the romantic and adversary of the classical school.
His most famous works are L'Amour (1822), Memoires d'un touriste (1838), and his romances Le Rouge et le Noir (1831) and La Chartreuse de Parme (1839) - the latter a delineation of court life at Parma, which according to Balzac is chiefly interesting for diplomatists and people moving in official and court circles; but after he had acquired a wider popularity Balzac as well as Sainte-Beuve extolled him as a writer of wonderful genius, originality, and critical power. The number of his readers, at first limited, has been lately increasing. A completo edition of his writings was published at Paris in 18 vols., 1855-'6; and in 1857 Prosper Merimee published his Corre-spondance inedite in 2 vols.