Framed as a letter from the Roman Emperor Hadrian to his successor, Marcus Aurelius, Marguerite Yourcenar's Memoirs of Hadrian is translated from the French by Grace Frick with an introduction by Paul Bailey in Penguin Modern Classics.
In her magnificent novel, Marguerite Yourcenor recreates the life and death of one of the great rulers of the ancient world. The Emperor Hadrian, aware his demise is imminent, writes a long valedictory letter to Marcus Aurelius, his future successor. The Emperor meditates on his past, describing his accession, military triumphs, love of poetry and music, and the philosophy that informed his powerful and far-flung rule. A work of superbly detailed research and sustained empathy, Memoirs of Hadrian captures the living spirit of the Emperor and of Ancient Rome.
Marguerite de Crayencour (1903-88), who went by the inexact anagrammatic pen name 'Marguarite Yourcenar', was a Belgian-born French novelist and essayist, the first woman to be elected to the Académie française. Her first novel Alexis was published in 1929; in 1939 she was invited to America by her lover Grace Frick, where she lectured in comparative literature at Sarah Lawrence College in New York. When Mémoires d'Hadrien was first published in 1951, it was an immediate success and met with great critical acclaim.
If you enjoyed Memoirs of Hadrian, you might like Robert Graves's I, Claudius, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.
'A timeless masterpiece ... every page is informed by her profound scholarship'
Paul Bailey, author of Gabriel's Lament
'Yourcenar conjures worlds. She can make us share passion - for beauty, bodies, ideas, even power - and consider it closely at the same time. She is that most extraordinary thing: a sensual thinker'
Independent on Sunday
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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd 25/05/1978, 1978. Book Condition: Very Good. This book is in very good condition and will be shipped within 24 hours of ordering. The cover may have some limited signs of wear but the pages are clean, intact and the spine remains undamaged. This book has clearly been well maintained and looked after thus far. Money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. See all our books here, order more than 1 book and get discounted shipping. . Bookseller Inventory # 7719-9780140013580
Book Description Penguin Books Ltd 25/05/1978, 1978. Book Condition: Good. Will be shipped promptly from UK warehouse. Book is in good condition with no missing pages, no damage or soiling and tight spine. There may be some dog-eared pages showing previous use but overall a great book. Bookseller Inventory # 9053-9780140013580
Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: Fair. A readable copy of the book which may include some defects such as highlighting and notes. Cover and pages may be creased and show discolouration. Bookseller Inventory # GOR001364410
Book Description Book Condition: good. 127 Gramm. Bookseller Inventory # M0014001358X-G
Book Description Penguin Books, New York, NY, U.S.A., 1978. Mass Market Paperback. Book Condition: 2. Dust Jacket Condition: 0. Reprint Edition. Fair Book. 12mo-over 6?-7?" tall. As a picture of the whole various Empire with its manners and beliefs, no less than as an imaginary portrait of its ruler, this book can hardly be too vehemently commended.Clean throughout/much used with creases, heavy edgewear, browning from aging. Bookseller Inventory # 051623
Book Description Penguin, UK, 1978. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. Light reading wear. Very clean interior. Bookseller Inventory # 005222
Book Description Penguin, UK, 1978. Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. Reprint. Paperback reprint. Clean & tight. No inscription. Uncreased spine. Sent FIRST CLASS NEXT WORKING DAY OR SOONER securely boxed in cardboard. ref 09:18. Bookseller Inventory # 011624