The Promise of Happiness
by David Wakefield
The Newstead Press, 1984, [First Edition], colour and b/w photographic plates, hardcover, dustjacket, ISBN 0853900272
Near Fine Condition, previous owners gift inscription on front flyleaf, minor edge and shelf wear, dustjacket has minor edge and shelf wear
'Henri Beyle (1783-1842), better known as Stendhal, celebrated his 200th anniversary in 1983 and, as he correctly predicted, his reputation as a novelist has belatedly been recognised in the twentieth century. The following study is intended as a sequel to Stendhal and the Arts (Phaidon, 1973) by the same author; but, instead of treating Stendhal's art-criticism as a separate phenomenon, this book attempts to show (with numerous illustrations) the relationship of the pictorial arts to his entire life and literary output. It is hoped that the close juxtaposition of Stendhal's comments with the works of art which inspired them, will enable the reader to percieve the precise link between the visual arts and Stendhal's writings, and at the same time to understand his view of civilisation as a whole. The underlying theme of this book is a 'la chasse au bonheur', the quest for happiness which constantly eluded him in his own life but which he never tired of seeking in the arts and creative activity.'